Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How long does it take to install a kit?
Answer: Experienced installers require 45-60 hours depending on the type of kit. First time installers typically will take longer. This estimate does not include painting. The installation of our 185 extended tip kits are a bit more complicated. They require an additional 20 to 30 hours to replace 12 stringers with heavy duty stringers that we provide.
Question: Are the kits STC’d?
Answer: Yes, every one.
Question: What are the tanks made of?
Question: Why transfer pumps and not gravity feed?
Answer: We used to make gravity feed systems years ago. They were temperamental. The pump systems work under all conditions.
Question: How do I know for sure that the fuel has transferred?
Answer: There are two indications: The Flint gauge will show a decrease and the Cessna gauge will show an increase in the amount of fuel. We do recommend timing your fuel transfer. For 12V systems the pumps should transfer at about 45 gal/hr. For 24V systems the pumps should transfer at 30 gal/hr.
Question: I’d like to install CiES senders in lieu of the senders you supply. Can I do this? Answer: Absolutely! CiES Corporation has approval for using their senders in all Flint kits for the single engine models. However, their senders are not approved with the gauges we supply so you will have to use one of the gauge options they have. Not only will the combination of the CiES senders with a digital gauge be more accurate, their senders are much more durable and not prone to the corrosion issues we run into when tanks are left dry with the resistance senders.
Question: Are the gauges provided by Flint Aero accurate?
Answer: As accurate as any other gauge. In other words, don’t count on them. During preflight, make sure you visually inspect your aux tank fuel levels if you plan on using them. We also recommend timing your transfer.
Question: Do the pumps automatically shut off?
Answer: We’ve looked into automatic systems but considering cost and reliability, we’ve decided to stay with our proven system.
Question: What about water getting through the caps?
Answer: On our extended tips, as long as the o-rings are maintained, we don’t have that problem. We currently are using the same caps as can be found on Cirrus and Columbia aircraft, along with a cap that is similar to what is used on the F-16. We even tested the cap by submersion in water and we saw no leakage. With our internal tanks, the cap is inside a scupper under a flush door and water drains from the scupper via a drain tube. Just like is found on your main fuel system, our kits have their own fuel sump drains which should be checked for water during pre-flight.
Question: Should I keep the tanks full?
Answer: It’s always a good idea to keep tanks full to prevent condensation which can harm the fuel transmitters and fuel pumps. The CiES senders do not have the issue with corrosion due to condensation that the resistance senders have.
Question: Do you make tanks for other than Cessna?
Answer: Not at this time.
Question: Do you make baggage tanks?
Answer: No. All our tanks are mounted in or on the wing.
Question: Are there performance changes?
Answer: Other than the extra 24 lbs added to our internal tanks, there is no performance change. Our extended tips improve the climb and above 10,000 feet, we usually get reports of an increase of 3 or 4 kits in cruise speed. We do get gross weight increases on the 185s and 206 as well as on many 337 models.
Question: I have an aftermarket leading edge (e.g.. STOL kit). Will that work with Flint tanks?
Answer: Not a problem. If the leading edge of your wing doesn’t exactly match the leading edge of our tank (ours is just like the factory wing) you can fabricate a fence where the two meet. Take a look at these pictures to see how installers have handled it.
Question: What is the life of the tanks?
Answer: Our experience has been 15 to 25 years with little or no problems.
Question: Doesn’t the fiberglass deteriorate with time?
Answer: Aircraft fuel doesn’t bother it. We have tanks in service that were installed in the late 60’s and early 70’s. As with any aircraft component, as the system ages you may need to have maintenance performed on the tanks but we have continued to make changes to our design and components to reduce the problems one may encounter as the system ages. Our tanks are not compatible with fuel containing ethanol however.
Question: Does the wing have to be beefed up?
Answer: On some 206 and 210 models there is a fore and aft spar doubler that has to be riveted in place near the tip. On the 185’s, we include heavier stringers. Neither of these applications require removal of the wing skin.
Question: I’ve heard that you must keep a certain amount of fuel in the aux tanks at all times, is this true?
Answer: Not entirely. For the 185 and the 206(F-H), the tips can be left dry and the aircraft can be loaded to max weight. For the earlier 206 models, the 210, and the 337 you may need to keep some fuel in the tanks until your weight drops below a certain threshold. This is due to the fact that the increased wing area generates more lift and having some fuel in the tips reduces the stress on the wing at higher gross weights. With our internal tanks this is obviously not an issue.
Question: My gauges aren’t reading correctly, are they broken?
Answer: Probably not, more likely its a problem with your senders. A few years back we started using a marine sending unit and they have proven to be more reliable than the previous sender. Look here to compare your unit with pictures of our new and old senders. If you have an older style sender we recommend you replace it before replacing your gauge.
Question: How do your tanks affect an auto pilot system?
Answer: There has been some confusion regarding this. Some of this confusion is the result of one auto pilot company, S-TEC, saying that our tanks are “not approved” with their system. Since we were aware of no issues with the use of an autopilot with our tip tanks we contacted S-TEC. S-TEC told us that they have not flight tested that combination and, hence, created no data to give the combination of their product with our STC an approval. They sent us a letter to that effect that you can read here (S-Tec Letter). By the way, when we certified our extended tanks for the 185, we had an FAA test pilot fly the plane to see how much our tanks affected the auto pilot. His conclusion was that the effect was so slight that he did not even require any mention of auto pilot in the Flight Manual Supplement.
Question: What is the warranty on your kits?
Answer: Our kits are covered by a one year warranty for the parts (labor is NOT included).
Question: My aircraft has boots and is certified for flight into known icing, what happens to the certification with your tips?
Answer: Our tips are not FIKI certified and will take your aircraft out of the known icing category if installed.
Question: Why are some of your tanks designated “Lightning Resistant.”
Answer: These tanks are available for the 206(F-H) and the 210(G-R) and are required for Jet Fuel powered aircraft. While similar in appearance to our AVGAS tanks, they are quite different in their construction.
Question: Do you have EASA validations for your kits?
Answer: Yes, many of our kits are currently validated by EASA and we are working to add more. Please look here for our validations.
Question: Why can’t I transfer from my Flint Aero aux system to my main tanks while I’m using my mains?
Answer: The short answer is because it’s illegal. When the FAA approved our system, they wanted to isolate it from the engine for added safety. Technically speaking the only real danger is if you have bladder tanks. Our fuel system ties into the fuel line in the door or windshield post with bladder equipped aircraft. Since you are deliberately trying to pump the aux tanks dry you run the risk of introducing air into the fuel line to the engine when the aux tank is empty. Metal tanks aren’t as critical, as the transfer from the aux tanks go directly into your main tanks.
Question: Are the kits complete?
Answer: Yes, the kits come with everything necessary for the installation. The only thing that the installer will have to provide are basic shop items like PRC. Those with newer aircraft may want to provide their own Cessna recessed inspection covers and doublers to match the existing inspection covers on their aircraft. Our covers are surface mount. Since we typically provide more inspection covers than are necessary, and because we can not buy the Cessna covers at a cost cheaper than most FBOs can, we do not include the recessed covers in our kits.
Question: Do you interface with the Garmin G-1000?
Answer: For the (T)206H models there is an Unlock Card available from Cessna that will allow you to input the additional fuel in the aux tanks prior to takeoff. See Cessna’s Service Bulletin: SB11-34-04