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Control Line Forum => CL Building Tips and Problem Solving => Topic started by: KDus on April 03, 2017, 03:06:39 PM

Title: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: KDus on April 03, 2017, 03:06:39 PM
I'm building from a plan, not a kit, and there isn't much instruction. Am I interpreting the Perfect tank orientation correctly?
I presume the overflow line runs somewhere above the level of the tank and capped after filling?
I'm using a Cox .049 and flying counter clockwise.

Title: Re: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: greggles47 on April 04, 2017, 02:32:25 AM
What model are you building? is it going to perform aerobatics?
If it's to be a trainer, then the feed line should roughly be in the centre of the engine, and as close to the rear as possible, around 3/8".

I doubt that the tank is plumbed for uniflo operation so you shouldn't need to cap either vent.

Good luck with your model.

Title: Re: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: ghostler on April 18, 2017, 08:57:50 AM
I have a Cox .049 postage stamp backed 290 donor engine from crashed and totalled late 1960's RTF. (This was a predecessor to your horseshoe back engine.) I used a Carl Goldberg nylon accessory engine mount, which provided mounting lugs. On the Goldberg Little Toot profile fuselage biplane, I cut a portion out of the balsa wedge behind the engine firewall, so I could get the tank closer to the engine. Then I glued the tank to the fuselage.

As greggles47 stated, I'd place the fuel tank vertical centerline in line with the venturi air intake centerline and as close to the engine as practical.

Tank appears to be wide enough extending pickup past the right side of the engine. To allow for ready attachment of the fuel line, you could probably drill a hole through the firewall to allow the tank nipple extend past the firewall, then glue tank up against the firewall. That will require trimming of the balsa cross brace supporting the firewall that is fitted in that slot in the fuselage. (I think that is what that large slot up front is.) This will make for a very short fuel line run. Plus, the tank will help support the firewall where brace was removed, or you could put sheet balsa or plywood triangle pieces above and below tank for additional support.

If you put the tank a little ways back, (say two 3/16" to 1/4" balsa blocks laminated together in front of tank above and below brace wedged between firewall and tank), trim brace to clear tank) then make the hole in the firewall larger so fuel line can pass through it could be another way.

I've attached a few images for examples. The 18" wingspan Scientific Little Devil shows a beam mounted engine and fuel tank installation. It and the P-82 are full fuselage, but I think you'll get the idea. Also show the Keith Laumer profile Gee Bee Z. Installation is for a beam mount engine, but he put the tank up close to the engine.

Reason for wanting to keep the fuel line as short as possible is these engines with their diminutive fuel flow don't have strong suction. It's why Leroy Cox and the Herkimers (OK Cub) came up with integral tank engines. It solved the problem of feeding these little engines. If you look at any of the Cox or Wen Mac RTF's with tankless engines, you'll notice the fuel tank compartment molded into the fuselage is close to the engine.

You probably already know this, but when you test run your engine, due to the tank fuel pickup location, will only be able to empty half the tank unless you hold the plane with left wing tip up so tank pickup is lowered. Once in flight, centrifugal force will cause tank to properly empty.

These are just a few thoughts. Good luck on your build. :)

Title: Re: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: F4FGuy on January 15, 2018, 07:21:24 PM

  As suggested, some 1/4" balsa stops top and bottom to bring the tank Cl to the approximate engine(actually venturi)CL in the vertical plane.  Be sure to allow enough space top and bottom to shim up or down as the actual low pressure point is at, or near the needle seat. Add some hooks and rubber bands to make the actual attachment. When installed, the tank should be level re the engine. One final point; the important thing is not the tank feed pipe, but the location of the pick-up point inside the tank.

  Ron Burn (F4FGuy)

Title: Re: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: LOUCRANE on January 25, 2018, 06:48:46 PM

The 'why' of tank orientation is fairly simple. Your tank is generically  termed a wedge-tank. Centrifugal loads in flight tend to push the fuel away from the center -where you are. Ever swing a bucket of water to an angle that would pour the water out, but centrifugal loads keep it in the bucket? Same thing here. The 'wedge' narrows toward the far side from you. The tube that picks up the fuel is in the vertex of the wedge.

Some engines are very sensitive to whether they have to pull fuel 'uphill' or they must survive having fuel poured 'downhill' to them. That's why you've had recommendations to make it possible to move the tank up or down some. You may not be stunting your plane right off, but this height difference really shows between upright and inverted flight - or inside loops and outsides. (So named because? In an inside loop, the centrifugal load keeps the 'pilot' inside the plane; an outside tries to toss him 'outside.')


Title: Re: Fuel tank orientation and tuning: plywood fuselage 1/2A
Post by: greggles47 on January 28, 2018, 05:19:20 AM
I'd be interested to hear from op about what progress he's made.