A new, patent-pending technology developed by Belite Enterprises capable of detecting water in the fuel tank or fuel line was introduced Tuesday at AirVenture. We are able to demonstrate this technology so people can see how it is integrated into the aircraft and how it will improve safety, said James Wiebe, president and CEO of Belite Enterprises LLC, a manufacturer of in flight technology, ultralight aircraft design and extremely lightweight digital avionics.
Through the use of a small probe and discernment technology, the device discriminates between water and fuel and provides an alarm signal to the aircraft operator when water is detected, even in minute quantities. Furthermore, the technology also provides an “all clear” indication when the water has passed through the detector.
“While doing research on fuel level probes that were pertinent to our avionics, I stumbled across a newer technology that would help solve a decades old safety problem,” said Wiebe. “Continued R&D on this technology has demonstrated that it is useful for real-time discernment of fluid types and contamination levels. One of the best uses of water detection is in gasoline, as that will immediately help prevent accidents and improve flight safety.
“Aircraft manufacturers have worked on resolving water contamination issues over the years by providing multiple sump points and by industry wide pilot training and education. Even so, the opportunity for accidents and anxiety caused by water contamination in fuel continues,” Wiebe said.
The new technology provides a warning signal that may be used in simple applications to trigger an alarm on the instrument panel. In more sophisticated applications, Wiebe noted that the warning signal might be used to drive automatic tank switching so that water is not fed to the engine.
“We believe this technology can be integrated into aircraft systems by aircraft manufacturers to provide pilots with warnings that water is present or en route to the engine from the fuel tank.” Wiebe noted that detection probes may be placed, for example, at low points in fuel tanks, or inline (between the fuel tank and the fuel selector or in the engine compartment).
Belite is licensing this technology to OEMs, in addition to offering inline water detection probes for Experimental aircraft.
Prices start at $149.95 for a single fuel-water inline probe. For more information, call 316/253-6746 or visit www.beliteaircraft.com. View a video demonstration at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-455nJUnb14.