Drop tanks / belly tanks

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 6

hi there aviation guys, my name is joe, i am a car guy and i need your help. i am seeking help and advice regarding belly tanks or drop tanks. i am sure that you are well aware that after WW2 belly tanks/drop tanks were converted in small numbers into early land-speed race cars and it is a dream of mine to recreate one. the ultimate tank was the p.38 tank, 305 gallons, 36" diameter at almost 13ft long. now i have to be realistic, i know that i am not going to find one of these but i would like to ask you guys if there is anything similar in either steel or aluminium that may be obtainable. i have seen tanks from more modern jet aircraft but the shape is just not correct, the older tanks had a pleasing polywog shape, i have seen very similar shapes as part of the fuselage underneath gloster meteors (i think). i will try to attach an image of a p.38 tank to show what shape i am looking for. thankyou so much for your time and i look forward to any info (good news or bad news) that you may have for me. joe

(i have just looked at the picture and i don't think this is the correct tank, it looks too small BUT THE SHAPE IS RIGHT!)

Original post
Profile picture for user Anon

Member for

12 years 2 months

Posts: 2,842

Drop tanks

The Meteor tank is too small (I think about 20-24 inches diameter). What may be nearer what you need is a Canberra tip tank.

There used to be lots about but being made of light alloy most have been scrapped. Someone or a museum will have one round the back of the shed though, I'm sure.

Tornado tanks may be around but they don't have the pear shape, more a cylinder with streamlined ends.


Profile picture for user Jasonp51d

Member for

16 years 10 months

Posts: 252

Drop-tank racer

Might be worth taking a look at this:-


(select image 4)

Fibreglass replica Lakester

14' salt flat bellytanker. All hand laid fiberglass. Three piece kit; top, bottom and headrest.

Profile picture for user ZRX61

Member for

14 years 10 months

Posts: 4,796

P38 drop tanks tend to sell for about $3K on Ebay, they show up quite often.

Member for

14 years 3 months

Posts: 809

If You wanted to take several passengers or make a camper van you could use a C130 external tank... :D

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 6

belly tanks

thankyou guys for all your responses and help, i am aware of the fibreglass repro tanks but just can't bring myself to go down that road, i am the same with my cars, they have to be real.
as for p.38 tanks coming on ebay for $3k, if this ever happens again i would love know about it, i could almost make that happen but i have only ever seen them fetch way more than that.
now the canberra tip tanks do sound very interesting, i have googled some pictures and the shape looks good, if anyone out there knows where i could start my search for one of these i would appreciate hearing from them. also, what length and diameter canberra tip tanks are.
once again, thanks for everyones helpful comments, joe.

Profile picture for user TT18Timbo

Member for

11 years 11 months

Posts: 431

You have a message in your inbox which may be of help sir.

Member for

9 years 3 months

Posts: 591

Having come across this on another forum, are these drop tanks?



Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 6


thanks to all of you who have responded to this thread, i have had a couple of leads but nothing solid as yet however, through this thread i have been enlightened to canberra wing tip tanks, these have the correct appearance, have some good age and are made (i think) of the correct material, aluminium. i intend to now search for a canberra tip tank, if any of you guys can help with any pointers where to continue my search i would appreciate it greatly.
if anyone could help me with some dimensions and/or capacity of a canberra tip tank and also confirm if they were made from aluminium that would be most helpful. thankyou.

Profile picture for user j_jza80

Member for

8 years 11 months

Posts: 1,540

eBay item no. 221006813165 looks like a good candidate.

Profile picture for user VX927

Member for

14 years 2 months

Posts: 894

P51 Drop Tank... But it's in Poland.

P51 Tank

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 6

thanks but too small

thanks tony and vx, i had seen the pontoon one on ebay, i'm affraid it is too far gone and too small.
i had not seen the polish p51 tank, that tank is beautiful, lovely patina and it does not worry me that it is in poland but it also is too small at seven feet long. i need at least 12ft, the p.38 is around 13' 6". ideal.
i am still not exactly sure of the size of canberra tip tanks but they do look to be large enough.
the search goes on, thanks again guys, i know something will come up one day. joe.

Profile picture for user Stepwilk

Member for

9 years 6 months

Posts: 629

Cessna tip tanks are ally if I remember correctly, but I don't know if they are big enough

When I was flying Cessna 310s and 400-series twins, we called them tuna tanks, because that's what they were shaped like. Unless you have a fish for a driver...

Member for

7 years 11 months

Posts: 6

canberra wing tank

still seeking a canberra wing tank, any leads? thanks chaps.