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External Fuel Tank Jettison  
User currently offlineILS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4793 times:

On fuel tank jettisons, is it like releasing a bomb? Does the tanks just explode on the ground, or do they remain entact?

4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSharpnfuzzy From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4603 times:

Well I'm no expert but I guess the best answer is: It depends.

It depends on many things; how high it was dropped from, how much fuel is left inside, what it hits on the ground..... etc.

For example if you drop an empty tank into a soft field it will just probably bury itself in the dirt relativelty intact.

If you drop a full tank and it hits something hard(solid rock), and creates sparks when it hits, then mosty likely it will explode into flames like a 'bomb'.

So any number of things come into play when you drop a tank, and many different things happen to them.

Correct me if i'm wrong.

User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (14 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4579 times:

Sharpnfuzzy is right. A tank is not designed to explode, and that will only happen if there is some fuel left in it and it creates some kind of a spark on impact (wait, aren't they made of plastic or something?).


Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30408 posts, RR: 57
Reply 3, posted (14 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4579 times:

It shouldn't explode but that being said.

I have heard of several accounts of US World War Two aircraft dropping their drop tanks at least partially full and then having their wingman machine gun them. The tracers would ignite the gas and it made a improvised firebomb.

This was really popular with the cardboard drop tanks that where in use since they where good for only one flight only anyway.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (14 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4562 times:

droptanks are made either of aluminium or composites (both are possible).
The material is quite thin (to save weight).
On impact it will usually crumble or rip apart. If there is fuel left, it may spill, but will most likely not explode.

Remember, liquid fuel does not explode, only vapour does.

I wish I were flying
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