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Thread: Extra Fuel, how to carry it?

  1. #1

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    Extra Fuel, how to carry it?

    With my small 12 gallon tanks on the SSC, I was wondering what you experienced cub guys do to bring a little extra with u into the back country?

    I was considering good old metal jerry cans but was wondering if people had had better luck with something else?
    Thanks
    Blu

  2. #2
    DW's Avatar
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    They make some nice rubber fuel bladders 5 gals. up to 15 gals. search fuel bladders.
    Here's one
    http://www.turtlepac.com/

    DW

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    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  4. #4
    StewartB
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    I use plastic Rubbermaid gas cans when I need to. I made up a bonding cable to eliminate static sparks.

    Watch the video linked on this thread. Old, but alarming just the same.

    http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=12019

    Stewart

  5. #5
    mvivion's Avatar
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    It is not possible to bond a plastic fuel can to a metal fuel tank. You can hook up all the metal wires and stuff you like, but the problem is that the static charge is distributed OVER the inner and outer surface of the can, and can arc from anywhere.

    I've used plastic cans for years, but I absolutely will not use a plastic can to refuel an airplane when its cold. If it's warm out, maybe.

    The difference between your lawnmower and your airplane, when it comes to fueling from plastic cans is the volume of fuel.

    And, yes, there have been instances of pilots burning down their airplanes fueling from plastic cans.

    This is like a lot of other issues, in that the problems are relatively rare, but when one happens, it WILL burn down your plane. And, in at least one case I know of, burn the heck out of the fueler as well.

    Be careful out there, and don't fool yourself into thinking you can adequately bond a plastic can to an airplane for fueling.

    MTV

  6. #6
    StewartB
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    My bonding rig uses a small cable with three clips attached, one at one end, another a short way up, and the other about mid length in the 5-6' cable length. One clips to the plane's lift ring, one to Mr. Funnel, and the other to the mouth of the plastic can and allows a couple of feet of cable to be fed inside the container to contact the fluid within. Using this cable I've never been able to detect any static on the plastic can. I've discussed this specifically with several engineers including a couple at the American Petroleum Institute and they all think it's as good as it can be short of using metal cans. That won't happen with most of us. I didn't make this stuff up. I did the research and asked the experts. If you look into API and NFPA literature you'll find little about bonding, at least in the context of portable fuel cans. My rules for fueling with plastic cans is to remove and discard the filler extension, use my bonding cable and a Mr. Funnel, and never allow anyone to be inside the airplane during fueling regardless of the fueling method.

    Fuel safely!

    Stewart

  7. #7
    wirsig's Avatar
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    Just like the glass jar to glass jar example on the vid. Use a long funnel.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    It is not possible to bond a plastic fuel can to a metal fuel tank. You can hook up all the metal wires and stuff you like, but the problem is that the static charge is distributed OVER the inner and outer surface of the can, and can arc from anywhere.

    I've used plastic cans for years, but I absolutely will not use a plastic can to refuel an airplane when its cold. If it's warm out, maybe.

    The difference between your lawnmower and your airplane, when it comes to fueling from plastic cans is the volume of fuel.

    And, yes, there have been instances of pilots burning down their airplanes fueling from plastic cans.

    This is like a lot of other issues, in that the problems are relatively rare, but when one happens, it WILL burn down your plane. And, in at least one case I know of, burn the heck out of the fueler as well.

    Be careful out there, and don't fool yourself into thinking you can adequately bond a plastic can to an airplane for fueling.

    MTV
    MTV, dumb question for you what if you leave the plastic container on
    the ground and use a pump to get it in the wing. Also does it make
    a difference what type of plastic the container is made of. The reason
    I ask is because alot of serious racing dirtbikes and ATV's use Plastic
    tanks.

  9. #9
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    Static

    A lot of my friends including myself, use a 6 gallon plastic gas jug and set it on the wing. Then we take the filler cap off and use a syphon hose that has a marble in it, That creates the syphon action then just stand back and let it drain into the tank. Maybe this is not a safe way either. What do you think on this.

