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View Full Version : What exactly are droptanks ?



rijnton1944
03-02-2005, 11:36 AM
Maybe I am lazy and didn't search long enough but until now I couldn't find a description of what drop tanks exactly are.
Are these weapons, or fueltanks that can be dropped when they are empty, or something else ?

wolo
03-02-2005, 11:41 AM
Droptanks are additional fuel tanks, so the range of your airplane becomes bigger. The fuel is pumped out of the fuel tanks to fill your tanks in your wings or you just use the fuel from the drop tanks directly for your engine. And when they are empty; you drop them!

greetingz, wolo

Chuck_Older
03-02-2005, 02:07 PM
Some were wood, some were aluminum, and some, although I have been argued with over this, were pressed paper

Typically a glass elbow connects the tank to the fuel system

Since the extra tanks degrade flight performance, they are droppable before entering combat, although, in the case of many Japanese pilots, they curiously didn't do that often, but anyway, that's where the term 'drop-tank' comes from

I can'r speak for every aircraft, but I can't recall that a drop tank 'tops-off' the other tanks in flight, it is just another selectable tank, to the best of my knowledge. Check out P-51D cockpit, at base of control stick, for an example- you'll see the tank selector

Platypus_1.JaVA
03-02-2005, 02:21 PM
Fairly early in the war, Allied pilots where forbidden to drop their tanks during long escorting flights. It did seriously degrade their performance against the LW boys but, a droptank was considered too expensive... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Gor figure how expensive it was if the pilot was shot down because he didn't had the performance 'boost' he needed when he had dropped his tank. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif

Of course, they changed that later on.

VF51_Flatspin
03-02-2005, 02:21 PM
Can you actually select which tank is used though? ie: I know that P-51 pilots usually burned off 25%-50% of the centerline tank before any others (including the droptanks) because it stalled too easily when full.

Capt._Tenneal
03-02-2005, 02:22 PM
So, do planes that carry droptanks use up the fuel from the droptanks first, so that when they get to the mission area they can drop the tanks without having wasted any fuel ?

Platypus_1.JaVA
03-02-2005, 02:23 PM
Ow, and they very well could've been made from pressed paper. Just add enough glue and it'll become very hard. But, it cracks very easily.

JoachimvMayern
03-02-2005, 02:24 PM
I've always wandered in the game, since I mainly fly LW planes, how does one know when the external fuel tanks are empty?

Chuck_Older
03-02-2005, 02:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VF51_Flatspin:
Can you actually select which tank is used though? ie: I know that P-51 pilots usually burned off 25%-50% of the centerline tank before any others (including the droptanks) because it stalled too easily when full. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif Yes, check ou the P-51D cockpit in FB...near the base of the control stick is the tank selector

The drop tanks are called "RH" and "LH" "Combat tanks"

the selector switch looks like a sheild...the drop tank selector positions are the upper right and left portions of the selector

(Actually I am slightly cheating and looking at my Mustang flight handbook http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif )

TooCooL34
03-02-2005, 02:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JoachimvMayern:
I've always wandered in the game, since I mainly fly LW planes, how does one know when the external fuel tanks are empty? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No one knows.
Drop fuel tank when internal fuel gauge start decreasing or.. when enemy is insight.

Chuck_Older
03-02-2005, 02:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JoachimvMayern:
I've always wandered in the game, since I mainly fly LW planes, how does one know when the external fuel tanks are empty? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

if you weren't paying attention in real life, the aircraft told you- by the stalling engine

They knew because of the time it took to cover X miles in X hours at X speed. they knew a thing or three about navigation that we take for granted in this sim

p1ngu666
03-02-2005, 03:27 PM
drop tanks on 109, and i guess 190 and 110, have air forced into them by the supercharger, and they top up the main tank. engine takes fuel from main tank all the time, but its topped up constantly. ingame it drops when emputy.

allied drop tanks worked differently i think, that u take the fuel from the tank direct, somehow, ingame they drop when emputy.

some zero's may have had non dropable tanks, im not sure, and they may have been told to not drop them...

mossies often didnt drop there ones aswell http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Bearcat99
03-02-2005, 03:50 PM
You are correct Chuck.. some of them were indeed made from pressed paper.

civildog
03-02-2005, 04:33 PM
...andthe LW boys used tanks that had a message on the bottom that said "This is not a bomb! Take this to the nearest police station for a reward!" printed on them so they could be recovered.

Judging by the dents I've seen on some of them in pictures a lot were cashed in by farmers who found them in thier fields.

