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Six Months ago i had an Idea about a totally different Fuel Tank for my future Gasser Conversion Kits..
The Idea was about a totally Clear – Cylindrical Fuel Tank with these characteristics :
- Clear look like a glass
- Super Lightweight
- Fuel Capacity of ~500ml (~17Oz)
- Beautiful High-End Look
The Idea stack in my head when i took in my hands a Clear UAT Fuel Tank for My Turbine Helicopter form FCTJET.COM.
I sayed to my self : WOW!
This – Bigger – NOW!
Well.. It was not so simple… 🙂
For 2 Months now i am working hard on this Idea by Thinking, Drawing, 3D Modeling, Prototyping and all these with a time/money consuming RnD.
The 1st concept idea was to use a clear tube cutted at length, CNC cutted clear plastic Sheets for the top & bottom ends of the tank, and test over 10 different glues and sealing compounds in order to merge all parts together along with the fittings and the metal rings that will be the support for the mounting system of the heli..
The Problems was coming back to back!
- The Clear Plastic Material has to be chemical resistant (especially on Gasoline/Petrol Fuel. So I had to use PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
- Bonding PET parts together is a nightmare
- Most glues not works with PET and some of them that works they are not resist to Gasoline at all
- The sealing was very hard job, the durability not good, with leaks and nasty look
- Thanks to Saleem Siddique (the owner of FCTJET & a Fuel Tank Master) i could test some tricks and also he provided his amazing quality fittings
But.. Problems again!
It was very hard to work with the 2MM thick PET plastic sheets and the 0.8MM thick PET Tubes, drill them perfect and seal all together along the fittings..
And the most disappointing…. After i managed to have some samples ready for test they were heavy!
After so much work and refusing to reject my Idea due technical difficulties.. I thought that i have to do it in different way and the most important… Simpler!
I started to search for Days & Nights in order to find a technique that i will be able to produce this Tank in one piece, with no assembled parts, no fittings, no drilling holes, lightweight and reliable.
The solution was right in front of my eyes.. My Coca-Cola Drink!
I have to find out how they F****g did that Bottle!
PET stretch Blow Molding!
Now we are talking…
This proccess is not so hard but is not easy too…
You need the PET Pre-Form that will be heatted in specific Temperature, Will be Inserted in a mold, will be blowed with high pressure air and after the expanding and cooling will be retracted from the mold in a new shape… The shape of the mold!
So.. OK. Lets do that! LOL
I built a Mold, I ordered some PET Pre-Forms for Testing and now i can stick to my plan and my Beloved Idea will be true!
Thanks to Nikos Koudoumnakis (Sales Representative at Polisan Hellas Plastics Company here in Greece), now the deam is more than Alive and i am testing the Temperature and Pressure Variables to found the perfect recipe to produce the perfect Clear Cylindrical Fuel Tank!
Testing is going very good and i am very close!
- The Final Product that will be used to all my newest Gasser Projects and will be Lightweight, Rigid, Safe, super easy to use and Sexy.
- In order to keep low the weight and avoid any leak from more sophisticated fittings, i will use the trusted gas fuel stopper and brass tube lines for the Clunk, Vent & Fill.
- The Overall weight will be no more than 70 grams.
- The Dimensions will be 80MM OD & 100MM Length ( Fuel Capacity of 430ml OR 14.5Oz)
- Thin Aluminium Flanged Rings will be glued at the ends of the tank and it will be able to be mounted on the heli with special anti-vibration mounting brackets
- The visibility of fuel Level durring the flight will be great even from a long distance.
- The access inside the tank will be super easy cause the lines will be at the right side of the heli.
Thats was the history of this Concept that finally will be Proper materialized!
Very Soon this Final Edition of this Iconic Fuel Tank will be Reality and will be produced!
UPDATE – 27/02/Gasser Year
A bit more of Fine-Tuning of the Temperature & Pressure Variables and DONE.
We have the TANK! 🙂