    Bill

  10. #10
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Back to the original question:

    I have a pod with fuel. If you are always doing long flights, and have landing distance, it is easy with a belly tank.

    If you want to carry a bunch, put it on a base camp strip while you fly light to small strips, it is a fuel can show.

    Another way is to get the 20 gallon barrels and a light hand pump.

    All cans can leak in the cabin.

    Firmin pod with short cans would work great!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Stewart,

    The Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation worked closely with a fuel system engineer on this topic. We searched far and wide for solutions, but there simply are none when it comes to plastic gas cans and pouring gas.

    Bonding as you describe may help a LITTLE bit, but it is not addressing the problem, which is that the plastic is not a conductor. The charge can build up on the outside or inside of the plastic, and dissipate unpredictably. It might go through your wire, but it might just as easily arc over to nearby metal. Plastic is NOT a conductor, so your connecting a wire to the plastic just dissipates the static from that tiny little part of the can.

    If it gives you a warm feeling to use this setup, go for it, but frankly, it's not going to help a lot, and it certainly isn't going to totally solve the static problem. Your statement that it's as good as it'll get with plastic cans is essentially the same as saying it doesn't help at all.

    You noted that you didn't detect any static buildup. Precisely how do you expect to detect static electricity built up on the outside of a gas can?

    I THINK that siphoning or pumping the fuel MIGHT be slightly less risky from a plastic can, simply because there's less sloshing going on, and the sloshing of the fuel is one source of static buildup.

    Again, I have used plastic cans to fuel airplanes. I never liked it much, and I NEVER used them in winter, when the static is much worse.

    Visit a burn unit in a hospital sometime and you'll be convinced that some risks just aren't worth taking.

    MTV

  12. #12
    StewartB
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    I have no incentive to argue. I offered my technique and qualified why I use it. That's all I have.

    SB

  13. #13
    Crash's Avatar
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    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash

  14. #14
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Steve E....

    What is the name of the company that makes our rubber (?) 5 gal bladders?

    Not sure if they will present the same static issues as plastic....but would like to know.

    Lou

  15. #15
    SteveE's Avatar
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    They are the Swiss water bags that hold 5 gal.... Insert hose and stick in tank... bags collapse as fuel goes out... takes about 10 seconds to empty bag.

    http://www.omahas.com/product_info.php?products_id=2189

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash
    Thats pretty impressive, does a "real" cub have a bigger area behind the seat?

    Also I maybe a little dense but is the generally accepted idea just to use plastic and hope or do most of you use metal? reading thru the responses i can't quite tell.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    They are the Swiss water bags that hold 5 gal.... Insert hose and stick in tank... bags collapse as fuel goes out... takes about 10 seconds to empty bag.

    http://www.omahas.com/product_info.php?products_id=2189
    That seems like a good way to go and the price is right. You've had good luck with them?

  18. #18
    Widebody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StewartB
    I have no incentive to argue. I offered my technique and qualified why I use it. That's all I have.

    SB
    Don't worry Stewart, you got a better chance of slipping
    off your wheel or step and breaking your neck, than you
    do of catching fire.

    I have 7hrs of gas built in. But on the rare occasion that I
    do carry gas. It's plastic containers, I touch to the gear leg or ski,
    poor gas on them also and if I don't blow up, I climb up and dump
    it in, providing I don't break my neck getting there.
    Not going to change how I do it either .

    Brad

  19. #19
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Fencer,

    I have yet to see anyone use a military style metal Jerry can. They require the attachment of a flexible spout we refer to as a Donkey Dick for pouring, and would be quite rough on the wings if you set them up there to fuel.

    What most people use is a quality 5-6 gallon plastic can. The old style Scepter vented cans are nice if you can find any used at a garage sale. Otherwise you are stuck with the new vented spout cans that will not pour once submerged. This happens quite rapidly with our flat wing tanks.

    With the old Scepter cans you could lay them on their side and walk away. With the new vented spout cans you have to hold them up while fueling.

    As for leaks - the only reason why a can will leak is you either have crappy cans or you did not leak test it properly.

    And - - yes there is static danger out there in the can and even the clothes you wear. But you asked what most people do and this is my observation.

    Have fun - Jerry

    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  20. #20

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    [quote="cubflier"]Fencer,

    I have yet to see anyone use a military style metal Jerry can. They require the attachment of a flexible spout we refer to as a Donkey Dick for pouring, and would be quite rough on the wings if you set them up there to fuel.

    What most people use is a quality 5-6 gallon plastic can. The old style Scepter vented cans are nice if you can find any used at a garage sale. Otherwise you are stuck with the new vented spout cans that will not pour once submerged. This happens quite rapidly with our flat wing tanks.

    With the old Scepter cans you could lay them on their side and walk away. With the new vented spout cans you have to hold them up while fueling.

    As for leaks - the only reason why a can will leak is you either have crappy cans or you did not leak test in properly.

    And - - yes there is static danger out there in the can and even the clothes you wear. But you asked what most people do and this is my observation.

    Have fun - Jerry

    Thanks Jerry, Thats the answer I was looking for.

  21. #21
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencer
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash
    Thats pretty impressive, does a "real" cub have a bigger area behind the seat?
    The only real downside to this "set up" is lifting the 180 lb drums up onto the wings for fueling. It pays to stay in shape, but now that I'm getting a little older, some day I may have to go to 5 gallon cans like Stewart and the rest of the guys....

    Crash

  22. #22
    StewartB
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    Don't worry Stewart, you got a better chance of slipping
    off your wheel or step and breaking your neck, than you
    do of catching fire.
    I don't worry. I manage risk. I know two guys who carry scars from static fueling fires with plastic jugs in their airplanes. My attitude is the product of my experiences and those of my peers. If I prompted anyone to consider their fuel handling risks then at least they might make their decisions with their eyes open. Y'all have a nice night.

    SB

  23. #23
    Gary Reeves's Avatar
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    MTV is right. Winter fueling out of plastic is risky. I know two folks burned and they had to fight to save the aircraft.

    The static is generated from the flow of the fuel. Minimize the length. Set the tanks on the wings for a bit to get the potential down. Take the donkey dick off.

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    The only real downside to this "set up" is lifting the 180 lb drums up onto the wings for fueling. It pays to stay in shape, but now that I'm getting a little older, some day I may have to go to 5 gallon cans like Stewart and the rest of the guys....

    or you could just start using both hands

  25. #25

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    An object in motion will take the path of least resistance, electricity will take any and all paths to ground or a difference of potential.

    I know a guy that was refueling in the winter with plastic jugs and grounds and still burned his hand and the fabric off the wing to out board of the flap.

    This discussion made me start thinking about Cub tanks and their installation. I remember rebuilding the State Cub's and they required a tab to be welded to the tank and then a wire from the tab to the spar. With out this bond the tank has a high probability of being at a different potential of the air frame, (being supported by felt lined straps). You could hang grounds all over the airframe and the tank still may not be at the same potential as the airframe.

  26. #26

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    I use 5 gal metal cans I purchased from NAPA years ago. I also have a copper wire attaching the can to the cub. I also have a 12 gauge copper ground wire which hangs down in the funnel and extends into the fuel in the wing tank. Everything is connected as best as I can get it.

    You don't have to ask around much to hear of stories where hangars/aircraft have burned from static while fueling, especially from a plastic container. Watch that old Bureau of Mines Static video and you will shake you head.

    Have you ever thought about what would you do if you were climbing over some ridge, and that old plastic container split? I guess you could try to land somewhere, keeping the tail as low as possible as long as possible and of course killing all electrical power.

    Here's another question; as you climb in altitude, how much pressure is exerted on a closed 5 gal container? And is that pressure affected by the quantity of air present in the closed container? (i.e. a thimble sized air gap vs. a gallon of air generates the same pressure?)>

    If you only can find one metal can, you can always transfer the fuel from the plastic to the metal can on the ground, away from the aircraft. I would also advise to not wear clothing which might add to static as you struggle with supporting the containers while you fill the tanks (i.e. nylon or rabbit fur vest could be a problem!).

  27. #27
    SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencer
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    They are the Swiss water bags that hold 5 gal.... Insert hose and stick in tank... bags collapse as fuel goes out... takes about 10 seconds to empty bag.

    http://www.omahas.com/product_info.php?products_id=2189
    That seems like a good way to go and the price is right. You've had good luck with them?
    Fencer,,, so far so good,,, the bags are pretty thick so puncture has not been a problem,, although we might stuff something around them,,, but in any case,, when you empty them, they lay flat or roll up out of the way.... We insert a 1 !/4 OD vinyl hose in the mouth (press fit),, fill up the tank and yank the hose out... Takes longer to step up and open the cap than it does to drain the bags...

  28. #28
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW
    They make some nice rubber fuel bladders 5 gals. up to 15 gals. search fuel bladders.
    Here's one
    http://www.turtlepac.com/

    DW
    I always thought these were too expensive. Then I borrowed one when I was low on fuel.

    If I were to want to haul gas this is the tank I would use. They are easy to transport and filling the tank with it is much easier than a normal jerry can.

    Tim

  29. #29
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Has any one looked into having a company such as this one make gas "cans" out of nitrile rubber? http://www.aerotechservicesinc.com/ I just looked in TAP and this was the first one I found. They do experimental ferry tanks.

    It might make a nice small profit center to support ones Cub habit. How about a Nitrile container of a manageable size, with handles, which are sized to be easily stacked in the baggage compartment? When placed on the wing it could gravity or siphon feed without you having to perform a balancing act during the transfer. You could service both wings at once. It would be flexible enough so that it wouldn't force fumes into the cockpit with altitude changes. It wouldn't require a STC or a field approval or any other government interaction.
    N1PA

  30. #30
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash
    Uh, Crash, I thought Super Cubs were required to fly with the brace tube aft of the rear seat back in place.....

    I've done that one in a Husky, but carried the big drums out with a pump for a remote fueling station.....course, some of us don't spend as much time at the gym.....

    MTV

  31. #31
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a
    Has any one looked into having a company such as this one make gas "cans" out of nitrile rubber? http://www.aerotechservicesinc.com/ I just looked in TAP and this was the first one I found. They do experimental ferry tanks.

    It might make a nice small profit center to support ones Cub habit. How about a Nitrile container of a manageable size, with handles, which are sized to be easily stacked in the baggage compartment? When placed on the wing it could gravity or siphon feed without you having to perform a balancing act during the transfer. You could service both wings at once. It would be flexible enough so that it wouldn't force fumes into the cockpit with altitude changes. It wouldn't require a STC or a field approval or any other government interaction.
    Thats what the turtlepac tanks are.

  32. #32
    courierguy's Avatar
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    On a somewhat related subject: I was fueling up my car the other day, and started bs'ing with a tanker truck driver making a delivery. He made the point that using a container for diesel, and then gas, can make the static thing worse. Something about friction, so if you from time to time use the same container to carry diesel one day and gas the next...one more thing to worry about.

  33. #33

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    Tim is right. The Turtlepacs, although somewhat expensive, are made for this task.The 5 gal size is easily manageable (30 lbs when full of fuel) and can be lifted onto the wing for easy siphon filling. No pumps, no complexity.

    They store easily in the cargo compartment or in the pod. They fit through the side opening to the aft cargo compartment.

    They can be left at basecamp when you're flying into backcountry strips. That is exactly what Pete and I did this last summer for the Missouri Breaks and Johnson Creek flyins. We offloaded the 5 gal fuel containers at base camp in each case. We didn't have to fly into town every 2 days for fuel. We each carried two 5 gal containers, but only filled them when we got close to destination. No reason to carry extra fuel around when you don't need it.

    They come fitted with good ties down points and transfer fittings. They are specifically designed as portable aviation fuel containers.

    As an added benefit, you can make alot of friends when you have the ability give them some extra fuel when things get tight in the Montana backcountry.


  34. #34
    aktango58's Avatar
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    MTV, it looks like the drum is tied to the seat brace...

    and Crash, want to help pack moose next year????


    You guys that put cans in the cabin and tell me you never get leaks/fumes, what about expansion?

    Climb a few thousand feet and see what a can looks like then!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  35. #35
    StewartB
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    Expansion from altitude changes in a typical small aircraft is insignificant providing the fuel remains at a relatively constant temperature. Thermal expansion is more threatening. If you fill a container from an underground tank the fuel is very cool. When it comes up to ambient temps on a warm summer day the expansion is significant. If you fill a container on a cold winter day and place the container in a warm cockpit for a long flight you'll have the same problem.

    SB

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash
    JAPAN

  37. #37
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    The fears of static electricity are well founded by real life accidents as we have all heard. Cold, dry air is riskier than summer for sure. Having said all that, wolf hunters in Alaska have been using plastic cans to fuel for a long, long time with very few accidents that I have heard of. My rule is I always put the nozzle into the tank in contact with the filler neck. I will not hold the can up and pour into a funnel or the tank without this contact. Some may say that plastic nozzles will not wick away the static but that has not been my experience through many hundreds of gallons of winter fueled gas without mishap. What method was used in the fueling process where an accident happened? The only time I really had a problem with cold, dry air and static electricity was when I was filling a garbage bag with oxy/acet for a New Years bang. It didn't seem like a risky idea at the time and shortly there after it was proven to be a bad idea-real bad!
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

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  38. #38
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58
    You guys that put cans in the cabin and tell me you never get leaks/fumes, what about expansion?

    Climb a few thousand feet and see what a can looks like then!
    I meant what I said.

    To clarify, in this photo I'm fueling at sea level. I throw the empty cans in the cabin because I might have one of these in the pod. I then climb to at least 8,500 feet. They don't leak at all.

    You have to leak test your cans and here is how I do it. I fill the can and lay it on it's side and look for leaks. Then I stand on the side of the can and see if I can make it leak. If you are real paranoid you can jump up and down on the can. If it passes the test you have a good can.

    Can discipline is also key. A can that does not pass will be segregated to be repaired. I can usually fix the can by smoothing the filler neck or vent cap nipple.

    If you can't stand watching your cans swell up at altitude then lay them on their side and press some air out before you seal the can.

    Any time I have had a rare leak or fume I was careless.

    Jerry (can)
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  39. #39
    wirsig's Avatar
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    gpeppered,
    I'd always wondered about the oxy/act bombs popping from static. You don't have a video do ya?

  40. #40
    Crash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    It depends on where your're going.....



    You can fit two 30 gallon drums in the rear of a "real" Cub...

    Crash
    Uh, Crash, I thought Super Cubs were required to fly with the brace tube aft of the rear seat back in place.....

    I've done that one in a Husky, but carried the big drums out with a pump for a remote fueling station.....course, some of us don't spend as much time at the gym.....

    MTV
    Uh, Mike...The cross tube is installed! Can't you see the 1" straps holding the front drum in? They're hooked to the cross bar. You don't think I would actually do something dangerous like fly with an un-secured load. What if I crashed?

    The wife got mad when she saw this set up so I siphoned 5 gallons out to make her happy (drums hold 35 gallons, hence the air space at the top of the drum). I think she was worried about stressing the new fuselage...

    Crash

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