This week, our Hawker Hurricane has had its fuel tanks removed for internal and external inspection.
The red fuel tank has been covered with Irish linen, then a layer of rubber and finally another covering of Irish linen (the red colour comes from the red dope that was used). These layers were essential for protecting the tanks during the war – hence the name self-sealing fuel tank.
If the aircraft was under attack, bullets or shrapnel could pass through the coverings and push through the rubber. But because the rubber is soft, it deforms out of the path of the bullet/shrapnel and then reforms again afterwards. This helps to plug the hole in the tank and stop the fuel from leaking out.
You can view the engineer’s restoration projects in our engineering hangar. For more information and to book, please visit: www.shuttleworth.org/book-your-tickets