Originally Posted by vernon smith
Sometimes optimal weight and traditional aircraft mandates can be sacrificed on the alter of practicality and maintainability. Flexible Teflon hose within braided stainless shielding is way more impact and wear resistant than the run of the mill soft aluminum tubing in your kit. The hose ends are heavier but easier to deal with than bending and flaring tools regardless of make and quality.
All this can be purchased from any of the aircraft suppliers or any of the race car suppliers (at half the cost) that carry the Aeroquip line, which most of them do. Below is a link to an example;
I'm sure others, some with vested interests will disagree, but beyond weight and expense the Teflon SS braided hose and end fittings are superior on almost all respects to bent aluminum tubing. Look in your firewall forward kit and see how much unbent aluminum tubing is included.
There are many others that supply the same items and quality as Aeroquip and there is an active forum member that markets a complete line of exactly what I'm describing. I'm sure he will be glad to make you any Teflon flexible line you might want for a reasonable price.
Vernon and All,
Tom and I have been supplying conductive Teflon hoses for a long time and they are a viable and easy to install option for many builders.
However, we also recognize that there are situations where a flexible conductive Teflon hose is not the ideal solution. For this reason we have invested very heavily in rigid tube equipment. Over the last two years we have set up full CNC tube bending capabilities as well as a coordinate measurement machine which integrates with our tubing bender. This allows us to reverse engineer tubes and build them with extremely high precision.
In doing these upgrades, we are able to offer builders Flex hoses where they make sense, rigid tubes where they make sense, and in some cases a rigid to flex combo hose as we have done with the rv 7-9 Andair Setup and a few others that have not yet been officially announced.
In the case of the RV12iS, we recognize that a lot of builders will want to fabricate their own tubes. Other builders will want to have the option of pre bent (and possibly even pre flared) tube assemblies that they can install right out of the box. Because most builders will want to go the ELSA route, the use of Teflon flex assemblies for this aircraft would not be a viable alternative, unless it is being built as an EAB.
Have a great week and happy building