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Old 01-28-2022, 02:51 AM
rsr3 rsr3 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: -
Posts: 103
Default Fuel lines and 90 degree bends.

Hi everyone.

Iíve read a few times about 90 degree bends in fuel lines and get the impression they are a bad idea. A recent post mentioning the avoidance of 90 degree bends prompted me to ask the question: why?!

Iím not yet at the stage of running fuel lines through the fuselage but will be shortly.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-28-2022, 05:46 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,535
Default They are fine if radius is correct

There is no reason to believe they are a bad idea and many times cannot be avoided. maintaining the largest possible radius helps, and using a good quality bender made for the purpose will yield a perfectly smooth bend. I have made too many to count. Here is a pic in my -4 build from years ago.
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Bill E.
8A7 / Advance NC
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:19 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 862

I believe that guidance comes from the well known principle that the sharper the change in direction, the bigger the pressure drop and potential for cavitation.

I remember from A&P school a few decades ago that two 45* AN fittings have less pressure drop than one 90* but I couldn't tell you if that was written down anywhere or if I just got it from general tribal knowledge. It's really the same principle as the idea that the bigger the bend radius the better.

Obviously, you're never going to be able to get rid of all 90* bends, and a few 180s as well. Just look at the Vans hi pressure boost pump. That thing looks like a french horn stuffed under the floor. But the principle seems valid to consider if space allows.
Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage in process
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:43 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 4,901

The avoidance of 90's in the system is almost universally reserved for the single piece AN fitting, where the passages are drilled and the intersection is sharp. And in the fuel system, its the suction side that needs attention, the pressure side not so much. A drilled 90 creates localized turbulence and pressure loss - couple that with high temps and the lower pressure of the suction side and you will often find that you have a big section of vapor rather than a slug of fuel. Home bent tube and even the often very sharp bent tube hose ends essentially solve this problem.
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C - SOLD
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:04 PM
rsr3 rsr3 is offline
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Location: -
Posts: 103

Thank you!
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:58 PM
MJarreau MJarreau is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: LA (Lower Alabama)
Posts: 352
Default Entertainment and Education Continues


The pic you posed is very helpful to us (not there, yet, but learning).


The explanation is awesome.

Thank you both for your contribution to this discussion!


Tailcone: 90%
Wings: In Progress!
Fuse: Ordered
Finish: Ordered
FWF: Ordered
Engine: Ordered
Prop: Ordered
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:28 AM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 3,020
Default MY $.02

IN reference to the 90*AN fittings or multiple fittings, we had the same knowledge as everyone else that more 90*s were bad. In doing the concept for our wing root filter packages, 90* AN fittings just werent avoidable, so we wanted to know just what the flow drop was. So we bought a pump flow tester--no not like the one that Don Rivera has--but something we could afford!. The idea was to use a boost pump regulated at 30 psi and get a baseline of open flow with no fittings. Was 150 liters/hour. Then we started putting in AN 90* adapters starting on the suction side, testing, then moving to the discharge side and retesting. Eventually we ended up with multiple AN 90*s on BOTH suction and discharge side and got a result of 149.8 litres/hour. Thats something like .02 gallons/hour difference between open flow and a bunch of 90*s in the system.

I personally called it good, and moved on. But---YES there is a difference in a true AN fitting and an imposter fitting---so do your due diligence.

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Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
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Ridgeland, SC,
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Old 01-29-2022, 02:58 PM
Avanza Avanza is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Vastervik Sweden
Posts: 139
Smile Pressure drop in fuel systems

If you have a straight pipe, a AN 90 deg fitting or a valve, it will cause a pressure drop if there is a liquid flow.
Sharp bends like a AN fitting create much higher pressure drop than in a
straight pipe. The pressure drop is dependent of the flow rate.
The pressure drop increases as the square of the volumetric flow rate.
If uncertain choose one size bigger fitting.

Good luck
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