Header Tank Sight Gauge

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

Moderator: scubarider2

Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby barry767 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:58 am

Something I saw the other day that I thought I'd share with everyone. After an extended flight I knew I was low on fuel but was comforted by the fact that I could still see some gas visible in each wing tank. Much to my surprise, however, when I looked back at the header tank's sight gage, I could see it was decreasing, down to about 2/3rds full and dropping. After I did some steep pull ups and wing rocks, I was able to completely refill the header tank. Two things 1) In a wings level attitude, I was surprised how much wing full will not make it to the aft pickup point in the tank and 2) How critically important it is to have a sight gage installed on the header tank. (I changed my 1 gallon header tank to the 3 gallon model, and now I'm really glad I did) I was over a congested area and an engine failure due to fuel starvation would not have ended well.
User avatar
barry767
Seasoned Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:06 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby jjacky » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:53 pm

Thanks for the heads up. Did you get your 3 gal thanks from "Just Air' and did they come with a sight glass?
Plan not to be the first at the scene of the accident!
jjacky
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby barry767 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:15 am

Yes, I got my 3 gallon tank from Just. It came with the necessary hardware for the sight gauge (fittings and plastic tube) but I had to install it myself. I added a vertical strip of aluminum behind the tube so I could see fuel in the tube better and to protect it from being damaged by cargo. This issue only now came up because I'm flying with less fuel in my wing tanks. I'm folding my wings after each flight.
User avatar
barry767
Seasoned Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:06 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby Gil T » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:15 am

Barry

You will notice that on a long easy let down from high altitude even with 7 or 8 gallons you can get the header tank to show decreasing fuel quantity. All it takes is to level off to start the flow again. When I want to get the fuel completely out of my wing tanks for whatever reason I just circle around the field and when the fuel level starts down in the header tank I pick a wing up and opposite rudder and it fills it up again. After doing this for both sides for maybe thirty minutes and the header tank no longer starts to fill all you have to do is drain the header tank sump when you park it and you should be pretty close to dry tanks. This should take care of the two gallons unusable. Probably not the recommended method for that distance record you might have thought about.

I have the original wedge shaped plastic(?) header tank which you can see through with a little squinting, which my old eyes are doing more of lately, and have thought of putting in a sight gauge but I just hate the idea of drilling a hole in the side of it and dealing with cleanup involved. It shouldn't be that big of a deal so maybe some day.

Gil T
User avatar
Gil T
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:57 pm
Location: Quartzsite AZ

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby Tralika » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:54 am

Anyone have a photo of the Just 3 gallon header tank? I don't see it on the Just website. I was planning on having a 2 gallon tank made from thin wall aluminum tube but I'd like to see what is available from Just. No need to re-invent the wheel.
John Nealon
Wasilla, Alaska
Highlander Extreme #191
mykitlog.com/jnealon
Tralika
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Wasilla Alaska

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby danerazz » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:12 pm

I have a picture of A 3 gallon header from just, it is a 6" diameter cylinder about 2' tall. I will try to post it when I get home tonight. I'm not sure if this is the same thing they will sell you if you ask, as it didn't seem to be a "standard" item when I asked them about it a couple years ago.

As I recall it was a couple hundred bucks.
Dane

Paralysis by analysis
#242
danerazz
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Bangor

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby barry767 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:12 pm

Here's a pic of my 3 gallon header from Just. It's hard to see but behind the plastic tube is an aluminum piece, on which I put about 12 inches of straight 1/8 inch black tape. When there's fuel in the tube the black line appears bigger and wavey (distorted). In the picture it's so distorted that you can only see the top couple of inches. When there's no fuel present the black line appears straight and thin (normal appearance). I did this so as to make it more obvious when the header's fuel quantity is starting to decrease. As I mentioned, the aluminum piece also serves to protect the plastic tube from inadvertant damage from cargo, which would be a bad thing to have happen in flight.
Attachments
image.jpg
User avatar
barry767
Seasoned Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:06 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby barry767 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:25 pm

Looking at my picture after I posted it I realized that my "aluminum piece" is a bit more elaborate than I just described. It's actually a couple of feet long and secured to the header with 2 large hose clamps from Home Depot. Gill, thanks for the post. I'll keep that technique in mind!
User avatar
barry767
Seasoned Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:06 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby Tralika » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:55 pm

Thanks for posting the photo of the Just header tank. I was planning on having one built for my plane but I'll call Just on Tuesday on ask about availability and price. Have you thought about putting a pea or floatee in the fuel sight gauge to make it easier to see the fuel level? Here's one I found on a powered parachute website. 6 bucks, hard to beat.

http://www.bearperkins.com/images/fuel_floatee_a.jpg
John Nealon
Wasilla, Alaska
Highlander Extreme #191
mykitlog.com/jnealon
Tralika
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Wasilla Alaska

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby alan » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:26 am

Hey John.

What is the diameter of that floatee?

Alan
If I had known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself.
User avatar
alan
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:39 am
Location: Baytown, TX

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby danerazz » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:54 am

My tank is a lot taller than yours
Attachments
image.jpg
Dane

Paralysis by analysis
#242
danerazz
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Bangor

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:25 am

alan wrote:What is the diameter of that floatee?

It looks like the "floatees" are intended for the 1/4" fuel/sight tube line they sell.

They're about 3/4 of the way down on this page: http://www.bearperkins.com/accessories.htm
Richard Holtz
Highlander N7340Z -- Ms. Tonka -- in gestation

If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.
User avatar
SheepdogRD
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:41 pm
Location: West of Atlanta, GA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby barry767 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:55 am

Danerraz, Could your tank be more than 3 gallons?
User avatar
barry767
Seasoned Member
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:06 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby Tralika » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:30 am

Here's another float ball from Univair. No diameter listed, it looks like 1/4".

http://www.univair.com/piper/piper-pa-1 ... loat-ball/
John Nealon
Wasilla, Alaska
Highlander Extreme #191
mykitlog.com/jnealon
Tralika
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:49 pm
Location: Wasilla Alaska

Re: Header Tank Sight Gauge

Postby danerazz » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:01 pm

It is 6" diameter and 24" long, pi*r^2*H= volume

3.14*9*24=678.5

231cui/gallon it is about 2.9 gallons
Dane

Paralysis by analysis
#242
danerazz
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 865
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Bangor

Next

Return to Just Aircraft

cron