Home Engineering Small Unmanned Fixed-Wing Aircraft Design. A Practical Approach
Integral Fuel Tanks
If SLS-printed fuselages are in use, this opens the possibility of using part of the fuselage to form an integral fuel tank, see Figure 4.15. Nylon is quite tolerant of gasoline and other fuels, but when formed using selective laser sintering, it is slightly porous. We thus first prepare
Figure 4.14 Three-axis gimbal system and Sony video camera mounted in front of the nose wheel. Note the video receiver system on the bench that links to the camera via a dedicated radio channel.
Figure 4.15 SPOTTER integral fuel tank. Note internal baffle and very small breather port (top left) in the close-up view of the filler neck.
any structures for fuel tank usage by a thorough depowdering process with mechanical agitation to loosen any material remaining from the manufacturing process in the parts delivered to us. This is followed by a sealing process where we fill the tank with a fuel-proof sealer (we use products supplied by Kreem). Once the tank has been emptied and the sealer cured, the tank is then ready for use. Any tank fittings such as sensors, gauges, or fuel lines then need to have fuel-proof sealing rings applied where they penetrate the tank. We also routinely include significant internal baffling to control sloshing because integral tanks tend to be rather large. We also take care to ensure that fuel consumption does not induce significant adverse center-of-gravity shifts.
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