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need help identifying external drop tank

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need help identifying external drop tank

Old 26th Dec 2018, 20:46
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need help identifying external drop tank

I am trying to identify what type of plane my two recenty acquired drop tanks came from. They measure 23" in diameter and about 12' long. Made of aluminum and "ALCOA" appears in raised letters on the rear end. Come apart into three pieces sealed by large o-ring style gaskets and have a metal rod that goes directly through the center of the three sections that screws together to hold the 3 sections together. I looked all over the web as best I could and can't find anything that matches. Have 2 metal attachment points. No fins. Front more blunted. Rear more angular with small (5") removable tail cone that allows access to the main nut that allows the three sections to be separated (or mated and held snug). Fuel filler in front of attachment points. Very simple internal plumbing consisting of a fuel filter and a two short pieces of stainless tubing.
I believe they are at least 30 years old based on the story of the man I got them from.
I tried to post a picture but apparently because I am new to the forum I must have 10 posts before i am allowed to do that. Didn't want to put out 10 hello posts so perhaps I have given enough info to allow an ID
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated
Many thanks
Ron
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 15:59
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Hello Lakester.
Not that I'm likely to id your tanks bit...
Are there any fittings in addition to the filler, filter & pipes?
If actually drop tanks, I would expect drain points and venting arrangements.
Reply and double your posts!
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 19:43
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Question apparently also posted here with photo.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 20:56
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Salute!

This oughtta be on the military forum.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
Meanwhile, those suckers look like the ones I carried on the F-101B and later on the A-7D. No fins and fairly blunt nose. So look there.

Gums sends...
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 04:34
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Appreciate the input. Checked out pics of all the aircraft mentioned. No match yet.
Welcome additional ideas as to what these came from
Best
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 11:10
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 13:00
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......
Rather short on clues, but my 'sunday morning calculator' suggests 230 US gallon capacity which might narrow it down a bit. IIRC that was a popular nominal capacity for the 50's and 60's.

On a separate note, I wonder if these tanks had any internal baffles ?

LFH
.............
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 13:53
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The Hunter 230 gallon tanks had no fins.Look for a hole near the centre where a steadying strut would fit ,not on top just of a few degrees!
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Old 30th Dec 2018, 13:57
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Originally Posted by Lordflasheart View Post
Rather short on clues, but my 'sunday morning calculator' suggests 230 US gallon capacity which might narrow it down a bit. IIRC that was a popular nominal capacity for the 50's and 60's.
My pencil may not be as sharp, but it suggests a 165 USG tank, which would fit with the F-80 theory.
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 02:09
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Thanks all for your input. The F-80 wing tanks I found on the web appear to be fully fusiform - changing in diameter along their entire length. My tanks have the center section as completely cylindrical so that would seem to rule out the F-80. I do not believe from my calculations that my tanks were over 200 gallons US. That would seem to rule out the Hunter. Regarding internal baffles - there are 2 circumferential rings about 4 inches width located at the lift points that the lift hardware screw into with 8 screws each. So these are strengthening bands as well as internal baffles. I thought the rod going through the center from nose to tail to hold the 3 sections together would be a dive away but I guess that detail is lost when you are filling them or carrying them.

Please keep your ideas coming. Would love to know what these are off of.

Best to all
Ron
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 09:59
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In the OP's other post asking for details, I think you can see on the closest tank the attachment points for the wing to tank fairing shown in the P-80 photo below.



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Old 31st Dec 2018, 10:51
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.....
There's a learned article with photos, on the development process of the tip tanks for the P-80/F-80 and the T-33 here - you probably have to cut and paste and replace the asterisks with the usual b-word - http://tailhooktopics.**** ****.com/2017/06/lockheed-pf-80-shooting-star-tip-tanks.html

BTW Ex-Doug - Your earlier link doesn't seem to work and nor did mine even with the usual substitution, but I've fiddled it some more. And - I think FA-531 is an F-94A (Bu-Aer No 49-2531) but the example is still relevant.

LFH

Last edited by Lordflasheart; 31st Dec 2018 at 11:16. Reason: extra info
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Old 31st Dec 2018, 19:39
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All:
I have done some more searching and with your additional help I now see that the F-80 tanks had a couple of configurations to include what appears to be my tanks. Interestingly, I also found a picture of the H-21 (Flying Banana) that had this same tank. I presume that the F-80 tanks were easily adapted to the H-21 using some additional external bands. As noted by some of you, the F-80 morphed into a couple of other a/c over time. Many thanks to all who contributed their time and knowledge in responding to my original post. I am of the firm belief that my 2 tanks came from the venerable F-80. This also fits well with my plan to convert one tank into a salt flats race car. My plan is to build the car to resemble what was being fabricated by the GI's coming home from WWII in the time period of 1948-49. While I do not believe that my tanks were produced during that time frame, the F-80 was already in production and saw combat at that time. So my recreation has historic context appropriate to the spirit of the build. Again, my sincere thanks to all
Happy New Years,
Ron
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:11
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That shape reminds me of the blivet to carry baggage on our F-4B/J aircraft during cross country flights.
They bolted onto the inboard LAU-17 pylons with the pointed end forward, and were equipped with a forward and aft access Dzus fastened doors.
There were two gotchas to be aware of when flying with the thing.
  • If ordnance mounted the blivet with the pointed end aft, your main landing gear was going to hit it on retraction.
  • If you didn't get the Dzus fasteners properly closed (and they were usually poorly maintained) your baggage was going to be distributed throughout the countryside.
It would make sense to use a readily available overstocked item in the military supply system. As I recall, the source of these blivets was the military overhaul facilities for the F-4.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 02:07
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the F-80 was already in production and saw combat at that time
Just for history sake, the designation pre 1948 was P-80. During the war two aircraft were sent to the UK and two to Italy, the UK aircraft never saw combat, and highly doubtful the Italian did either.

https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/...-world-war-ii/
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:06
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Megan:
Thank you for pointing me in the direction of that informative article. Correct history in WWII noted.
Ron
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 11:47
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To find pictures of the type of car to which Lakester refers, google 'Belly Tank'. It brings up more pictures of these cars than the aeroplanes from which the tanks were sourced!
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