ATA 28 Fuel System Components Quiz

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What is the primary purpose of the aircraft fuel system?

Supplies fuel to the engines and APU

What is the secondary purpose of the aircraft fuel system?

Keeps fuel in the outer wing for wing bending and flutter relief

What does volatility refer to in relation to fuel?

A measure of a liquid's tendency to vaporize under given conditions

What does vapor lock refer to in the context of fuel?

When the gasoline vaporizes too readily, causing reduced fuel supply to the engine

What happens when there is a slipping turn?

Too much aileron and too little rudder are applied

In aviation, what does C.G. stand for?

Center of Gravity

Study Notes

Fuel Types

  • Gasoline is composed of iso-octane and heptane
  • Kerosene is composed of hydrocarbons with a higher sulfur content
  • Avgas is gasoline-based, better at cold weather, and more volatile
  • Jet Fuel is kerosene-based, with a higher energy content per weight, and is not flammable or explosive at normal temperatures

Avgas and Jet Fuel Types

  • Avgas 80: a mixture of 80% iso-octane and 20% heptane
  • Avgas 100: has anti-knock properties as pure iso-octane
  • Avgas 100LL: same as Avgas 100 but with less lead
  • Jet A: has a freeze point of -40°F (-40°C)
  • Jet A-1: has a freeze point of -52.6°F (-47°C)
  • Jet B: a mixture of gasoline and kerosene, with a freeze point of -58°F (-50°C)

Fuel Tank Locations

  • Rigid removable tanks: typically made of metal, plastic, or fiberglass, and must be held down with straps on the aircraft structure
  • Integral fuel tanks: areas inside the aircraft structure sealed for fuel storage, with inspection panels for internal inspection and servicing
  • Bladder fuel tanks: reinforced rubberized bags installed in a section of aircraft structure, designed to accommodate fuel

Fuel System Components

  • Fuel pump: delivers a properly pressured, continuous supply of fuel, and can be driven manually, electrically, or engine-driven
  • Fuel gauge: indicates the amount of fuel measured by a sensing unit in each fuel tank, and is displayed in gallons or pounds
  • Valves: installed in the fuel system to provide a means for shutting off fuel flow, for tank and engine selection, for crossfeed, and for fuel transfer
  • Fuel primer: used to draw fuel from the tanks to vaporize fuel directly into the cylinders prior to starting the engine


  • Pascal's Law: F1 = F2, P1A1=P2A2
  • Hydraulic system advantages: ease of transmitting force over large distances, and mechanical advantage achieved through a larger output piston
  • Hydraulic fluid: must flow through lines with minimal opposition, be incompressible, and have good lubricating properties

Flight Controls

  • Secondary control surfaces: turns, slipping turns, and skidding turns
  • Trimmable horizontal stabilizer: helps with rate of turn and bank angle

Fuel System Purpose

  • Primary purpose: supplies fuel to engines and APU, controls and monitors fuel quantity, and controls fuel transfer to maintain C.G limits
  • Secondary purpose: keeps fuel in the outer wing for wing bending and flutter relief, and cools oil inside the engine

Test your knowledge on the components of an aircraft fuel system according to ATA 28 standards. Topics include fuel tank locations, bladder tanks, and basic components like fuel pumps.

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