In CP 57, we discussed the sticking fuel valve problem which is not a problem to be taken lightly. At least one VariEze has crashed due to a stuck valve and the FAA has contacted us asking us to do something about this problem. The Whitey stainless (or brass) valve is a good valve, uses Teflon seals against a ball, and it turns nice and smoothly. The major disadvantage is the configuration. It is not a bolt in direct replacement. It requires a new mounting bracket and the intake is located on the bottom of the valve, making it more difficult to install. Yesterday, we saw the best fuel valve we have ever seen.
It ii a direct, bolt-in replacement for your existing weatherhead valve. It uses the same elbows and nipple in the same orientation but, best of all, it turns smoothly and freely with a very positive spring-loaded ball detent system which lets you feel that you are in the left, the right, or the off position. The handle cannot be installed incorrectly and it is not a tapered plug design which can be prone to sticking. It has a parallel shaped valve body that uses replaceable "o" rings. The whole valve comes apart with two snap rings for easy maintenance. It is made of hard, anodized aluminum and is very light.
OK, so what's the catch? The perfect valve, right? Yes, but - Wicks Aircraft will need at least 50 firm orders before they will be able to stock them. They will sell to the homebuilder for $118.65! A lot of money, but then again, what is your life worth? And maybe the life of a loved one or friend? A stuck valve can ruin your day. For $118.65, this problem which has been ongoing for several years now, will be going forever. If you would like to have one, write or call Wicks and place an order. When Bud Myers has 50 orders, he will get them in stock and this fine fuel valve will, hopefully, eliminate this "sticky" problem once and for all.