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When I was building the aircraft I agonized over whether to add extended range fuel tanks. I was afraid that the standard 42 USG may not be enough for IFR flights with the need to have sufficient fuel to fly to the destination, shoot an instrument approach, then fly to an alternate airport and arrive there with 45 minutes of fuel. It would be quite a bit of extra work to add extended range tanks, and the added weight and complication would be there on every flight, whether the fuel was needed or not. So, I decided to get the aircraft flying with the standard fuel quantity, and add extra fuel later if it proved to be needed.

The long trip this weekend was the first IFR trip where I had to start paying very close attention to the amount of fuel remaining. We flew 467 nm to Yarmouth, and did two ILS approaches with a missed approach on each one. The filed IFR alternate was Fredericton, NB, 120 nm away. But, the weather in Halifax had improved to 500 ft overcast with 12 mile visibility, which would be more than adequate if it held. I determined that if I slowed to economy cruise of 140 kt at 6 USG/h fuel flow I had lots of fuel to fly 128 nm to Halifax, shoot an approach and then make it to Fredericton if needed. In the end the weather at Halifax continued to improve, and we easily got in, landing with almost 12 USG of fuel on board, after 3:39 of flying (600 nm), three instrument approaches and two climbs to 9000 ft altitude. This was about two hours of fuel remaining at economy cruise of 140 kt at 6 USG/h.

Conclusion - 42 USG fuel is completely adequate for foreseeable IFR ops on this aircraft.

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