VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

- POSTING RULES
- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics


Go Back   VAF Forums > Model Specific > RV-12
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-16-2017, 07:15 PM
AeroDog AeroDog is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New London, NC (near Charlotte), Boulder, CO
Posts: 124
Default There's gotta be a better way: fuel tanks.

With all the stories I've read about leaking fuel tanks, I have to think there's a better way to do this. I've seen some talk about welding the seams, but has anyone actually tried it? (Yes, I used the search function.) Is there some compelling reason that it can't be done? Has anyone tried some sort of composite? This is a fairly mature technology in the world of race cars.

Jerre
__________________
Empennage and fuselage kits complete
Wing kit compete, Finish kit in progress
RV-12 120593
http://webpages.uncc.edu/~hill
http://jerre-hill.blogspot.com
=VAF= dues paid 2017
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-16-2017, 07:53 PM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,000
Default

Jerre,

I shuddered when I put my tank together. There are fairly large gaps at the corners only filled with Pro-seal. But if you follow the directions carefully it works fine. I've got 5 years and 570 hrs on my 12 with no leaks.

Rich
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-16-2017, 08:14 PM
John-G John-G is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 408
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroDog View Post
I've seen some talk about welding the seams, but has anyone actually tried it? (Yes, I used the search function.) Is there some compelling reason that it can't be done?
Jerre ... As I understand it apparently the 2024 aluminum alloy that the tanks are built from does not lend itself well to welding. A welded tank could be made but would need to be made from a more weldable alloy such as 5000 series aluminum.
__________________
John
www.dogaviation.com
RV-12 Wings, Empennage, Fuselage, Finishing, Avionics and Powerplant kits all completed
Now Flying!!

Dues paid until September 2017
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-16-2017, 08:31 PM
Jim T Jim T is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Independence, OR
Posts: 159
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John-G View Post
Jerre ... As I understand it apparently the 2024 aluminum alloy that the tanks are built from does not lend itself well to welding. A welded tank could be made but would need to be made from a more weldable alloy such as 5000 series aluminum.
Having just finished my tank, I would agree that it's a rather crude way to build a tank. However, it's cheap which is probably the reason they're done that way.

If you're building ELSA I'm not sure if using an alternate method of tank construction would cause issues or not.

Jim
__________________
RV-12 kit no.: 120647
Working on finish kit
http://www.mykitlog.com/JimT

2006 Rans S-6S Coyote (flying)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-16-2017, 11:06 PM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 814
Default Agree

My fuel tank is done and proofed for one week using the balloon method. Hopefully, it will be ok with gasoline in it.

I think that a plastic tank (don't know which plastic) would be best and I'd like to be able to put 25 gallons into it. I haven't searched this out but a race car mechanic friend told me that they use some kind of plastic and that they usually don't have problems during collisions, spin outs into walls, etc.

I believe that Van's design is adequate, but I'd pay a lot to have a plastic purpose built fuel tank to mount behind my passenger - my wife. Just sayin - not criticizing Van's. I love this kit!
__________________
Building finally
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-16-2017, 11:44 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 6,513
Default

Crude construction method?
Of the almost 10,000 RV's that people have built and flown, I haven't heard them described that way very many times (the RV-12 tank is assembled with blind rivets, but overall is not much different from the other RV's, and the other RV's are not much different from many certificated airplanes).

Everything in airplane design is a compromise.

I am confident that no one is likely to find a different construction method that will be as light or for anywhere close to the same cost.......
__________________
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")

Last edited by rvbuilder2002 : 04-16-2017 at 11:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-16-2017, 11:47 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 6,513
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T View Post
If you're building ELSA I'm not sure if using an alternate method of tank construction would cause issues or not.
If you are building E-LSA, using an alternate method for anything (unless specifically documented in the plans) is not allowed.
__________________
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-17-2017, 01:25 AM
rmartingt's Avatar
rmartingt rmartingt is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 633
Default

"Crude"? It's basically how we do it on transport-category jets...
__________________
RV-7ER - fuselage structure in work
There are two kinds of fool in the world. The first says "this is old, and therefore good"; the second says "this is new, and therefore better".
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-17-2017, 03:24 AM
salto salto is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Wee Waa Australia
Posts: 212
Default

The way Vans recommends is 'practical, effective and affordable' therefore good.
__________________
Kit 140241
Tail Feathers done
Fuselage kit completed.
wings almost complete.
Flaps and ailerons done.
Canopy next. Phew!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:00 AM
Jim T Jim T is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Independence, OR
Posts: 159
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
Crude construction method?
Of the almost 10,000 RV's that people have built and flown, I haven't heard them described that way very many times (the RV-12 tank is assembled with blind rivets, but overall is not much different from the other RV's, and the other RV's are not much different from many certificated airplanes).

Everything in airplane design is a compromise.

I am confident that no one is likely to find a different construction method that will be as light or for anywhere close to the same cost.......
Sorry Scott..........didn't mean to push your button.

I totally get why it's done the way it is. It's light, effective, a good compromise, and inexpensive (which I mentioned). I also understand that if Vans did everything as it could be done, nobody could afford the kits. All that said..........I'll still stand by my statement that it's a crude way to build an EXERNAL fuel tank. No big deal..........it certainly gets the job done.

Best Regards, Jim
__________________
RV-12 kit no.: 120647
Working on finish kit
http://www.mykitlog.com/JimT

2006 Rans S-6S Coyote (flying)
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:09 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.