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Post  batjac Sun Aug 28, 2022 3:01 am

I recently threw together a quick profile plane to test out an engine I built.  I figured that a balloon tank would work best for this application, but I wanted something that would be easier to fill than the ones I used previously.  Kind of like my bladder tanks with a check valve on the back of the bladder.  I’m sure I’m not the first person to do it this way, but I’ve never seen this described anywhere before.

I used a standard 9” party balloon, a section of medium fuel tubing, two bladder fittings from Texas Timers, a section of small tubing, a fuel tube stopper, an a couple of pieces of wire.  

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First thing I did was make a nick at the end of the balloon.  I then use a hole punch to take a couple of nibbles out of the medium fuel tubing, then put a fitting on each side of the tube and slid it inside the balloon.  The small side of the bladder fitting is a tight fit through the nick.  I changed my mind about using the pieces of wire and just used a small cable tie on the fittings on both sides.  I slipped the small tubing on the large side of the balloon, which will be the back where I fill the balloon.  The other side fitting will be attached to the tube from the engine nipple.  The fuel tube stopper will plug the back after filling.  

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I pumped up the balloon with a fueling syringe and capped it off with another stopper.  The volume was more than I would use for fuel on a normal engine run.

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I left it for a half hour and it stayed pumped up, so if it will hold air for that long then it’ll hold fuel for a five minute run.  I know, I know.  A balloon tank isn’t pressurized….

Just another way to do it.

The "and Nora" Mark
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Post  getback Sun Aug 28, 2022 5:55 am

I think a one way fill valve fitting would bee better and easier (if you have one) .. And I see alot of people do it and maybe you can tell how it works when tring to get fuel from a hose with a lot of openings in it ( I can't see how it can pull fuel through anything other than the closes hole ) Take a straw and cut a notch in it and try and drink through . Old Bugger
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Post  andrew Sun Aug 28, 2022 8:32 am

getback wrote:......how it works when tring to get fuel from a hose with a lot of openings in it ...

I think it will be OK.

With this type of unpressurized tank, the only requirement is that the balloon be fully collapsed before filling. When full, there will be no air in it and the pickup tube will be completely surrounded by fuel. As the engine draws fuel, the balloon collapses in on itself -- Marks multiple holes are to keep the balloon from blocking a single hole as it folds in.

The only downside to this construction is that balloon rubber does not last very long when exposed to raw fuel.

That's my story and ahm stickin' to it.

a--
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Post  getback Sun Aug 28, 2022 8:47 am

OK i think i get it in my simple mind that without air in it it has no choice but to pickup fuel cheers Thanks Andrew now i don't have to learn nothing more today . sunny Beer Cheers
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Post  rdw777 Sun Aug 28, 2022 9:54 am

Here’s a recent one I made for .020… 5” balloon… six cc’s….Used a sharpened brass tube in the drill press to punch the #000 stopper…. Then spun the stopper with the same tube and cut the groove for the rubber band then cut to length… Used the same sharpened tube to cut openings in the pick up line….Soldered up a tee fitting and plug…. Works great in several bench runs…. I think the last thing I will do is solder something on the end of the plug to make it easier to handle with oily fingers…

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Post  batjac Sun Aug 28, 2022 1:15 pm

getback wrote:I think a one way fill valve fitting would bee better and easier (if you have one) ..

I do use a check valve on my bladder tanks. But with a balloon tank I suck any air out of the balloon first before adding fuel. Then after filling, I tilt the balloon so that any air that got in from the tip of the syringe can be sucked back out so that there is no air at the end of the run. Just a quick, clean cut-off of the engine run. The notched hose is inserted such that one of the notches is right next to the bladder fitting. So after slightly over filling, I hold that side up for any air to congregate next to that notch, and I suck the fuel/air bubble back out. With a check valve I would not be able to suck back out.

The Maximum Suckage Mark
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Post  944_Jim Sun Aug 28, 2022 1:46 pm

This was just in time for me...thanks guys. The hand-built soldered tee gives me ideas. I'll most likely use this idea for fueling my balsa replica Hyper Viper kit.

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Post  batjac Sun Aug 28, 2022 3:59 pm

Rdw (Sorry, never caught your name), I usually do tee in the line, but wanted something quicker and easier with this one.

The Agreeable Mark
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Post  rdw777 Sun Aug 28, 2022 5:26 pm

Hi Mark, I like your tank and especially the tip on the last notch in the pickup tube close to the outlet to get the last bit of air out… I’m still getting acquainted with best evacuate/fill procedure but kind of getting the hang of it…

Robert
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Post  roddie Fri Nov 10, 2023 6:12 pm

I recently sourced some 3/32" OD X 1/16" ID Silicone tubing from Amazon.. and cut a short length (2-3") of it, to make a pickup-tube for a balloon tank. The smaller outer diameter slightly increases the fuel capacity of the balloon, when compared with a larger OD tubing. I used my 1/8" hole-punch to "nibble" the slots but you could alternately use the inverted-head of a small finish-nail.. and a few taps with a small hammer over a block of wood to accomplish the same thing.. or a short piece of 1/8" (3mm) OD alloy tube.. rather than the finish nail. You know what I mean.


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