I am trying to identify what type of plane my two recently acquired drop tanks came from. They measure 23" in diameter and about 12' long. Made of aluminum and "ALCOA" appears in raised letters on the rear end. Come apart into three pieces sealed by large o-ring style gaskets and have a metal rod that goes directly through the center of the three sections that screws together to hold the 3 sections together.

I looked all over the web as best I could and can't find anything that matches. Have two metal attachment points. No fins. Front more blunted. Rear more angular with small (5") removable tail cone that allows access to the main nut that allows the three sections to be separated (or mated and held snug). Fuel filler in front of attachment points. Very simple internal plumbing consisting of a fuel filter and a two short pieces of stainless tubing.

I believe they are at least 30 years old based on the story of the man I got them from.

I have embedded one picture of the tank, but there are more pictures available on the Ebay listing.

Drop Tanks

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm putting this a comment because it doesn't answer your question but may provide more information to go with. ALCOA is an aluminum manufacture that was founded in 1888. They were a major manufacture during both world wars. At least you can know they were made by that company, its a start anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Dec 27, 2018 at 15:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It would help if you added the details here (including all the pictures), the EBay link will expire eventually, as will the images there. It would also help if you identified (here) where these tanks were found (be as specific as possible) and if there are any serial numbers on them or any other identifying marks. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Dec 27, 2018 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I believe low-rep users are limited to the number of links & embeds they can put in a single post. $\endgroup$
    – T.J.L.
    Dec 27, 2018 at 19:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Given the location in western NC I think it's safe to assume they are USAF drop tanks. Narrow it down to the a/c in use at the time at nearby bases and they are likely from F-15's or F-4's. Could be Marine as well, maybe A-4's out of Cherry Point. They have blunt tips, though. Maybe slower aircraft. $\endgroup$ Dec 29, 2018 at 17:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Success - the tanks are from an F-80 Shooting Star. Thanks to all who took time to assist me in ID-ing these tanks $\endgroup$
    – ron
    Jan 3, 2019 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


It looks like they were used some on the F-80 like you said, but also on RF-80s, T-33s, F-94s, and Navy TO-1s, TV-1s. They look similar to the Misawa tanks, but are different.




You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .