Self-sealing fuel tanks

I’ve read about self-sealing fuel tanks, usually in reference to WWII aircraft, but I never learned how they work. Came across the following video to explain it. It is surprisingly simple, and he’s got a pretty nifty demo to illustrate it, too.

2 thoughts on “Self-sealing fuel tanks

  1. I didn’t know about WW2 planes, but the famous A-10 is known for many fault tolerance feature, and this is one of those. It can also lose both hydraulic systems and still fly well. In fact, in one famous episode, AF Col. Kim “Killer Chick” Campbell had her A-10 hit over Bagdad which took out (a) all hydraulics, and (b) one of the two engines. She flew the plane back to base and landed it. The flight manual describes the procedures for this scenario, and warns that “landing should only be attempted under ideal conditions”.

    1. I think they mean “if you lose one engine and all hydraulics, if you can’t land on a good field in decent weather with a crash truck handy, eject and parachute down.” At least, that’s how I’d read it if I were serious. But reading it as-is, it does appear rather, uh, contradictory.

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