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Smokin’

Now I stole most of this from Marv Story as listed on the Dawn Patrol’s (DP) site. The header tank/pumper/washer fluid pump and tank was from a Chrysler something or other I found in the junkyard. Cost $6.00! It was great to get a deal and I felt I was well on the way toward a cheap accessory that looked cool. I was wrong. I then spent a lot of bucks on compression fittings, tubing and valves. Then there is the medical bill for the 3rd degree burn on my left forearm. I earned that scar by welding up the manifold unsupervised. Soo, all considered, such a deal!

The tubing is 1/8th inch. The manifold was made from 4130 1-1/8 tube and I welded some angle on the ends for mounting purposes. Now the trick is to drill and tap 1/8th PIPE threads in the manifold all in a neat row AND make sure your welds are NOT leaking. Not leaking is good, very very good. I used regular compression fittings from Ace. I have added a flow control valve and check valves from McMaster-Carr. The switch is in the cockpit and that is a simple toggle switch.

The DP noted that the manifold needed to be ABOVE the tank lest there be a siphon started and drain the tank. Good point and true. I will further advance the collective wisdom and state that a check valve needs be added ‘ cause if the manifold is above the spray nozzles, well, a siphon will start and the entire system will drain on the floor of the hangar. Your hangar will smell of diesel, your hangar mates will be angry and one may well AGAIN be charged with extreme idiocy. ME? never!!

Everybody says that they use diesel oil for the smoke. Well I’m gonna try some stuff called "Super Dri" aviation smoke oil. It’s about $12.50 a gallon versus Diesel at $2.50 a gallon. (Chicago).BUT they say one uses less and NO cleanup. I’ll keep you posted. I measured the flow from my washer pump and its 16 oz per minute (4 oz/nozzle/min). Hence the use of the flow valve. So as time goes by I will experiment with different rates and effect and will keep you posted.

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