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  #1  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:11 AM
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Thermos Thermos is offline
 
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Default Flop tube longevity?

Hello all,

I'm getting ready to reattach the wings as I finish up my RV-7 project. I installed a flop tube in the left wing back in 2009 (yes, it's a slow build).

Do flop tubes have a life limit? Do they lose flexibility over time? Mine hasn't been immersed in fuel which I assume would age the rubber interior but all hoses have a life limit and I'm wondering if the flop tube should be replaced?

Thoughts?

Dave
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:16 AM
moosepileit moosepileit is offline
 
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Location: Floyds Knobs, IN
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Once in fuel, best to leave in fuel, in my experience.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:18 AM
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RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
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Location: NC25
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IMHO, you will get all kinds of comments by asking on the internet.

The best way is to phone or email Van's Aircraft and ask them.

I have flop tubes in both tanks flying over 20-years. 8 to 10-years ago, I had tanks off for a Service Bulletin and purchased two new flop tubes to replace when they were open. The 10-year old hoses were inspected then found to be as good as the new ones so were left installed. The new ones sold on VAF classified at a discount.

IF you do not wish to call Van and have a concern about the old flop tube(s) then the best thing would be to replace them.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:29 AM
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Thermos Thermos is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV6_flyer View Post
IF you do not wish to call Van and have a concern about the old flop tube(s) then the best thing would be to replace them.
Gary,

I don't really have a concern, it's more of an interest item which is why I'm willing to post the question online - I was looking for experience such as yours.

If when the wings are on the flop tube flops as it should and I don't have much unusable fuel in the left tank, I'll be happy!

Thanks very much for your reply.

Dave
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RV-7 skin, bones, muscle and heart complete, nervous system in progress
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Putting the "slow" in slow-build since 2004!

Last edited by Thermos : 07-18-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2018, 07:40 PM
TShort TShort is offline
 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (KUMP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermos View Post
(yes, it's a slow build).
That's nothin' ... I closed up the tanks on my SB -8 wings in 2007 (and I am nowhere close to flying...)

Have been wondering the same thing myself. They've been sitting vertically in a stand, so if the tubing got stiff it probably isn't in the bottom corner...
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2018, 10:29 PM
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RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
 
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I installed my flop tube circa 1999. It has been in service since 2007. Itís definitely something Iíve thought about, but thus far I havenít had any trouble with it. I regularly do sustained inverted flying with as little as 6-7 gallons in the tank. Itís still going strong despite the abuse.

BTW, I once measured the unusable fuel in a level attitude. The right side with the fixed tube was 4 oz and the left with the flop tube was 13 oz.
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