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Can flying using fuel from one and not the other tank save fuel from constant cross winds over long flights or make it easier to land? Is there anytime where having the ability to shift the weight of the plane using fuel imbalance helpful?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by save fuel during crosswinds? $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 27 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ Re "What do you mean by save fuel during crosswinds?" -- exactly. Does original poster not understand that crosswind correction during cruise actually doesn't require any sustained displacement of control surfaces? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD is there anytime where having the ability to shift the weight of the plane using fuel imbalance helpful? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27 at 19:08

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If anything, flying with one tank full and one at, say, 1/2 empty will increase drag, because of the aileron displacement required to offset the lateral imbalance, plus a small rudder input to compensate for the aileron input.

Technically if you want to sideslip very slightly on landing, a significant imbalance would reduce or eliminate the aileron input required to maintain the slip and you might only need to apply rudder, but that would maybe help you for about 5-10 seconds. The rest of the time you are holding aileron to keep from rolling (unless you have roll trim).

In other words, the imbalance is just an annoyance about 99.5% of the time.

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    $\begingroup$ I suspect this pilot might have preferred a fuel imbalance. $\endgroup$
    – David K
    Commented Mar 28 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ Holy crap look how little aileron he has in. Fuel transfer no doubt helped! $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Mar 29 at 2:36

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