Fabric Covering Wing 3 of 8

fabric top wing A

The fabric attachment process for the top of the wing is the same as the bottom side with exception that you overlap the bottom edge fabric by 2 inches on the leading edge and one inch on the trailing edge.  The photos above show the fabric after the 3rd of three heat shrinking temperature settings. The fuel tank cover was reattached to make sure the holes of the cover still aligned with the anchor nut attachments on the wing.  They did and there was no deformation due the fabric shrinking process.

Before moving on to the next step the fabric was scrubbed down with full strength MEK to remove any drips of glue while carefully keeping the MEK off any glued edges.

 

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Fuel Tank Installation

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 The Northstar wing kit includes two custom TIG welded fuel tanks.  The tanks hold 52 gallons in total or 312 pounds of fuel.  That quantity of fuel will give the aircraft approximately a 6 hour/ 600 mile range.  The fuel tanks were crafted to form the airfoil shape of the wing and were held tightly in place with three stainless steel tensioning straps.  Inside the tanks were three baffles to reduce sloshing of fuel.  After the tanks were installed in the wing a set of “X” braced drag wires were inserted through the fluid tight internal tubes in the tank.  

Using the Northstar wing made it unnecessary to use a header tank.  Piper aircraft and many Piper replicas require a header tank which is a small fuel tank mounted in the cockpit just above the Pilots feet. The header tank purpose is to ensure consistent fuel flow during climbs, dives and maneuvering. I did not like the idea of highly combustible 100 octane racing/aviation fuel just above my feet. The Northstar wing plumbing and fuel line routing provides positive fuel flow during steep climbs or dives making the header tank unnecessary. The fuel system is gravity fed from a forward port and a rear port that feed together to a central fuel selector. The head pressure is sufficent to also eliminate the need of an electric fuel pump.

One last feature of the Northstar fuel tanks are the fuel sight gauges in the root of each wing. These sight tubes provide the pilot an honest indication of remaining fuel on the ground and in the air.