A hat tip to my brother-in-law, who found an intersting report in The Aviationist:
...even if they can be refueled by aerial tankers, tactical jet planes heavily rely on the JP-8 fuel loaded on the external fuel tanks. However, the auxiliary fuel tanks represent an additional weight, additional drag, and they will reduce the aircraft maneuverability.
In real combat, external fuel tanks are jettisoned when empty or as soon as the aircraft needs to get rid of them to accelerate and maneuver against an enemy fighter plane or to evade a surface to air missile.During the Vietnam War thousands of fuel tanks were jettisoned by U.S. combat aircraft. The photos above (credit Hilli Rathner) demonstrate how locals have repurposed the tanks into serviceable boats not dissimilar in design to traditional watercraft. The images below appear to show a similar unmodified fuel tank awaiting conversion, along with other military scrap.
Many years ago, I found a similar "torpedo" on the edge of Tampa Bay. Of course, I got someone to help me haul it home...where I painted it and pretty much did nothing with it, expect stand on it or balance on it's tail. At first we thought it was a "bomb" (which begs the question of why in the world I'd haul it home)...but someone advised that it was likely a fuel thing from some jet doing maneuvers out of Macdill Airforce Base.ReplyDelete
I'm said to say that after a good long while, we decided to see what was inside...and began to bust up the fiberglass. It was just a tank with multiple sections (with baffled opening between them--probably to keep the thing better balanced). And that's my story.