Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Looking fwd to the summer flying in Idaho and the back country air strips.
From previous flights I have found that it would be better if I could "pack" five or so gallons of extra gas - I have the std 20 gallon setup.
I have seen pictures of tanks hanging on the wing struts - thought about a belly tank setup but then there IS the exhaust pipe.
Don't particularly want to put it inside the cabin with me or open the wings to add aux tanks - any and all ideas please.
I am with Wayne. This is about as simple of a solution as one most likely will find. I added them to my Beaver ultralight to extend the range and it was a relatively easy system to plumb. When I added them, it did not seem to affect the cruise speed much on my 70 mph UL. Not real pretty but should be able make the tanks and hardware quickly removable fairly easily. Aircraft Spruce also has them: http://www.aircraftspruce.ca/catalog/eppages/ultralighttank05-12347...
I would want to do some research with the factory or a good engineer before hanging those on the struts of any airplane. The tank and brackets and such weigh five pounds and the five gallons of fuel another 30 pounds. That's 35 pounds at mid-span on the struts. I suspect that much weight on a very turbulent day or a very rough landing could induce some powerful forces, perhaps enough to bend or break the struts.
Also, I am presuming the picture above is not a US ultralight. US ultralights include in the definition of the class a fuel capacity limit of 5 gallons. An ultralight with 10 gallons of fuel on the wing struts would no longer be a legal machine.
I understand that you don't want to have fuel inside the cabin, but still want to make this proposal: Put a race fuel cell in the baggage area and pump fuel from there into one of the main tanks. They are even available with bladders inside and are capable of withstanding the most severe race car crashes.
We will go for such a setup. That way, I don't have to tinker with the original fuel system and can also make the tank easily removable, with fuel quick connectors, if desired. Another advantage is, that I will put the additional load in a place which is designed for it. Who knows how well the under-wing tanks and their attachment points will withstand operation in the ID backcountry!?
Two common sources for fuel cells:
Have you thought of putting it behind the luggage compartment? I have seen a few header tanks that mount in the fuselage behind the baggage area, thus out of the cockpit, not hanging on the wings causing more drag and out of the elements. Just a thought. Hope you are getting out flying.
Nice looking bird!
You bring up a valid point - here are a few things that you can consider:
You are flying an economical aircraft
In most of the Idaho back country strips you are never too far from fuel sources so fuel management is not a big problem
If you still want to opt for additional capacity, there are many certified aircraft out there that have fuel in baggage and/or nose bowl areas, so it is proven that living with fuel is not a big problem and should ease your concerns.
As mentioned in a earlier post on this blog, technology has greatly improved safety, i.e.race car fuel bladders, etc...
Contact the Heintz for their thoughts on modifications
A side note for all who are thinking about back country flying, be sure to get a personal checkout for each strip you desire to land on.
These strips are known to bite the uninitiated!
Back country instructors are readily available.
I have two 5 gallon fuel bags I got a few years back through Alaskan Bushwheels...they don't make them anymore, just water bags. Some googling came up with these Chinese bags that Cubcrafter pilots have had good luck with...they look just like my alaskan bushwheel bags, which are great, they don't leak and they take up no room when empty. You do have to put together a spout for them, which I did with some basic plumbing supplies...you just lay the bag on the wing with the spout in the fill opening and open the valve. Here's a link to the Cubcrafters forum, a link to the bags and a link to a spout you can use: