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SkyrangerRich

Filling from cans

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Hi,

In a couple of weeks I'm off to spend 10 days touring in my CTSW. Vast majority of strips I visit will be grass with no fuel facilities, so I'll be filling from cans.

My previous aircraft had a filler cap in the side of the fuselage at hip height, so it was just like filling a car. Spout on a steel can and pour it in. 

I'm not going to be able to lift and hold my 20L (5 gallons?) cans at wing height.

If I buy a bunch of plastic 10L cans, do you think they'd be ok sat on the wing with a siphon to transfer the fuel (maybe a piece neoprene to protect from scratches)? I don't want to damage the wings by putting weight on them if they won't take it. 

Thanks. 

 

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I use a battery operated 'TerraPump,' about $40, pumps app. 2.5 gal. per minute and has a good reach with the hose (about 5') so easy to reach tank from a vehicle or step stool. Has a gas station-like nozzle so no spillage, compact for easy storage.

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When I fill with a jug, like after a wing removal, I lay a towel down and set the 5 gallon jug on the wing. My cans allow me to tip them over and direct the spout in the filler, and I let them drain down to about 25%, then tip them up the rest of the way. I do climb a ladder to set the jug on the wing.

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You have 3 questions:

1) Are the wings able to hold the weight of 10L container?  a) Since the wings themselves are designed to carry all the fuel they can hold and the wings normally hold several gallons of fuel, the first part of the answer is yes.  b) That begs the second part of question 1.  Is the upper surface of the wing sturdy enough to support the weight of a full 10 L of fuel.  The answer is yes.  I have hefted up a 5 gallon (20L) plastic can of fuel to the top of the wing and it handles it nicely.

2) Should I use a neoprene sheet or other to protect the surface of the wing top from the fuel can?  Yes.  Of course.  I usually use a clean terrycloth towel spread on the wing to protect the finish from scratches and spills.  The same terrycloth can be used to wipe off the remains of flying insects encountered on the trip.  Be sure to rinse it out thoroughly.  Remember the admonition of the Hitchhikers Guide.

3)  How do you easily transfer fuel from a container into the wing opening when the can is sitting on top of the wing?  You didn't actually ask this question, but you will find the question will occur to you in short order.  You'll notice someone has already provided their answer to the question of transferring fuel.  Here is a cheap and easy solution to the problem:  A shaker self-priming siphon hose!  https://www.google.com/search?q=shaker+siphon+hose  This is a plastic hose that has a metal fitting at one end.  Put that end into the gas can.  HOLD the other end, the cut plastic tube, into the filler opening in your wing.  Then jiggle the metal device up and down while submerged until the fuel rises in the tube and starts filling the airplane.  As the can empties, tilt it to keep the metal fitting submerged.  Costs less than $10 at most automotive or marine stores.  Your friends and enemies will be amazed at your magic hose.

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With the amount of fuel that our girls hold, there should  be almost no reason to carry fuel with you. Plan a stop near your destination and fuel up where there is the nearest airport with services. Much easier  and safer.

With caution, you can easily put a five to six gallon container on top of your wing . 

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I've used a Goatthroat pump for the last 6 yrs, works great and very easy. Be careful on refueling with plastic cans in low humidity, a friend of mine had an antique biplane and hangar and himself burned up from a static discharge. He survived,  the plane and hanger did not

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Really, really good advice here. 

Thanks all. 

Plan is to get 10L cans, I've got a battery powered quick syphon. 

Only other thing I'm thinking about is one of the quick jugs that dirt bikes use (e.g. https://www.24mx.co.uk/twenty-rapid-fuel-jug-10l?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjw583nBRBwEiwA7MKvoG7izKilSAhDp-XM2mpcj1aGLgcj6a6yOOSSVnhPF8z41rnABH7HdBoCLmUQAvD_BwE )

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13 hours ago, SkyrangerRich said:

Really, really good advice here. 

Thanks all. 

Plan is to get 10L cans, I've got a battery powered quick syphon. 

Only other thing I'm thinking about is one of the quick jugs that dirt bikes use (e.g. https://www.24mx.co.uk/twenty-rapid-fuel-jug-10l?gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=CjwKCAjw583nBRBwEiwA7MKvoG7izKilSAhDp-XM2mpcj1aGLgcj6a6yOOSSVnhPF8z41rnABH7HdBoCLmUQAvD_BwE )

I use very similar jugs. They aren't cheap but they are easy to use. I would recommend them. Mine are 5 gallon/20 liter.

Edited by sandpiper
add information.

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I think Peggy missed an important question: will the load on the wing crush the outer layer of the wing sandwich down into the foam causing a permanent dent in the surface? If the load per area is high enough the answer is yes. So, don't use metal cans (which have very little compliance) and don't bang a corner of a plastic jug down on the wing. If you set the surface of a clean plastic jug down smoothly, or use a pad, you'll be fine.

As to the commit about not carrying added fuel with you in the plane, I agree but I don't think that's what's being discussed.

Also, with so little head, I think a siphon is going to be uncomfortably slow. I agree with Tom: get a jug with a spout and tilt it down into the tank. You can put your thumb over the spout until it's in the tank to avoid drips. I use this method on all my cross-country flights. (And yes, I do have a few dents and scratches in the top of my wing.) 

Finally, the "Rapid Fuel Jug" looks great. I use something very similar for all my fueling at my home airport. But the odd shape makes it a little harder to carry with you in the plane.

Mike Koerner

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When I change tires I put a ladder with padding under the wing, supporting the entire weight of the airplane.  I don't think a gas can will damage anything.

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