Since we got a slightly smaller total fuel capacity than we expected in the strakes, we’ve elected to prepare supplemental fuel tanks. The strakes built with a baggage area are advertised as holding 35 gallons a side. However, we have found that ours hold just over 30. This could be due to slight differences in bulkhead placement (although we’ve checked that fairly carefully), or because we used quite a bit of Jeffco to assure that our tanks didn’t leak. Net, this makes Houston (one of our primary destinations) a bit a stretch for a non-stop IFR flight (with the longer 45 minute fuel reserve requirement). To deal with this, we intend to build two removable storage tanks of 10-15 gallons a side. This will allow us to cover the window in the strake and pop in the reserve fuel tank. These tanks will be made with quick disconnect at the very top and bottom edge of the rear of the tank, which will allow them to fill and vent just as if they were built integral to the tank from the start with minimal leakage when connecting or disconnecting. This will be especially nice since we can choose to use one side for fuel and one for baggage, or whatever combination suits the flight best. The strake cutout was covered with plastic, and then closed up with a piece of cardboard so that the expanding foam would take the strake shape. This plug will then be covered with a release agent (duct tape) and then covered with BID to create the tank.

Filling the Strake Void

Finished Plug Pilot-Side

Strake Plug Formed, Co-Pilot Side

Aftermath of Creating Foam Plugs

Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Monday May 10th, 2004 at 10:07 PM

Categories: Strakes
Tags: Building Fuselage Long-Range Tanks Strakes

One response to “Long-Range Fuel Tank Molds”

  1. Document says:

    […] panel, long-range tanks, circuit breaker panel and box, and baggage compartment and DVD […]

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