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How aircraft reduce fuel splashes inside a wing

  1. May 14, 2015 #1
    Some passenger aircraft have fuel in their wings. How they manage to reduce fuel splashes inside wing when aircraft tilt left or right for turning. The immediate guess in my mind is multiple baffles to reduce fuel excessive movement. Am I right? Can someone explain or give some link where I can find details of wings containing fuel tank. Also due to aircraft tilt how weight effect from one side of aircraft to other side are countered or are these effects negligible?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2015 #2


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    The free movement of liquid inside a tank is known as "sloshing", not "splashing". It can cause serious problems if not addressed properly during design. Sloshing is not just a problem for aircraft; any moving vehicle (rocket, airplane, truck, or boat) which carries liquids, either as cargo or fuel, can experience sloshing of the contents of a tank.

    Installing baffles inside a tank is one way to limit the destructive effects of sloshing. This method works best for vehicles, like boats or trucks, which travel in a relatively uncomplicated manner. An aircraft or a rocket can move in three dimensions, so reliance on baffles alone may not be sufficient to prevent the damaging effects of sloshing. Another method is to make sure that the dimensions of the tank are proportioned such that any one dimension (length, width, height) is not excessively long in relation to the other two.

    Situations can arise where the vehicle is affected by motions which occur in a period fashion. If the tank's dimensions are not carefully chosen, the sloshing of the contents can develop into a resonant condition, which can lead to large loads imposed on the structure of the tank as the fluid hits it.

    Specifically, for aircraft carrying fuel in their wings, the wing tanks are fitted with a system of baffles and check valves which control the motion of fuel inside the tanks while the aircraft is maneuvering, but which are also designed not to restrict the flow of fuel to the engines, which might lead to them shutting down for lack of fuel.

    This article discusses the layout of the wing tanks in a business jet:


    You can see how the tank and valves are designed to keep fuel flowing to the fuselage of the plane when it is in various attitudes during flight.
  4. May 14, 2015 #3
    Thank you SteamKing, I will go through the web link.
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