Need to Vent?
In Paul Dye’s article [Free Flight: Anatomy of a Mod, July 2012] he states: “There is no real way it can pull the tip top amount of fuel out of the tank anyway.” This I agree with, which leads me to ask what is the point of any form of loop inside or outside of the fuselage? In an unusual attitude a loop still would provide no advantage. The reason I know this is because I had an internal leak in the joint of the internal tank vent tube (down by the wingroot) coupled with the classic RV high loop inside the cockpit. Even though the loop was nearly a foot above the rest of the tank, nothing would stop the vent from gurgling until the internal leak was fixed or the tank was half empty.
Paul Dye responds: Thank you, Jim, for your comments and thoughts. The truth is that the column wasn’t really about fuel vents; it was about the thought process that would go into any modification of a design, using the vents as an example. Your point is, however, a good one. In fact, the RV-10 fuel vents come right out of the root end of the tank (the internal vent line, of course, runs to the tip), and then simply elbow down to the vent. The only potential problem with this idea is that if the airplane is parked on a slope, with one wing lower than the other, and the tanks are full, you could vent a fair amount of fuel out of the low tank. This is another consideration that you would want to put into the mix when evaluating such a modification. In the case of our RV-3, now that we have been operating it for a while, I notice a slightly greater tendency for it to dump a little fuel (usually when ambient temperatures are high) than with our other RVs. I would rate the coiled vents as “adequate” but not “superior” to the original design.
Just Throwin’ It Out There
Why doesn’t someone develop a wind-powered turbine to generate electricity during flight? It could be very light, but productive. A 100-mph “breeze” should be able to produce enough energy to increase flight by at least 5%.
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your August issue.
I read almost every aviation magazine every month. That includes Flying, AOPA Pilot, General Aviation News, Trade-a-Plane, Flight Instructor, FAA News, etc., besides many buff magazines like AAHS Journal, Fine-Scale Modeler and Aviation History, to name a few. So, when I tell you that I think I found more of real interest in your August issue of KITPLANES® than I have in any other single issue of any of the other magazines this year, I am just saying thanks for the variety, the in-depth reporting and the great editing!
While I’ve never had the urge to build my own kit plane, I have rebuilt old airplanes, flown old airplanes and owned old airplanes during my lifetime and will be at Oshkosh again this year to enjoy them again, and while I have written a couple books on Minnesota aviation history and articles for AAHS Journal, I think I am a good judge of a well-done magazine when I see it.
Thanks again for the best doggone aviation magazine of the year!
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