Ethanol, Rotax and Fiberglass Tanks

For general discussion of the Just Aircraft family of aircraft.
Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

Moderator: scubarider2

Ethanol, Rotax and Fiberglass Tanks

Postby scubarider2 » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:22 am

Ok, just got off the phone with Troy at Just Aircraft.  Here is what he said.  In his experience with his own plane he has experienced NO problems.  He has flown for the past four years WITH ethanol in his tanks with NO deterioration.  He has had several tanks sitting there with water in them...cleans them out and puts them in a plane and he has seen NO problems.  The sticky substances is only a film and can be cleaned out as told here in the earlier post.  For those of us who have run several loads of gas through the tanks, they should be cleaned out already.  He has over 1,600 hours on his rotax 912 and just had lockwood send it back to him because it was in perfect condition.
I have changed my mind due to his advice.  I will NOT be switching to 100LL as previously told.  Troy said in his experience that would be much worse on the engine.  I WILL be running some seafoam in the tanks to help with the sticking and loss of compression.  I will also be changing out the three fuel filters that I have.  Troy said that after 100 hours you change them out then leave them.  He told me that in his plane he never changed the filters and flew the bird constantly.  That might also be the answer to ethanol.  DO NOT let it sit for long and gather water.  
All this is just my pennies worth.  I will be flying tomorrow (Saturday) hopefully with little concern.
Troy did say he would try and find some STRAIGHT ethanol and put it in a tank, let it sit for awhile, and see what it does.  He will get back to us on that trial.
Dennis
Live as though you were going to die tomorrow, learn as though you were going to live forever...
User avatar
scubarider2
Topic Moderator
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, GA

Troy

Postby Lynng » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:28 am

If we are to get real answers to our concerns it will not be from Just Aircraft as this blog has shown.  Dennis has done more to help everyone understand the potential problems of E10 use then anyone involved.  If Troy is serious about saying his ONE Escapade is all the empirical data needed to answer this complicated issue I have serious doubts about his understanding of the need for careful consideration of material quality control as an aircraft manufacturer.  Did the same person, use the same materiel, under the same conditions to produce ALL the tanks Just aircraft has sold with their KITs?  Thats what we all deserve to know so we can make intelligent decisions regarding our aircraft fuel systems. I know my tanks are good and I know I do NOT leave fuels sitting in the plane or in gas cans for any amount of time for quality control, now lets find out if ANY tanks out there are made of non standard material and put this behind us.  E10 will collect water.  It will cause more corrosive destruction long term.  It will soften and deteriorate rubber parts at a higher rate.  It is more vapor lock prone.  I will not be using it with my $20,000 engine, thanks.  Until we can get legislative change in our Auto fuel laws we are stuck with this reality.  Be happy your Rotax uses 4.7 gallons an hour and not 12 like most RV owners.
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space"
Lynng
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:04 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

straight EtOH?

Postby KevinC » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:22 am

Where o where would one ever find straight ethanol in the hills of South Carolina.  Hmm :wink:

If I'm not mistaken isn't the certified Rotax supposed to be cert for a percentage of EtOH?  If that is the case it would be likely that the seals, hoses, etc are ethanol resistant and the real question would be the tanks.

fwiw

k
User avatar
KevinC
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Prosser, Washington

Postby scubarider2 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:56 am

I believe I have read that rotax recommends  UP TO 5% of ethanol.  And, also from what I have read the 2 strokes are much worse off with ethanol.
Dennis
Live as though you were going to die tomorrow, learn as though you were going to live forever...
User avatar
scubarider2
Topic Moderator
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, GA

Rotax rubber

Postby Lynng » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:18 pm

Kevin,

The new rubbers are supposed to be better at resisting the ethanol effect, but it still will reduce its elasticity under long term exposure and you will find yourself replacing your intake and carb seals more frequently.  All my fuel lines are the 2 part Goodyear teflon liner type lines rather then what was in the kit.  I know you used the aluminum lines for the majority of your aircraft so ...... when do you get to fly it ...... love to have come out this summer but it wasn't in the cards.  

Lynn
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space"
Lynng
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:04 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

Ethanol

Postby Lynng » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:21 pm

Oh Kevin.....I just remembered it is actually pretty easy to find Ethanol in SC..... they call that MOON SHINE.....LOL  :lol:  :o  :lol:

I CRACK MYSELF UP!
"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space"
Lynng
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:04 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

Postby scubarider2 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:27 am

HEY..........my plane {and me} fly just fine on that MOONSHINE!  :shock:  
I decided to go ahead and replace all 3 fuel filters at 75 hours.  I found some pretty dirty filters.  Most of it looked like fiberglass "dust".  I use a Mr. Funnel and an extra filter before the gas enters the tank.  The tanks themselves look and feel hard.  I will keep an eye on the filters to see what comes.  I also filled a glass full of fuel from the sump drain.  I will let it sit for a couple weeks to see what it shows.
I flew for a couple hours yesterday chasing the $100 garden burger  :D    Had a great flight.
Dennis
Live as though you were going to die tomorrow, learn as though you were going to live forever...
User avatar
scubarider2
Topic Moderator
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, GA

post pix

Postby KevinC » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:55 pm

Dennis,

If you get a chance, please post a picture of what you're getting out of your sump and filters.

Very jealous of your garden-burger pursuit.  Weather is really getting great here in the PNW and still have a flightless bird.  Please feel free to post trip reports - I love 'em.

k
User avatar
KevinC
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:42 am
Location: Prosser, Washington


Return to Just Aircraft