By Roy Langton, Chuck Clark, Martin Hewitt, Lonnie Richards
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Extra resources for Aircraft Fuel Systems (Aerospace Series (PEP))
Here for steady level ﬂight a pitchdown trim is required in steady state level ﬂight because the weight acts behind the lift force. Now if a pitch-up disturbance takes place the increase in lift from the wing tends to increase pitch attitude further which is clearly destabilizing. It is important therefore, to ensure that the fuel system must not have potential failure modes that would cause an unstable aircraft CG location. This is important in many of today’s aircraft designs with aft located fuel tanks for minimization of trim drag in cruise.
In-ﬂight stability is an issue that must be considered with regard to the location and CG of the stored fuel. 6 which shows that for longitudinal static stability, the aircraft longitudinal CG must be located forward of the aircraft center of lift. Referring to the stable aircraft in the ﬁgure, in steady level ﬂight, a pitch-up trim moment is required (from the horizontal stabilizer) to counteract the pitch down moment due to the forward CG. 6 Deﬁnition of aircraft static stability. by the wing, due to the increased angle of attack, produces a restoring pitching moment ( M ) to the aircraft.
3 Fuel characteristics vs operating conditions. Three highly signiﬁcant characteristics of today’s fuels are density (as it varies with temperature), vapor pressure and freeze point. The density variation means that an aircraft with full tanks at high temperature will have a signiﬁcantly lower range (and gross weight) than an aircraft with full tanks at low temperature because the energy stored in the fuel is a function of its Introduction 9 mass rather than its volume. This characteristic creates problems for the fuel quantity gauging system that must accommodate this variable either by widening the accuracy tolerance of the measurement system or by inferring density from dielectric constant or, preferably, measuring density directly thus compensating for this parameter in tank quantity computations.