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The Artful Bodger
12-06-2011, 02:42 PM
I know this is OT but I have had no luck looking in the obvious places and maybe someone here knows the answer regarding fuel drop tanks for Harrier and Skyhawk aircraft.

I am a member of a volunteer aviation museum in Ashburton, New Zealand.

We have managed to get drop tanks for our Harrier and our Skyhawk, two small tanks for the Harrier and one big one (400 gallon?) for the Skyhawk.

The tanks have the lugs on top and the aircraft have the 'rails' (or whatever they are called) that have the clamps to take the tanks. Common opinion is that we just need to position these tanks and push them into place for the clamps to open and grip the tanks.

But we are a bit cautious and do not want to run into any problems, so the question is "How do we attach the tanks and how would we release them if necessary?"

I have no doubt our donors would hold our hands if we asked but really we would like to show a bit of initiative and get this solved ourselves.

Thanks for any help..

winchman
12-06-2011, 03:22 PM
I don't think my Skyhawk (1976 M model) would have gone very far with a 400 gallon drop tank, full or empty. :D

Rustybolt
12-06-2011, 04:04 PM
will this help?
http://www.adf-history.com/2011files/A4G_NATOPS_Text_Searchable.pdf

The Artful Bodger
12-06-2011, 09:51 PM
will this help?
http://www.adf-history.com/2011files/A4G_NATOPS_Text_Searchable.pdf


Hi Rustybolt, thanks, I have that one. It seems to be a manual for the pilot whereas what we need would be for the ground crew. We had an ex A4 pilot in the museum today but he was at a loss to find the secret spot though he did say the ground crews always carried a square ended key!

We got the two tanks on our Harrier OK as the latch/unlatch key was easy enough to find, but not on the A4..

The Artful Bodger
12-06-2011, 09:52 PM
I don't think my Skyhawk (1976 M model) would have gone very far with a 400 gallon drop tank, full or empty. :D

I dont think ours will be going very far either unless they let us have an engine to put in it.:D

moe1942
12-07-2011, 09:00 AM
The rails you spoke of need to be pylons to attach the tanks to. There will be a small access panel on the pylon to gain access to the lock/unlock mechanism with a square drive to accept maaybe a 1/2" drive extension.

I'm not familiar with either aircraft having spent most of my career on F-4 aircraft but what I described is pretty common in aviation. I could be more certain if I could see some pics of the the wing attachments you believe the tanks attach to.

I forgot. Rails would be for carrying rockets or missles..

Thruthefence
12-07-2011, 09:22 AM
Please be cautious working around this stuff, some military stores are ejected by "squibs" , a sort of pyrotechnic device. They MAY still be in place.

http://a4skyhawk.org/2c/a4parts/a4-weapons-racks.htm

wendtmk
12-07-2011, 10:48 AM
Depends on whether the tanks are centerline or wing tanks. If wing tanks, they get uploaded to pylons which have receptacles for moving jet fuel from the tank to the internal fuel tanks, and have similar clamps and tightening bolts that the weapons pylons have. If they're centerline tanks, you may or may not need a centerline pylon, depending on the aircraft.

Mark

Old F-4 fighter pilot and even older F-4 maintenance tech

The Artful Bodger
12-07-2011, 01:30 PM
Thanks everyone for coming back to me on this, the Harrier was easy enough once we found the square socket which turned very easily. That was on wing pylons (sorry for calling them 'rails') but the big tank for the A4 has to go on the belly pylon.

We have looked and looked and cannot see anything like that on the A4, the safety pin is in on the right hand (starboard) side of the pylon but we can open the flap on the left (port) side, in there there is a knurled wheel marked 'release' with a direction arrow but this turns freely, that knurled wheel has a hex which cannot be turned, putting pressure on it seems to jiggle the swing out assembly which I assume is the cartridge(squib) holder.

Is this a simple matter of taking the safety pin out first?

The aircraft were taken out of service more than ten years ago and mothballed, it now has no engine or battery, I am confident the cartridges have been taken out, but I am not about to deliberately test that!:D


[minutes later] Thanks Thruthefence, that link states the safety pin locks the release which likely answers the question..

Rustybolt
12-07-2011, 01:35 PM
Art. I even asked my neighbor who flew A4s in Vietnam. He doesn't remember.

The Artful Bodger
12-07-2011, 01:50 PM
Art. I even asked my neighbor who flew A4s in Vietnam. He doesn't remember.


We had an ex A4 pilot come through our museum and he didnt know either but he did say the 'cracker stackers' always carried a square ended key.:)

Hogridnfool
12-07-2011, 05:47 PM
Did you try these guys?...http://a4skyhawk.org/

The Artful Bodger
12-07-2011, 05:57 PM
Did you try these guys?...http://a4skyhawk.org/


Thanks, but I think that is the same site as Thruthefence directed me to.

The Artful Bodger
12-08-2011, 04:49 AM
We got it sorted! Thanks to all those who responded to my query.:)