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X-15 with auxiliary fuel tanksThe Dassault Mercure was a short-range twin-jet airliner. It was canceled with sales not reaching the breakeven point. Other similar jetliners like the Boeing 737 had a more convenient longer range.

The structural design features of the Mercure precluded increasing the fuel capacity, but there are jet fighters where conformal fuel tanks were added, same as in the Hypersonic experimental X-15.

Are this type of added fuel tanks a feasible option for increasing the Mercure range?

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  • $\begingroup$ It's rather confusing to put a picture of the X-15 and then have the Dassault Mercure as the first plane mentioned. I think it makes sense to put a picture of the Mercure at the top, and only put the picture of the x-15 once you introduce the concept of conformal fuel tanks. $\endgroup$ – ROIMaison Feb 14 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ I counted on the premise that you can read, also that you are not blind. Sorry if I disoriented you. Salut + $\endgroup$ – Urquiola Feb 19 at 18:42
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Adding conformal tanks will add drag and weight. Each on its own will impact performance but both together will definitely have a huge impact and I doubt that it would even get airborne.

The reason that jet fighters have these is for ferry flights eg deployment overseas.. and since they usually leave the bombs/missiles/etc behind on these ferry trips there is not a big increase impact in take-off weight.

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Wikipedia article suggests no:

After the commercial failure of the Mercure 100, Marcel Dassault requested of his engineers to develop a new version of the Mercure, the Mercure 200C, in cooperation with Air France. The variant was to carry a maximum of 140 passengers across a range of 2,200 km. Several major airlines in the United States showed some interest in the project. However, the project's design costs were also high. This might have been mitigated if the original Mercure had had a larger fuel capacity or sufficient design strength so that additional fuel tanks could have been easily added.

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    $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 23 '18 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ The issue may be in normally, fuel tanks are at least in part in the wings, thus enlarging fuel load requiring an strenghtening of wing structure, that adds weight in wing, However, external fuel tanks can be placed as not changing gravity center, not adding much load on fuselage, if the added weight is feasible for the airplane to carry without major modifications was part of my question. For sure, X-15 did, and this is a very special and 'delicate' aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Urquiola Feb 19 at 19:28

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