In an aircraft, what would be the potential effect of not having an accumulator in the hydraulic system?


1 Answer 1


Accumulators act as storage for flow. At times of peak flow demand, the accumulator delivers a large flow supply at nominal pressure until its oil has been used up, after which the maximum flow is the pump flow. The same functionality that a capacitor or a battery has in an electric system.

If there are no accumulators installed:

  • Peak hydraulic power is greatly reduced: peak flow supply equals the pump flow, and pressure drops when the pump supplies high flow.
  • Pressure surges are high when the pump is running and demand suddenly stops, the accumulator evens out the pressure peak, again like how a capacitor functions. (From @Gerry comment).
  • $\begingroup$ They also absorb pressure spikes when the pumps are running and demand suddenly drops, just as a capacitor will absorb a current surge. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Oct 6, 2017 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thx, have added. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Oct 6, 2017 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ I think I read about it somewhere that the vibration from the pump that travels in the form of vibrating pressure has caused failures on the pipe on a test aircraft prototype. IIRC that should be XB-70 AV1. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2017 at 16:25

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