Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering

Journal of Aeronautics & Aerospace Engineering
Open Access

ISSN: 2168-9792



Fuel Leak Detection on Large Transport Airplanes

Behbahani-Pour MJ and Radice G

Fuel leakage has the risk of being ignited by external ignition sources, and therefore it is important to detect any fuel leakage before the departure of the aircraft. Currently, there are no fuel leak detection systems installed on commercial aircrafts, to detect fuel tank leakage, while only a small number of more recent aircraft, have a fuel monitoring system, that generates a fuel leak-warning message in cockpit in the case of fuel imbalance between the tanks. The approach proposed in this paper requires the fuel vent ports on the wings to be replaced with fuel vent valves, which can be controlled to be in open or close position. The fuel vent valve will be in close position, when certain conditions are fulfilled (all the related fuel valves closed, pumps not operating, etc.), the fuel tank ullage area is then pressurized to 4 psi and the rate of change of the pressure is measured over a period. Several experiments have been conducted and, the result show that a continuous fuel leak of one liter per minute can be detected. Further experiments show that if the fuel tank is pressurized to higher pressures, a fuel leak can be detected sooner.