Skip to main content
125 votes
Accepted

Why are fuel tanks located in wings?

Several advantages: Wing structures are hollow and voluminous in order to provide structural rigidity against flutter and carry flight loads. This provides the space needed to store fuel. On a ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.8k
84 votes

Why are fuel tanks located in wings?

I see what you're saying, but there's something you're overlooking in your logic. You're looking at an airplane sitting on the ground, where the wheels are near the fuselage and most of the wings are ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
48 votes

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

Having all the payload of a plane concentrated at the fuselage creates a large bending load on the wings in order to support that weight. Storing fuel in the wings allows some of that weight to be ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.4k
47 votes

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

Maybe This is dependent on the air frame and varies from plane to plane and not all planes have capability of moving fuel although most large planes do. The Concorde moved fuel all over the place ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
45 votes

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

Your description of a self-sealing fuel tank remaining on fire when lit is the exact situation of the sealing mechanism failing. As soon as the tank is punctured, regardless of a fire or not, the ...
Jihyun's user avatar
  • 1,279
44 votes

Have any operational aircraft ever used over wing fuel tanks?

Early aircraft designs used gravity feed to supply the engines with fuel. All those designs had their tanks located above the wing, and in biplanes in the center of the upper wing. The picture below (...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Have any operational aircraft ever used over wing fuel tanks?

Both the Typhoon and English Electric Lightning used over the wing fuel tanks as standard equipment for many years. There may have been others. English Electric Lightning Typhoon (with conforming ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 11.5k
40 votes

What are the pros and cons of wingtip tanks?

I happen to own a homebuilt with tip tanks for ALL of the fuel supply (Pazmany PL-2), and while they look really cool, I'd prefer the fuel was in the wing leading edges mid span. There is no ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
37 votes
Accepted

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

Which fuel tanks are used in order of priority in aircraft? What you're talking about, in large aircraft, is often referred to as the fuel burn schedule. Light aircraft generally do not have a fuel ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
34 votes
Accepted

How does jet fuel not spill out upon disconnecting from the wing's intake?

The system is based on two elements: The underwing coupling is closed by a spring-loaded lid which can be pushed up to open the tank fuel line. The refueling nozzle has a poppet valve which ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74k
31 votes

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

They can land safely with full tanks but they will need the gear checked before they can take off again. It's not unheard of, if you search for "overweight" on avherald you can see a list of them They ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

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

Can a wide body airliner land with a full fuel tank? Yes! But it is safer to land an aircraft below its published MLW. Wikipedia has the relevant specifications for the B777 and the A330 Using the ...
31 votes

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

No, it is perfectly normal to operate without any fuel in the center tank. Until your fuel load is over about 17,000 lbs, the center tank should be empty. That’s enough for about 2 hours of flying, ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
29 votes
Accepted

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

Fuel tanks take most of the space in aircraft wings, but not all. There are other things on wings too. They are ailerons, flaps, slats, air brakes. On most airliners, the engines are attached to the ...
Farhan's user avatar
  • 29.4k
29 votes
Accepted

What sort of debris has been found in 737 Max fuel tanks?

As a generic answer, not unusual. Besides personal objects like bucking bars, clecos, rags and such left in tanks, the biggest contamination source, from my experience working on a production line ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
28 votes

Why are fuel tanks located in wings?

added weight increases the structural load applied to the wings different gravitational forces and wing-bending between full and empty tanks result in repeating stresses shortening the aircraft life-...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 1,056
26 votes

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

An incendiary bullet penetrating a self sealing tank won't necessarily cause a fire. Gasoline needs oxygen to burn. The Allies developed a self sealing bladder that not only plugged holes, but ...
tj1000's user avatar
  • 8,787
26 votes

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

The conversation may have been about fuel pumps or fuel transfer valves but the flight attendant was probably told that as a simple explanation - it would not have been the real cause. Aircraft have ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 11.5k
25 votes

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

Yes fuel is moved around, and balance is indeed an issue. The A330 has trim tanks in the horizontal stabiliser, and so does the A380. Fuel can be stored there to balance the aircraft - without trim ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
25 votes

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

In 747-100/200 aircraft, takeoff was accomplished tank-to-engine (meaning each engine was fed from it's corresponding main tank). After takeoff the fuel burn schedule called for center tank fuel to be ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
24 votes

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

First, to debunk a myth regarding the Hindenberg, which always gets brought up whenever hydrogen is mentioned. Hydrogen is less safe than liquid fuel, but it is not less safe than natural gas or ...
Level River St's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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

In gaseous form, the amount of -- the mass of -- hydrogen you could store in the volume of aircraft fuel tanks would be negligible. In order to store enough mass of hydrogen, you'd have to store it ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
20 votes
Accepted

How does the FAA define fuel capacity for ultralights?

FAA Advisory Circular AC 103-7, Paragraph 19 has this to say: MAXIMUM FUEL CAPACITY OF A POWERED ULTRALIGHT VEHICLE. The maximum fuel capacity for a powered ultralight vehicle is 5 U.S. ...
Hobo Sapiens's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

A long time ago aerobatic aircraft had just a single tank with a flop tube inside it. This works "OK", but when you're doing something complicated with a half-empty or mostly-empty tank, it's too ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

How were the fuel tanks sealed on the XB-70 Valkyrie?

According to Valkyrie - North American XB-70A by Steve Pace, leakage problems existed. ...engineering changes, weld stresses, and areas where it was not considered important to test-pressurize, ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
20 votes

Can I assume that AVGAS can be used without any problem when the engine manual suggests RON 95 or higher?

Yes it will run fine, but... Lots of drag racers use Avgas in their cars to get the octane rating to run 12 - 14:1 compression ratios in high performance engines (At the airport I used to hang out at ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
19 votes

Can I legally put non-approved fuel into unused airframe fuel tanks?

Don't do it. You would get busted on a ramp check (it's normally just a check for documents and the ramp check official is unlikely to go sniffing your fuel tanks, but if they did, or if they came up ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
16 votes

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

If there's a serious time-sensitive emergency, landing overweight is likely to be a far better plan than waiting around while burning off or jettisoning fuel. As others have noted, an inspection, ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
  • 8,286

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible