Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:05

Refueling an aircraft

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Many people probably only think more on things about the experience of traveling in an airplane: the service, the flight ticket pricing and perhaps in how much they will need to pay for the extra baggage. And nobody is saying that is bad to think about these details. However, has somebody thought about what makes that this type of inventions works and transport a great number of people to multiple destinies?


Besides the fact that all the pieces and mechanisms must be in perfect operating conditions, fuel is a very interesting detail to consider, because basically without fuel, airplanes cannot flight.

For the ones that are immersed in this industry, they know how bad it is to carry not much, as too much fuel. Carrying fuel in excess does not solve anything, but rather it is worse, because if the airplane weighs more it would be necessary to leave part of the baggage or passengers in land to be able to elevate them.

And, how they do it?

Refueling a system is a complex process that depends on the type of aircraft and on the operation that is going to be performed.  In commercial aircraft, first the tanks located in the wings are refueled similarly, in order to assure the balance that the aircraft needs. If the route of the flight requires more fuel, the central tanks are fueled and then the auxiliary tanks.  This process only applies for twin-engine and four engine aircrafts.

In the case of three-engine aircrafts, it is used a similar process with some variations due to the presence of a third motor in the tail. In both cases, the fuel charge is performed through the right wing of the aircraft from where the different tanks are fed. For that reason, in airports it is appreciated that the fuel vehicles are always located on one side of the aircraft.  

And the balance?

In order to always maintain the balance of the aircraft during flight, the consumption follows an opposite logic to the fuel charge: It uses first the fuel located on the central tank and in the auxiliary tanks, and then the one in the wings.  In order to assure the correct balance, the fuel pumps and systems on board regulate the flow of this, as well as the feeding towards each one of the aircraft engines.

The reason of maintaining the fuel tanks of the wings with fuel until the last moment, has a reason based on the necessity to generate an opposite vertical force downwards to the one of sustentation directed upwards, causing that the wings go down.  

What important is to know, besides the price and where we can to travel in an airplane, which implies a suitable maintenance and all the usage strategies considered for a flight, since this is also part of a good coordination and efficiency in operation in order to make these transport us to different destinies.

Last modified on Friday, 16 August 2013 00:59
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