Re: Inert Gas In Fuel Tanks

From:         Pete Mellor <>
Date:         21 Oct 96 02:29:16 
References:   1
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

When I visited Boeing in Seattle in 1995 I was shown the 737 and 757
production lines. In the middle of the floor was a fenced-off area where
the historic aircraft team were refurbishing a WW2 B17 from the rivets up.
Absolutely fascinating! (The particular aircraft in question had "starred"
as the Memphis Belle in the film.)

The bit that is relevant to this discussion, however, is that the
fuel tanks were flexible bags. Apparently, they were lined with
some self-sealing compound to stop the leak if a bit of flak
went through. Presumably, as the fuel was used up, the bags simply
collapsed so that there was never any gas-filled space above the
liquid fuel.

(At least, I think I remembered this detail correctly. Anyone with more
knowledge of WW2 aircraft is welcome to correct me.)

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, City University, Northampton
Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: +44 (171) 477-8422, Fax: +44 (171) 477-8585