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Re: REFLECTOR: Fuel Tanks
I brought the question up because, as I was reading it, there seem to be too
much discussion about bonding of the tanks themselves. There is no really
good, effective, cost efficient way to deal with static from fiberglass. And
I think the record would show that this is an area where there really is no
"problem" to begin with. If composite airplanes were catching fire right and
left while being fueled, I'd be among the first to work on the methods
necessary to accomplish the goal.
During fueling, more than likely any spark would be initiated at between the
metal filler neck and the fuel nozzle. If someone wants to eliminate the
possibility of a spark, I would suggest routing a small braided bonding cable
from the metal filler neck to, say, the tie down ring. The bonging strap could
be run across the top of the aft fuel cell bulkhead. Sealing of the area where
the strap runs through would be the most difficult thing to accomplish. Since
the Velocity usually has about 6 - 7 hours range, filling the tanks to the
bottom of the ring doesn't make a lot of sense. And if one did plan a long
nonstop trip and fuel to the bottom of the ring, leakage would be minimal
until the first gallon or two would be burned by the engine.
If both the tie down rings are bonded together, then one can clamp the
grounding strap from the fueling station to a single tie down ring. If not,
the grounding strap from the fueling station would have to be clamped to the
tie down ring to which the metal filler neck is bonded to.
Again, though, the discussion raised seemed to me to address a potential
problem that hasn't manifested itself in the almost 30 years fiberglass
airplanes have been around.
Safe and Speedy Construction!