VF51_Flatspin
03-02-2005, 04:35 PM
Hey Chuck, I know they could select them in RL, but I meant ingame?

Dolemite-
03-02-2005, 04:46 PM
You cannot select them in game, when the tanks are empty it automaticly switches to internal tanks.

VW-IceFire
03-02-2005, 05:25 PM
Apparently the term used by RAF pilots to drop the slipper tanks (drop tanks) off Spitfires was "drop your babies". I've seen it in a few places....its odd but true!

3.JG51_BigBear
03-02-2005, 05:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by p1ngu666:
drop tanks on 109, and i guess 190 and 110, have air forced into them by the supercharger, and they top up the main tank. engine takes fuel from main tank all the time, but its topped up constantly.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The 109 also had a cool feature where the fuel would pass through a clear line in the cockpit on its way from drop tank to main tank. When fuel stopped rushing through there it was time to drop the tank.

ClnlSandersLite
03-02-2005, 11:37 PM
In game, no there is no selection of fuel tanks. It DOES burn external first. Always. It should be noted though, that the planes in game only have 1 internal tank. Let's take the example of a p-38. If you take a hit in your rear left tank that doesn't seal, ALL your fuel will drain... I'm not sure on the note of fuel leaks with drop tanks still on though as I don't fight like that.

For US fighters in the game, the drop tanks are actually fairly useless. A lightning can run about 3 and a half hours with 15 miniuts of combat time on 50% full. At least with CEM on and a basic knowledge of fuel management. That's like 14-15 hours of flight time with full fuel+tanks. I don't even have the patience for that.

The only ingame practal use for them (for the US) is to take 25% fuel and tanks. That way you can fly to target, drop tanks, fight, and return home.

Now, some of the fighters geared towards short range fights like the 109 may get more use out of them. Honestly I don't know as I only really fly the axis craft on the east front and the historical ranges there did tend to be short.

Note though, that I'm probably just about the only person here who is really willing to fly a 3h45m mission manually. Even with autopilot and time compression, that'd still take quite a long time.

Skarphol
03-03-2005, 02:14 AM
In the march issue of Flypast magazine there are two pictures of droptanks made of compressed paper. They where both pictures of allied planes in England, I think they where american planes. I am at work right now, so I can't check.

Skarphol

LeadSpitter_
03-03-2005, 05:42 AM
a waste of polygons http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JG53Frankyboy
03-03-2005, 05:58 AM
in game it works as follows:
the droptank fuel is keeping your chosen fuelstatus constant till the droptank is empty. than the internal fueltank is beginning to loose fuel.

so, for example, you have chosen 50% fuel and a droptank an a Bf109G2. your fuelguage shows 200litres (thats 50% in a Bf109G) and it will show this till the 300 litres of the droptank are empty.
same as all other planes. just used the 109 as example because thier gauge is showing the whole 100% of fuel - 400litres that is.

Taylortony
03-03-2005, 04:10 PM
Modern stuff you have to phyically push em off, the same with bombs, in the pylon you have a couple of pistons that have a small explosive charge benind it, a bit like a shotgun base without the cartridge, when you jettison the dropper it releases the shackle and extends the pistons out to push the tank away from the pylon, the ins on some of them at the back assist in whipping it away, with out this system the tanks would fly along under the wing as they would be help against the pylons by the effect of the air passing under the wings..

Odd as that sounds the original over wing tanks they fitted to the Frightning ( English Electric Lightning ) when jettisoned off the top of the wing simply fell onto the wing and just rolled into the wingroot and stayed there, the pilot had to throw it about to get rid of em, after that they had the little fins added to the back end to pivot the nose up into the airflow when jettisoned..........

I remember being sent out to defuel them off one jet in Decimamannu so they could be removed for air to air combat.... to remove them we had a couple of crutch bars manned by 4 people that you held under the tank, an armourer would then manually unlock the shackle and they would lower the tank and take it away......... there was an almighty crash and the tank dropped straight to the ground and ruptured it was ermmm full...................... words were said i thought I asked to to defuel the droppers on Hotel ?????? to which i replied a slight smile on my face, " I did but can I help it if the Armourers have decided to remover them from Mike ... hehehehe I could mention the 1000 pounder that fell of the centre pylon when the liney removed the saftey pins ( you have too) before it was going flying

Capt.LoneRanger
03-03-2005, 05:28 PM
This...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v411/Arcadiac/Droptank.jpg

is a drop-tank.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Sorry, couldn't resist.