Author Topic: Tank issues  (Read 80427 times)

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Offline speedy

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Tank issues
« on: August 16, 2011, 03:16:19 PM »
Just a quick question, the website says definite miss this weekend, but nothing about next weekend.  Facebook group (Aggy?) suggests a fortnight.  Is this latter just speculation?

I'm assuming in ignorance that this check and repair will need the skin to be opened up, I don't know if the tank is a 'real' tank or a bladder within a tank, however I'm assuming that this is a major job that will need extensive preparation, testing after completion and lots of finishing off afterwards?

After the issues with the fuel unit I bet I know the sort of language and resigned body language floating around the ground crew right now.  Best of luck, lads!!
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Offline StAthan lecky

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 03:24:33 PM »
BUMMER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think that all the tanks are of the bladder variety with capacitance belts/probes fitted for quantity measurement the tanks have access panels fitted to them,I doubt Sam and co will be available on line for a while but I wish them well in the diagnosis and speedy repair.

 :(

Mike
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Offline speedy

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 03:26:32 PM »
I just RTFM'd from the link on the website.... the bladder will have to go to Pompey.  Process 'could take 2-3 weeks minimum'.

I bet a certain forum will be going full swing now....
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Offline dee

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 03:29:52 PM »
Shame! :(  
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Offline PA28

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 03:30:47 PM »
It still might be a quicker fix, so let's see where we are next week.
Meantime, the tank is being drained, fumes evacuated and an inspection due. Await more details when possible.

At this moment, it would be prudent to have only cancelled the immediate shows whilst inspections are under way.
That is worst case scenario. Short answer: No one knows enough yet other than there is a leak!
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Offline Gully

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 03:33:41 PM »
The FAQ's sheet does suggest the following weekend may be affected (2-3 weeks timeframe indicated), but given that it's not certain, it makes sense to follow the path PA28's outlined above IMO.

Shame, but we've had a great run so far this year and gremlins are inevitable.

Gully
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Offline Landyman

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 03:37:57 PM »
Sods law!
One of the busiest weekends of the year plus the one we couldn't fly because of the weather last year.

Can't Ray just shove a bit of his chewing gum over the hole until after the last display this year?  :o  :D

Landyman.
PS Thanks are due to whoever put the tech Q/A on the website. I will be printing and laminating it for the 'punters' at Shoreham and I hope it might not be needed for Dunsfold.
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Offline speedy

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 03:40:28 PM »
Rather helpfully, the Bournemouth Airshow facebook group have posted along the lines of 'this can happen to old aircraft'.  I've suggested that age has nothing to do with it.  I assume the actual rubberised part of the tank can't possibly be original, can it?  At the very least, I would think it's something regularly inspected.
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Offline Oberon

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 03:46:21 PM »
The skin will not need to be opened up.  At the bottom of the tank is the fuel pump, easily accessed through a panel.  The fuel pump is removed (after all the fuel has been pumped out of the tank), and any residual fuel is drained away.  With the tank now open to atmosphere, the tank needs to be “vented” by blowing air into it, to get rid of all the fumes.  A device called an explosimeter (other bits of kit are also available) measures the potential flammability of vapour in the tank.  When the LEL (lower explosive limit) is reached it is then safe to go into the tank.
The tank is a rubber bladder construction and is contained within that section of the fuselage by press-stud type fasteners that attach it to the airframe.  After the elements of the fuel gauging system are removed (capacitance tank belts in that area if my memory serves me) the studs are popped off and the tank removed.  It will then be sent for repair at Fire Proof Tanks at Portsmouth.  Until the bag has been removed, we are unable to assess the extent of any damage that there may be.

The time constraints, which we can’t predict, is how long it will take for the tank to vent and how long for the repair, once assessed, to be carried out.
Rest assured that most of our weekend will be spent covered in F34 (Avtur) and, if we can get things moving along apace, will have a serviceable aircraft as soon as we possibly can.

As the resident Avionics chap on the team, this is by necessity a fairly simplistic explanation and I’m sure that our resident Engine man will be along at some point with maybe a fuller account of what’s happening.



Oberon
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Offline Wizzy

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 04:04:26 PM »
Thanks for the explanation Oberon.  I remember seeing the fuel tanks being installed whilst watching the webcams during the restoration.

Good luck guys - fingers crossed everything is straightforward for you!   :)
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Offline Jumbo Girl

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 04:11:30 PM »
Quote from: "speedy"
Just a quick question, the website says definite miss this weekend, but nothing about next weekend.  Facebook group (Aggy?) suggests a fortnight.  Is this latter just speculation?

I used to do the official "personal page" for 558. Since it's become a "group", my access was revoked and the Trust now pay a PR company to run the page.
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Offline johnri

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 04:22:12 PM »
Alas the Nay Sayers on UKAR..e and PRUNE are going to have a ball.

I have every confidence that our superb team of engineers will provide a speedy resolution to the problem. I know they will be working all hours and then some.

Fingers (and everything else) crossed.

JR
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Offline JeremyC

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 04:22:57 PM »
Strength to your arms (and lungs) chaps, these things happen, let's keep fingers crossed for a rapid venting (!) and an expeditious repair.
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Offline bovril

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2011, 04:30:23 PM »
hope all fixed asap
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Offline Topsy

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Re: Tank issues
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 04:44:08 PM »
Someone wake up Mouse and send him in with a plaster!  :D
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