Folks,

I'm looking at getting a Marquart Charger, but my concern about it is this:

The upper wing tanks are cracked and unusable. The fuselage tank holds 18 gallons, which looks like the size called for in the plans. The airplane has a Lycoming O-320 in it, so it's a fair amount of fuel for just flying around, but a little restrictive if going somewhere.

I owned a Charger many years ago, and that builder (Richard Shutt) elected to not install wing tanks, instead putting in a larger 27 gal fuselage tank. I liked that. No hassle of climbing on a ladder to fuel upper wing tanks, no worries about spills/overflows up there, simplified plumbing/fuel system.

Now, the problem is that the upper wing tanks in this Charger I'm looking at are fabric'ed in, so it'll require surgery on both upper wings, two tanks removed/repaired/reinstalled, fabric work and repainting of the affected areas. Seems like a lot of effort (ie $$$$$$) just to get 10 more total gallons of fuel.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with MA-5 construction. If so, perhaps they can shed some light on how hard it would be to remove the 18 gal fuselage tank, have a bigger one made (25-27 gal capacity) and installed? All in all, this seems like an easier path; certainly less "intrusive" than cutting, then reworking and repainting fabric (and hoping the paint matches!)

My next problem is I freely admit building a fuel tank that would fit is beyond my skill-set. Clearly the MA-5 has the room to accept a larger-than-18gal fuselage tank, as evidenced by the Charger I once owned, but where would I get one?

Any help/advice will be appreciated!

Randy