By Roy Langton, Chuck Clark, Martin Hewitt, Lonnie Richards
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Extra resources for Aircraft Fuel Systems (Aerospace Series (PEP))
Requirements traceability is important in complex integrated systems such as a modern aircraft fuel system. Requirements management tools are available that can ensure that all requirements are traceable from a top level system requirement to an expanding number of requirements at each level down to the component level. Modeling and simulation tools are used to analyze ﬂuid network performance during the various modes of operation providing information on pipe sizing, pressure losses and surge pressures.
The following paragraphs summarize many of the key drivers that inﬂuence the design of the typical aircraft fuel system and how these drivers relate to major aspects of aircraft functionality. 1 Design Drivers The most important fuel system design drivers are dependent upon many fundamental and operational aspects of the aircraft design that may not necessarily be related to the fuel system yet they must be accommodated within any design solution. It is critical, therefore, that the fuel system designer be intimately involved in the evolution of the basic aircraft design so that key performance, operational and cost drivers can be identiﬁed and included in the early trade studies.
The opposite is true for the statically unstable aircraft. 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.