Re: Drop tanks!

Date:         17 Jan 99 02:37:16 
From:         megazone@megazone.org (MegaZone)
Organization: WPI Discordian Society, Undocumented Cabal of the Accursed Saint Shiranto Joe
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tedperez@hotmail.com shaped the electrons to say:
>I keep reading about aircraft manufacturers struggling to extend
>the range of their aircraft, and i was just wondering why not use
>drop tanks?  After all, if the plane can ferry an engine under
>the wing (making the plane appear to have five!), then why not
>drop tanks?

1. Cost.  Drop tanks are VERY expensive.  You have to engineer them to
withstand the stresses of flight - then you throw them away.  You'd have
to have a supply of them available at all of your airports.

2. Risk.  Military aircraft sometimes suffer seperation failures.  Drop
tanks are not fool-proof.

3. Liability.  Where do you drop them?  This is only even an option on
over-water flights.  And believe be all kinds of ecological groups would
be all over this idea with rabid lawyers.  And what if the odds bite you
and you manage to drop a tank on a boat?

And if you mean just adding external tanks - not *drop* tanks:

4. Drag.  When you start hanging things externally you add a good deal of
drag.  You may carry more fuel and gain range - but you'll burn more fuel
per mile, and your seat-mile costs will go *up*.

-MZ
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