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Long range fuel

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:16 pm
by z987k
So I have the 9 gallon tanks, which are wholey inadequate for flying anywhere but the most airport laden parts of the country. I've looked at putting in the 13 gallon tanks, but that is still not that much fuel, plus I'd rather not tear up my very nice wings.
So has anyone looked into adding some real range to these things? I was thinking a minimum of 30 gallons, but I'm not sure where to put it. At first somewhere in the baggage as an aux tank seemed like a good idea, but I'd imagine you'd have to pump the gas from back there to the header tank.
Has anyone done a pod like the supercubs?

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:30 am
by AV8R Paul
I have flown from Dallas to Oregon, and Tallahassee, and Oshkosh. I find the 2 - 13 gallon wing tanks have more range than my bladder, or my rear end. At 5 Gallons per hour, i would get 400 miles. However, I rarely fly more than 3 hours before Mother Nature tells me to stop..

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:19 am
by alan
Summit racing has a very nice plastic 10 gallon fuel tank and all the fittings to plumb it. Add a vent and an electric fuel pump and you now have more than 2 more hours of fuel. I put mine right behind the seats and plumbed it to a new fitting in the top of the header tank. A year or so after my 9 gallon wing tanks had to be replaced I removed it because I never used it again. I still have it and it can be replaced in a couple of hours.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:12 pm
by z987k
alan wrote:Summit racing has a very nice plastic 10 gallon fuel tank and all the fittings to plumb it. Add a vent and an electric fuel pump and you now have more than 2 more hours of fuel. I put mine right behind the seats and plumbed it to a new fitting in the top of the header tank. A year or so after my 9 gallon wing tanks had to be replaced I removed it because I never used it again. I still have it and it can be replaced in a couple of hours.

Thank you. That's what I was looking for, an idea to go with or at least a good place to start. I'm curious, did you shut off your main wing tanks when using the aux tank? I wonder if a fuel pump with excess pressure into the header tank would push fuel back up into the main tanks. I'd imagine some amount of pressure would be too much and some too little. Maybe just a check valve?

AV8R Paul wrote:I have flown from Dallas to Oregon, and Tallahassee, and Oshkosh. I find the 2 - 13 gallon wing tanks have more range than my bladder, or my rear end. At 5 Gallons per hour, i would get 400 miles. However, I rarely fly more than 3 hours before Mother Nature tells me to stop..

It's not an issue of not landing for 4 hours, it's that nowhere you go up here has gas unless you go an hour out of your way for fuel, and then it's avgas and it's usually over $7.00/gal.
I've never seen a fuel pump on a mountain top or river bar. We more or less have to carry the gas we need to go out and back on every flight. 400 miles of range means an effective range of 175 miles from fuel with your 30 min reserve.
I'm currently just carrying two five gallon red gas cans in the back.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:43 am
by alan
Every tank has a shut off valve. I always used the auxiliary tank first and ran until it went empty. It took about 2 hours 20 minutes. It has no gauge. Leave the pump on and open a wing tank valve and the engine self starts in a few seconds. Shut off the aux pump and now you have 3 hours and some reserve. Have fun.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:48 am
by alan
Oh yeah. Don't forget to keep the aux tank valve closed when not in use lest your wing tanks drain into the aux tank and out the vent.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:42 am
by av8rps
I've often thought about making an aluminum tank to fit flush over the floor in the baggage area since we already have the elevator pushrod tube hump to deal with. Depending on how deep you want to make it, or how much weight you want in the rear of the baggage area (could be good on float equipped as they are typically forward CG), one could probably gain another 10 gallons of fuel without trying too hard.

I also thought about making much larger header tanks that would fit into the sidewall area of the fuselage behind each seat, like they did on the early Escapades and Highlanders with the original plastic header tanks. I don't think it would take much designing to make those header tanks 4 or 5 gallons each, as the area they could fit in would be pretty large. I also have always wanted to add a low fuel warning light to my plane, and that would be easy to do from each new header tank by adding an optical sensor like the Kitfox guys are doing.

I personally think making two new header tanks would be the best solution overall, as now you are not having to pump from fuel tank to fuel tank, or uphill. I'm actually surprised Just Aircraft (or some after market company) hasn't already created the larger header tanks I've described, as most of us that want more fuel don't want to cut open our wings to replace the tanks.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:56 pm
by jaffles
yep was thinking what a great addition or product development for Just Aircraft as I was reading.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:21 pm
by av8rps
After thinking about it more, it seems to me that Steve Henry at Wild West Aircraft makes a larger header tank, and that he described it on the forum somewhere. Steve...are you reading this?

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:06 pm
by danerazz
I had just build me a 3 gallon header. We’ll see how it works...

Their welder (sorry, I can’t remember his name) built it and did a great job. It is just a big aluminum cylinder like the stock one, but long and fat.

Re: Long range fuel

PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:20 pm
by BDA
av8rps wrote:After thinking about it more, it seems to me that Steve Henry at Wild West Aircraft makes a larger header tank, and that he described it on the forum somewhere. Steve...are you reading this?


I found these pictures on google images - I think Steve Henry built them - Steve?