In T-34 movie there is a scene where a WWII small aircraft is flying:

enter image description here

and the pilot warnings the official that they're running out of fuel and a quick close up of the cockpit shows the fuel gauge:

enter image description here

Why it has two sides with (90 as full scale range) with a zero in the middle and a single needle? How is it supposed to work?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't know for sure, but I suspect there are separate left and right wing tanks and a switch to determine which is being used. This could be a clever indicator both of quantity, but also which tank. Some aircraft allow independent switching of which tank is being used (a valve) and which is being measured (wires). However, the instrument is usually measuring a resistor in the sending unit by measuring a voltage -- and it wouldn't know left from right... $\endgroup$ Commented May 7 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ The Comic Sans tells you all you need to know about the accuracy of the scene. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented May 7 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ Did the Fieseler Storch even have a fuel gauge in the panel? Is hard to find a clear answer online, but I'm getting the impression it may have had sight gauges. $\endgroup$ Commented May 8 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ The lowercase "k" in kraftstoff gives this away as an unauthentic, made-up instrument. The proper way would be capitalized, as in Kraftstoff. $\endgroup$ Commented May 8 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ Odd enough! They used a real airplane for the scene and didn't take a picture of the cockpit, but made up a fake one... $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented May 9 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


That looks like an animated cockpit, and if i was a betting man Id say that someone googled "german airplane gauges" and didn't know what they are looking at. The labeling on the spectrum is likely from an Amperage gauge similar to this one from the era. They generally display charge/discharge centered on 0. The animator then labeled it "fuel" incorrectly.

Fuel gauges from that era were indeed what you expect in reality.


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