Questions tagged [fuel-tanks]

Large cavities that store fuel, typically in the wings and/or belly of the plane.

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71
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6answers
23k views

Why are fuel tanks in the wings filled first, and why are they used last?

When fueling airliners, why is fuel filled first in the tanks in the wings and then the center tanks? And why do they use fuel from the center tanks first and then from the tanks in the wings? From ...
53
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8answers
28k views

Why are fuel tanks located in wings?

Passenger aircraft have fuel tanks in the wings. Why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this location ? examples of disadvantages I would suspect: added weight increases the structural ...
46
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5answers
20k views

Why do aircraft have an unusable amount of fuel?

I learned from this question that a Cessna 152 holds 5.6 litres of fuel that it can't use. Why would it be designed to hold fuel that it cannot burn, especially since water contamination of fuel is ...
40
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6answers
11k views

Is fuel moved around during flight on a passenger or cargo plane? If so why?

Is fuel moved around during flight on a passenger or cargo plane? If so why? Is balance an issue?
25
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2answers
9k views

What happens to jettisoned fuel tanks?

When an F-15 (or your favorite fighter aircraft) punches it's external tanks... ...to engage in combat, (or when they are empty), what happens to them? Through my best reasoning skills and Newton's ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Have any operational aircraft ever used over wing fuel tanks?

We are most familiar with under wing fuel tanks, has any operational aircraft ever used over wing fuel tanks?
23
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6answers
4k views

Is there a tank priority sequence for using the fuel tanks?

Is there a tank priority sequence for using the fuel tanks, or does the pilot decide?
22
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3answers
7k views

In WW2, were self-sealing fuel tanks really cost-beneficial?

I just read this question and answer, which seems to confirm my fears that an incendiary bullet will still destroy you if it hits your fuel. In other words, a self-sealing fuel tank will not protect ...
21
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6answers
7k views

Can a wide body airliner land safely with a full fuel tank?

Can a commercial double-aisle jet aircraft (e.g., 777, A330) land safely with a full fuel tank (minus the fuel spent on taxing and takeoff)? Has that ever happened?
21
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3answers
5k views

Could airliners' wings be thinner if no fuel were stored in them?

I ask this question because wings are pretty thin overall, but I am curious if you could make them more thin.
18
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3answers
3k views

How fast can fuel be siphoned out if you leave the cap off?

It is a dreaded scenario; forgetting to secure the fuel cap. I understand the low pressure area generated above the wing will siphon fuel out of wing tanks, how fast would this happen in a smaller GA ...
16
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2answers
5k views

How is engine fuel kept from freezing? [duplicate]

The following table shows the operating temperature of Jet fuels (Source http://www.skybrary.aero/) I know a lot of flights will be cancelled during bad weather conditions including the cold. How is ...
16
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1answer
848 views

Why isn't testing fuel flow from both tanks a run-up checklist item?

On most single engine GA aircraft, testing both mags is always on the checklist. For a plane (like a Mooney M20) that doesn't have a "both" selector, it would seem prudent to throw the switch to ...
15
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4answers
5k views

What could the fuel pump failure have been that my flight experienced?

I was on an Easyjet flight (I think an A320), when mid-flight, I overheard a member of cabin crew tell another passenger there was a 'technical' issue with the aircraft, that might make us slightly ...
14
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4answers
12k views

What could cause uneven fuel levels in a Cessna 172?

I went for a 1.5 hour flight in a 1977 Cessna 172N, with several takeoffs and landings. I was alone. When I left, I had 18 gallons in each tank. When I arrived back, I had 15 gallons in the left tank, ...
13
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1answer
6k views

Is the entire length of a B747 or A380 wing used as a fuel tank?

It is generally understood that the fuel tanks of aircraft are in the wings, but specifically, is the entire length of the the wing of: an Airbus A380 Jumbo used as fuel tank? a Boeing 747-800 Jumbo ...
13
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3answers
2k views

How are wing tanks sealed around the internal wing structure?

I can easily grasp the idea of tanks of fuel inside the fuselage of an aircraft, and the ease of sealing such tanks in a relatively standard shape. However, I'm having a hard time understanding how ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Cessna 172/182: Should I set the tank selector to the R.H. tank after parking the airplane?

The single-engine Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft models have a dual gravity-fed fuel system, where you can draw from both the LH and RH tank simultaneously in flight. I've heard it said that when you ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Was there a design flaw in the fuel tanks of the MiG-15/17/19/21?

Wikipedia article on MiG-15: Another major design deficit was that the tank could develop under-pressure if more than half the fuel had been used, which could easily lead to tank implosions, ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Is center tank fuel required to start the 737-800 engines?

I have been doing some flights with the 737-800 and when there is no fuel in the center tank, the engines won't start. Is it like that in real life?
12
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1answer
6k views

Do tanker aircraft distribute their own fuel?

Do tanker aircraft, (such as the KC-135, KC-10, S-3B, etc), distribute fuel from their own fuel tanks, or is it strictly from a separate cargo tank? Obviously, some cargo tanks are going to be ...
12
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1answer
555 views

Do large aircraft accumulate water in their tanks?

Do large aircraft accumulate water in their tanks? If so, how is it drained? How often is it drained? At what rate per hour does it accumulate? If not what was done to circumvent the problem?
12
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1answer
2k views

How are fuel tanks cleaned out?

One episode of the BBC series "Engineering Giants" featured a BA 747 undergoing a multi-week "D check". Here the inside of a fuel tank was surprisingly clean and dry (to me): ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Can we eliminate the center tank of large passenger planes?

This is a safety question about fuel and fires. This all regards commercial aviation for large passenger planes. Most fuel is stored in the wings, but in the largest planes, there's also a center ...
11
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1answer
8k views

What is the capacity of the vent surge tank in an A320?

If the wing tanks of an A320 are fully filled and the fuel expands due to high temperatures then the fuel overflows into the vent tank. My question is, does the fuel get stored in the vent tank? If ...
10
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2answers
4k views

What happens if fuel tanks are hit by gunfire?

In June 2014, a PIA airplane was targeted by machine gun fire while landing. I wonder what would had happened if the fuel tanks were hit? An explosion, perhaps? But in an episode of Myth Busters, ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What to do with excess fuel before flight?

I've read that it's recommended to store a plane with full fuel tanks to prevent water contamination. Some small general aviation planes, however, would exceed their maximum gross take off weight ...
10
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1answer
74k views

What type of fuel is used in helicopters?

What type of fuel is used in helicopters? Do they use Aviation Turbine Fuel (jet fuel), which is used widely in commercial airlines? Also, where would be the fuel tank located in a helicopter?
10
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1answer
3k views

What regulations surround fitting aftermarket fuel tanks inside the cabin?

Watching the first episode of Dangerous Flights, a ferry pilot has aftermarket fuel tanks fitted inside the cabin of an old Merlin IIB: What are the regulatory requirements to be able to do this? / ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Is there any work on improving fuel tanks so they could store hydrogen?

I think that hydrogen is among the best fuels for use in supersonic and hypersonic flight, is there any work on improving fuel tanks so they could store hydrogen? What would be the best state to ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Could the Airbus A350 be converted into the role of air tanker / be used for aerial refuelling?

Since the A350 is one of the most efficient jets out there, Is it possible that it can be transformed into a fuel tanker for Aerial refuelling?
9
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1answer
753 views

What type of aircraft did these drop tanks come from?

I am trying to identify what type of plane my two recently acquired drop tanks came from. They measure 23" in diameter and about 12' long. Made of aluminum and "ALCOA" appears in raised letters on the ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How does fuel get to the engine during acrobatics?

Given that during acrobatics, extreme G-forces may be impressed upon the fuel tank, wouldn't it make it somewhat difficult for fuel to get to the fuel pump while it's being pushed against a specific ...
8
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1answer
572 views

What are the differences between intertank valve and crossfeed valve?

Regarding the fuel system in an aircraft, I read that there are two valves: the intertank valve and the crossfeed valve. They are both motor driven butterfly type valve which function is to allow ...
8
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1answer
3k views

What is trimming the fuel tank?

In a recent news article on an Airbus A400M crash, it has the following line: Sources have told Aviation Week that aircraft MSN23, destined for Turkey, featured new software that would trim the ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Can fuel be stored in the anti-shock bodies?

lets say an airplane needs to get to a certain route but doesnt have the fuel to do and it needs to store in the anti-shock bodies. Is it possible?
7
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1answer
2k views

How does the FAA define fuel capacity for ultralights?

Ultralights under FAR 103 are regulated to a capacity of 5 gallons. I'm wondering how exactly fuel capacity is defined, does it include fuel in the lines, and in the carburetor bowl or elsewhere or ...
7
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1answer
21k views

Where is the fuel stored on an aircraft’s wing?

Maybe guys could provide me with a picture I originally thought the anti-shock pads were fuel tanks, but somebody recently told me that they are stored in the wing, so where are they stored at. The ...
7
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2answers
18k views

Why do planes have cross-feed switches or circuits?

Why do planes have cross-feed switches or circuits? Are they to move contents of one tank to another (feed the tank) or to supply the engine with fuel from left side to right or vice versa (feed the ...
7
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1answer
1k views

What is the working principle of anti-explosion fuel tanks?

I recently read a question about Anti Explosion fuel tanks which are self sealing. But the technology seemed to be too old after a bit of research, and that it was difficult to apply this age old ...
7
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2answers
414 views

How does the MiG-23 fuel system work?

In what order are the fuel tanks on the MiG-23 used? In other words, which tank is used first, then second etc.?
6
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1answer
288 views

How is that there is no leak through the fuel vents during aerobatics maneuvers?

Can anyone tell me how aircraft such as jet fighters and stunt planes design the fuel tank vent system to prevent fuel leaking through the vents when performing aerobatics, 360 flips and complex ...
6
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1answer
2k views

How is fuel removed from a light aircraft if required for weight and balance?

With small, light aircraft, weight is always a consideration. Say you had a four-place single engine aircraft that you wanted to take yourself and three of your (non-FAA-standard weight) friends, but ...
5
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4answers
829 views

Would hydrogen fuel tanks on an airplane increase lift?

Since hydrogen is lighter than air, would hydrogen fuel tanks help provide lift for the airplane?
5
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1answer
335 views

Why do aerobatic aircraft have separate tanks instead of a single acrotank?

I've been reading about fuel tanks in aerobatic planes such as the Extra 330, Edge 540, XA41 and I don't really understand why in the Extra 330 there are separated center tanks and an acrotank instead ...
5
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2answers
440 views

Why was the B-52's wet wing more susceptible to fatigue than its dry wing, and not less?

After years of carrying all its fuel in the fuselage, the B-52 transitioned to a wet wing (where the wing structure is used as one or more fuel tanks) with the B-52G. This caused severe problems with ...
5
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2answers
581 views

What fuels can turbofans burn?

I know that Jet-A is the fuel most often used for turbofans, but is there something else that these engines can burn? (ethanol, LPG, methane, butane, 100LL, etc.) Basically, can a turbofan burn ...
5
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2answers
2k views

How many tanks does an A350 have?

How many tanks are there on an A350? Where are they located? Is it a common configuration among large aircraft?
5
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2answers
1k views

Is there any particular reason the A380 doesn't have a centre wing tank?

Today I learnt something new, but apparently the A380 has no centre wing tank, which leads me to ask, is there a specific, design reason for this? Or did Airbus just think those huge wings were big ...
4
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2answers
630 views

Do fuel tank locations on the wing cause a potential for weight imbalance?

I have a question about fuel tanks in an older plane like a P-36C Hawk and a P-26B-35. The fuel tanks in the P-26 are placed in the wings and in the P-36C Hawk its under the pilot and behind him. For ...