Aircraft Fuel System example

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Aircraft Fuel System

Fuel is one of the most essential things every aircraft needs for a safety operation. For the fuel to remain readily available for the aircraft engines at all times, and at all altitudes during a flight, an aircraft fuel system is designed for all aircrafts. A fuel system consist of fuel storage tanks, pumps, metering devices, fuel lines, valves, filters and monitoring devices. It is very essential for the system to provide an uninterrupted supply at all altitudes of flight. Aircraft fuel systems must be certified under strict Title 14 of the Federal Regulations. Each fuel system for modern multiengine airplane must be arranged so that, in at least one system configuration, the failure of any one component (other than a fuel tank) does not result in the loss of power of more than one engine or require immediate action by the pilot to prevent the loss of power of more than one engine. independent of each other.

In modern aircrafts, the main tanks are usually on the wing. Besides storing fuel, it provides more balance to the aircraft. Fuel system in modern aircrafts can consists of up to eight tanks, (four main tanks, three vent surge tanks, one tank on the horizontal stabilizer on some aircrafts). The fuel tank must have at least two vents arranged to reduce the possibility of both vents being blocked at the same time. The filler caps are designed to minimize the possibility of incorrect installation or in-flight loss. A low-pressure filter is installed between the supply tanks and the engine fuel system to protect the engine-driven fuel pump and various control devices in modern aircrafts like the Boeing 747.


Due the increase in size and complexity of new generation aircrafts like the Airbus A380, it means there will also be great changes in the fuel system. These changes include more system automation, more fuel tanks, specific Aircraft Flight Manual requirements with respect to fuel distribution in flight and the sequence in which the tanks are to be filled on the ground or their contents used in flight, a reliable system indication and alerting system, provisions for single point refueling and defueling and, in larger aircraft, provision for fuel dumping and center of gravity optimization through fuel movement in flight.

Enhancements to the fuel system commonly found on aircraft of this category include single point refueling/defueling - the refueling hose is connected to a single point on the aircraft, usually located underwing or somewhere on the fuselage and all tanks are fuelled or defueled by means of a manifold connecting to all tanks, fuel pump redundancy - multiple fuel pumps in each tank to ensure fuel is accessible in the event of a single pump failure, robust fuel management, indicating and warning systems - depending upon the aircraft, these can include fuel quantity by tank, total fuel quantity remaining, fuel used, estimated fuel remaining at intended …

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