|Copyright Flying Magazine May 1968|
Curiosity got the best of us the other day, and somebody wondered if there was a similar example to a disruptive fuel level technology in General Aviation aircraft. I indicated that there was a different system and it enjoyed a brief and limited success. This system came out in the late 1960's and was featured on Cessna aircraft.
I went for a magazine search for press releases, curious to see what virtues would be given to a better fuel quantity system.
This system was produced by Consolidated Airborne Systems - which still operates out of a garage location in New York state.
The headline for the article was entitled
GAS GAUGES THAT TELL THE TRUTH
"General aviation airplanes - those engineering marvels, this distillations of technical wisdom and aeronautical magic incarnate - use fuel measuring devices of the same arrangement that plumbed fuel quantity in automobiles since the Model A float tipped rods that electrically drive instrument panel needles to positions approximating the volume of fuel left. Many such devices are off by as much as 25 percent" Copyright Flying Magazine May 1968
Many mechanics swore at these systems, many are swearing at them still. The never lived up to the billing as corrosion on these low cost systems quickly robbed them of any accuracy advantage. If you remember - Penny was to indicate "low cost" and cap was to indicate "Capacitive" i.e. Pennycap system by its marketing title was a low cost capacitive fuel system.
"For not much more than the cost of an annual, then you'll be able to have a fuel gauging system of honest go/no-go quality. Can you hold in the soup for 45 minutes at your alternate, or should you declare an emergency and tell them to get you down? Can you afford to try and get out of that mountain strip with half full tanks and your present baggage load, or are your tanks more like three-quarters full? It can make a difference." Copyright Flying Magazine May 1968