Not Full Enough? – Aircraft Drop Tanks
Saturday, January 28, 11:00 am
Presentation by Faride Khalaf
Event included with Museum admission.
How was Lindbergh able to fly across the Atlantic without a single refueling stop? The answer is the same for both the Spirit of Saint Louis, and Voyager’s historic non-stop flight around the world – both carried much more fuel than is needed for any normal aircraft of similar sizes; with purposeful designs to test technological innovations, and to set new world records for aircraft and pilots alike. So, what’s a pilot to do to safely exceed an aircraft’s fully fueled range? The only answer is, carry more fuel! “How’s that possible?” – you might ask. If you’re lucky enough to fly on board The US presidential plane commonly known as Air Force One, you can fly indefinitely with midair refueling. Inflight refueling is a very risky business that only the very best military pilots can exploit for routine and non-routine missions. There are alternatives to risking fuel exhaustion during flight. This critical need, led to many clever ideas on how to carry the extra fuel for various scenarios. Proven methods to achieve extra range include carrying additional fuel in either auxiliary fuel tanks, or the use of externally carried fixed or droppable fuel tanks. So, what happens after you jettison your drop-tanks? The answer is limited only by human imagination!