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graham brown

Hypalon fuel tank cover

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graham brown

Hypalon Fuel Tank Cover

 

The Morgan Sierra like other similar aircraft has a fiberglass fuel tank between the cockpit and the firewall. It’s light weight and does the job but I have always been concerned that it may break open in a crash and there wouldn’t be much protection for the occupants. The Piper Pawnee Tug at our gliding club is the same however it has an internal bag to contain the fuel if the tank splits open. I went down the path of obtaining an internal bag however the company I sent the request to never bothered to reply. Not daunted, I turned to Google and found in the 2nd WW lots of fuel tanks had external coverings of rubber to stop the leaks caused by bullets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-sealing_fuel_tank Well if it’s good enough for a Spitfire it’s good enough for my Morgan Sirrea! Not that I’m expecting someone to shoot me down.

 

After some research I chose Hypalon as the fabric as it is tough and inert to most liquids including petrol. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypalon I used Hypalon glue for repairing rubber boats which is a 2 part glue and very tough. I have used this on my rubber ducky and was amazed at how strong the joints were. It has added about 1.5 Kg the weight to the Morgan tank and I have no intention of testing it in a crash. I have crashed my rubber ducky flat out into a wharf at night though. No problems with the hypalon or the seams just the skipper.

 

I cut the hypalon so it would wrap around in one piece and the main

 

seam is at the back. The sides are cut to fit and glued to the tank. All seams then had an additional piece glued on top. The Hypalon is glued to the tank at the outlets and fuel gauge sender.

 

The glue is not forgiving once the 2 pieces touch and cannot be separated so you end up with a few wrinkles.

 

Here are some pics.

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bexrbetter

Just an additional note; Look to car racing for internal bag fuel tanks, very common.

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Virago

Hi Graham, Seems like a great idea ... I have misgivings about fuel tank splitting too. Where did you source your hypalon? From what I have read, DuPont stopped making it around 2009. John.

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graham brown

Hi John, I imported it from the USA; a place called home and habitat. They have all sorts of fabrics that would probably do the job.

http://www.ahh.biz/fabric/rubberized/hypalon.php

It cost about $200 by the time it landed at my place.

The ballistic nylon looked good too but you would have to find out what glue to use.

I knew Hypalon and the glue from my boating days.

Graham

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Virago

Thanks Graham, I've bookmarked that site. Sorry for the late reply! John.

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