How to Care for the Aircraft Fuel System and Keep it Safe?

In order for an aircraft to efficiently have fuel loaded, stored, managed, and transported for combustion, it relies on the aircraft fuel system. The fuel systems of aircraft can greatly vary depending upon the aircraft they are installed in, ranging from simple gravity feed fuel tanks to those with multiple fuel tanks and fuel pumps for transportation. Despite the variety of aircraft fuel systems that exist across different models, the basic process of servicing such systems for hazard prevention remains similar. In this blog, we will discuss how one may service their aircraft fuel system and keep it safe, ensuring that all parts provide long and reliable service lives.

With regular use of an aircraft fuel system, one of the biggest risks that can affect its service life is contamination. Contaminants can come in a variety of forms, ranging from moisture to bacteria growth that can occur within internal components. As each contaminant type poses a danger to the various fuel system components, understanding the common types and how to prevent their associated risks is very important. One basic procedure that should always be conducted is to drain all strainers and sumps daily alongside replacing aviation parts such as filters periodically. Filters will often be placed within the aircraft engine, fuel tanks, and other locations, and they are crucial for capturing contaminants such as sediment or metal flakes.

Leaking is another danger, and it can cause a loss of system pressure, insufficient fuel transfers, or even pose a fire risk. As fuel tanks are often placed in the aircraft wings, the stress that such structures undergo can sometimes have a detrimental effect on the fuel system. While the use of sealants, bearings, and various fasteners can prevent leaking, one should always know how to properly respond to a leak for their particular aircraft. When a leak is detected, it is likely that the path may be isolated and then repaired with the use of a new sealant. In some instances, such as corrosion or structural cracks, a more intensive procedure may be required. With either AOG specialists or a mobile repair team, the affected control units, pumps, valves, and other aviation parts may all be replaced as needed.

As fuel is a very flammable and combustible fluid, it is important that there are methods to protect the aircraft engine, fuel tanks, and other aircraft fuel system components from such hazards. The FAA’s Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction ruling first went into effect in 2008, and it requires at-risk fuel tanks to have reduced flammability exposure and ignition sources. While newer aircraft built after the ruling are designed to already be compliant, older aircraft may require retrofitting in order to increase their protection. As an example of a solution, some companies offer foam blocks that are placed within the center fuel tank of an aircraft in order to reduce the effects of fuel vapor ignition. These foam blocks are often used for various Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and they can last anywhere from ten to twelve years.

In order to best protect your aircraft fuel system from contamination, leaking, and unwanted ignitions, one should always have their aircraft regularly maintained so that old or damaged parts can be repaired or replaced as necessary. Internet of Components is a leading distributor of all types of aircraft bearings and parts used in the combustion engine and fuel system, and we can help you secure all the maintenance products you need to keep your aircraft airworthy. If you find particular items from our inventory that you are interested in, you may request a quote at any time through the submission of an RFQ form. Once we have reviewed your request, a member of our staff will quickly reach out to you within 15 minutes to provide a competitive quote based on your individual needs.


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