Hotel Whiskey ER Fuel Tanks – Do not buy them

I have held off on this post until things reached a conclusion. My fuel tanks were about two months late but finally arrived back in October. The weld and metal forming quality was not good. I talked to a couple of other builders who recently bought tanks and one of they got replacement tanks. I have learned that the original owner of Hotel Whiskey sold the product line to the current owner Troy. Right away I talked to Troy to express my disappointment. He assured me they were solid and came with a lifetime warranty. I proceeded to install them, and was dismayed to find the tank did not align with the outside wing rib. I had to make spacers for four out of five attachment points. Very disappointing.

Fast forward a month and my friend came to help me for a week. He is an amateur welder and shook his head when looking them over. His thoughts were these were done by a beginner welder. He has a friend who is a welding instructor and he sent a bunch of pictures to her for evaluation. They were so bad that she used them as examples in her lecture that day of what to not do. Neither of them could believe these were being passed off as acceptable, especially for aircraft. At that point I called Troy back, he admitted his welder wasn’t good and that he rushed my tanks out because he was so late delivering. He supposedly had lined up a new welder, offered to send me replacement tanks, and after some back and forth agreed he would pay for the shipping.

Fast forward again to this week. The new tanks arrived (after being promised they would ship the first week on January) and they were only marginally better. Seriously looks like the same guy with just a bit more experience/time taken. If the delivery driver was still there I would probably just have kept the original tanks since I pressure tested them and they had already been fitted to my wings. Alas I didn’t want to make the driver come back.

I went about pressure testing the new tanks and found slag bouncing around in one of the fuel tanks. Seriously, what the fuck. These go in an airplane and slag would at best get trapped in my fuel filter and at worst cause an engine failure. I vacuumed out what I could and I’m going to flush the tanks with a few gallons of AV gas (which will then be discarded).

So bottom line, if you are consider buying Hotel Whiskey ER Fuel Tanks don’t. After my Inspection/Phase 1 I intend to hire a local welder to make new tanks – all at my expense of course. See pictures below and judge for yourself.

2 Comments

  • Nora February 5, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    OMG! How could anyone try to sell a product that bad and dangerous? I’m glad you are having your tanks custom made. Who ever welded that is not only bad but I would guess drunk also. My first time welding looked better than that.

    Reply
    • Chris French February 5, 2021 at 10:11 pm

      Extremely disappointing to spend top dollar and get not one but two sets of poor quality product.

      Reply

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