Fuselage Fuel Tank Retrofit

Discussion in 'Marquart Charger' started by VF84Sluggo, Jun 6, 2018.

Help Support Biplane Forum by donating:

  1. Jun 6, 2018 #1

    VF84Sluggo

    VF84Sluggo

    VF84Sluggo

    Non-Communist

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    4
    Folks,

    I'm looking at getting another MA-5, but my concern is this:

    The upper wing tanks are cracked and unusable. The fuselage tank holds 18 gallons, which looks like the size called for in the plans. The airplane has a Lycoming O-320 in it, so its a fair amount of fuel for a just flying around, but a little restrictive if going somewhere.

    I used to own a Charger, and that builder (Richard Shutt) elected to not install wing tanks, instead putting in a larger 27 gal fuselage tank. I liked that.

    Now, the problem, if you can call it that, is that the upper wing tanks in this Charger I'm looking at are fabric'ed in, so it'll require surgery on both upper wings, two tanks removed/repaired/reinstalled, fabric work and repainting of the affected areas. Seems like a lot of effort (ie $$$$$$) just to get 10 more total gallons of fuel.

    So, I'm wondering how hard it would be to remove the 18 gal fuselage tank, have a bigger one made (25-27 gal capacity) and installed? All in all, this seems like an easier path; certainly less "intrusive" than cutting, then reworking and repainting fabric (and hoping the paint matches!)

    My next problem is I freely admit building a fuel tank that would fit is beyond my skill-set. Clearly the MA-5 has the room to accept a larger-than-18gal fuselage tank, but where would I get one?

    Any help/advice will be appreciated!

    Randy
     
  2. Jun 12, 2018 #2

    pbrannan

    pbrannan

    pbrannan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    13
    Well, the nice thing about the Charger is that it is all metal around the main fuel tank, so you won't have fabric to deal with. If you don't feel comfortable making the new tank, you might want to start frequenting your local EAA chapter and making some friends. I think you'll end up mocking it out in cardboard and then taking it to somebody who can weld aluminum. Or, you can fly it like it is, buy a welding setup, and learn how to weld aluminum. Make sure you support the extra weight properly.

    Is this the charger that was up in Wisconsin that had the wing tanks blown out by non-venting fuel caps?

    Finally, were you in VF84?
     
    VF84Sluggo likes this.
  3. Jun 12, 2018 #3

    VF84Sluggo

    VF84Sluggo

    VF84Sluggo

    Non-Communist

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    4
    Great advice, thanks. I'm an EAA member, but pretty much dropped out of local EAA events after I sold my RV-3 in 2004. I had been thinking that my best bet would be to find an expert locally, so your advice makes perfect sense.

    Yes to the Charger in Wisconsin.

    And yes to VF-84...F-14, 1982-85

    RC
     
  4. Jun 12, 2018 #4

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

    Registered Users Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,909
    Likes Received:
    929
    Caution, thread drift! I'm in this picture someplace, I think. I was plane captain for our skipper, Buzz Warfield. Warfield flew Corsairs in WW 2, F-86 ( I believe) in Korea, and got called back in for this sortie during the Pueblo crisis. By this time he was CEO of Standard Oil of New Jersey. One the nicest people I have had the pleasure of knowing over my life time. FIGHTER SQUADRON SIX SIX ONE _ VF-661 FIREFIGHTERS 9.jpg
     
    VF84Sluggo and ernstfokker like this.

Share This Page