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Old 11-11-2013, 09:01 PM
dan's Avatar
dan dan is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ...
Posts: 2,053
Default Fuel tank Z brackets: there ain't no "Checkoway method"

I keep seeing the "Checkoway method" mentioned in numerous threads when it comes to fuel tank Z brackets. I really want to put this to bed.

There ain't no Checkoway method. I didn't come up with anything. All the credit goes to Steve Hurlbut -- who posted it about 12 years ago. This is where I came upon it originally:

And in case that link goes by the wayside like some builders' websites have (ahem):

Message: #90620
From: "Steve Hurlbut" <hurlbut_steve(at)>
Subject: Perfect Fuel Tank Alignment
Date: Dec 16, 2001

I just finished my left wing fuel tank (not sealed yet) and the aligment with the leading edge is perfect. The problem with Van's instructions is they tell you to drill 1/8" holes and #12 holes in the fuel tank attachment brackets which will decide your alignment before you even get the tank on the spar. Here is what I did:

1.) Drilled 1/8" hole in exact centre on one side of attachment bracket. Make 6 of these. No #12 holes! Cleco brackets in place and drill remaining 4 holes ensuring it is centred.
2.) Put fuel tank skin in wooden cradle and cleco ribs in on one side only.
3.) Put baffle in place. With attachment brackets removed.
4.) Lift up free side of fuel tank skin and cleco ribs and attachment brackets to the baffle.
5.) Cleco second side of ribs to fuel tank skin
6.) Place in wing spar and put cleco and clamps in place to hold alignment with screw holes.
7.) Ensure zero gap between leading edge and fuel tank.
8.) Drilled fuel tank to W423
9.) Drilled attachment brackets with #12 from below using spar as a guide.

This worked great for me.

Steve Hurlbut
Going forward, I'd love to see people talking about the "Hurlbut method." Sound like a plan?
Dan Checkoway RV-7
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:02 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,659

Dan, good to see you are still making your "sorta annual" posts here at VAF.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

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Old 11-12-2013, 02:00 AM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Location: Austinville, Alabama
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Question "Checkoway" or "Hurlbut?"

Dan, I understand your request, but let's face it, you were blessed with a catchy last name. It's easy to remember, and it just has that special sound. People just don't want to talk about the "Hurlbut" method when they can talk about the "Checkoway" method.

But if I find myself talking about this topic, I'll honor your request. However, I may also add something like, "... also known by some folks as the Checkoway method."
Don Hull
RV-7 Wings
KDCU Pryor Field
Pilots'n Paws Pilot
N79599/ADS-B In and Out...and I like it!

"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:23 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
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Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 6,029
Default Hurlbut method

Sorry Dan. The last one was my fault. Guilty as charged.
You do have a catchy name but from now on I will make sure your name is not mentioned.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
E-mail: wirejock at yahoo dot com
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Donated 12/2022, plus a little extra.
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I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:54 AM
sjhurlbut sjhurlbut is offline
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Posts: 950
Default Interesting

Wow time flies. Thanks Dan - wish you were involved as much as you used to be - you have a natural building talent. Makes me feel old looking at Matronics postings.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:27 AM
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SilverEagle2 SilverEagle2 is offline
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Location: West Jordan, Utah
Posts: 228
Default My take


I too realized that it was an idea you used from someone else. I will update my site to the corrected name and link, however you will still get credit as well.

Here is my "builder site" contribution.

The Hurlbut/Checkoway Method
The Hurlbut/Checkoway Method-Continued
Jason Hess
N777JH - Reserved
RV-7 - Builders Log Tail complete, wings nearly done, starting fuselage!
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:28 AM
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Moondog Moondog is offline
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Location: Galveston, TX
Posts: 118

Originally Posted by dan View Post
There ain't no Checkoway method. I didn't come up with anything. All the credit goes to Steve Hurlbut -- who posted it about 12 years ago.

Going forward, I'd love to see people talking about the "Hurlbut method." Sound like a plan?
Sounds good. We could call it the "Checkoway plan".
David Morrow
7A QB ~50% complete . . .
N3237A Reserved
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:27 PM
Iluke Iluke is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hope Valley, Rhode Island
Posts: 193

I don't care who's name it goes by, but I am sure appreciative that you guys took the trouble to post about it. I just finished mine using the "method formerly known as Checkoway" an it was a life-saver!
Ivan Luke
Hope Valley, RI
Flying as of 9/13/21 (after 9 1/2 years building!)
2022 dues paid
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:45 PM
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BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 7,002

Hey Dan! I still use your RV disk. Still helpful too.

ain't - - hmmmm, guess you have picked up some of that southern slang. Bet you are mashing buttons too.

Thanks for stopping in. You should splash your wit this way more often.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:49 PM
Stalldog Stalldog is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 337
Default Thanks Anyway!

Well, to whomever came up with it, if a friend hadn't sent me this "method" I would still be trying to fit the tank baffle to the z brackets. You should see the stack of brackets I have that DIDN'T work!
Lenexa, KS

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