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Flexible And Powerful Aircraft Fuel Flow Instruments

By Author: Joseph Polizzotto
Total Articles: 106

Slimline gaugesA flexible aircraft fuel gauge is one that can be programmed by the pilot. By powerful we mean it can automatically provide data to your GPS or on-board integrated electronic flight instrument system which in turn can calculate fuel status for a particular flight path or destination.

Difficult to believe but there are many pilots out there that still rely on the old method of calculating fuel use i.e. with a calculator. Flying since before the digital age when aircraft gauges used to be faulty at best, they think the manual way of calculating fuel use is still accurate.

Unfortunately, when flying and the pilot suddenly and inexplicably hears the low fuel warning or unmistakable signs of a fuel starved engine, it might be already too late and the safety of the passengers would be at severe risk.

Manual calculation is okay only if all else is running fine. We mean, what if there is a fuel leak? Or wind resistance causing the engine to burn more fuel – there is little chance of the pilot being able to factor in exactly how much extra fuel is being burnt.

The manual way is not only far from accurate and inflexible, it is also dangerous because it does not take into account possibility of fuel leaks (until it is too late), or faulty injectors causing excessive fuel burn or blocked fuel lines or vents wrong pipette and so on.

A highly accurate EGT Probe can provide advance warning on all the above and more. A digital readout of the fuel being used and balance in the tanks ensures that the fuel use status is highly transparent. A higher than normal fuel use that is not otherwise explained by the flight characteristics, could indicate engine trouble. Similarly, if balance in one tank is inexplicably low (or high) could indicate a fuel leak or chocked fuel line, faulty pump etc. Basically, the pilot knows that there is trouble in the engine or the fuel lines and can plot a new course to the nearest airport before things really get out of hand.

An on-board integrated electronic flight instrument system could warn the pilot the moment something out of the ordinary happens but the basic requirement is a flexible and powerful aircraft fuel flow instrument. For those still flying with vintage fuel EGT Gauge or non-digital fuel gauges, all is not lost. Manufacturers such as J.P. Instruments not only manufacture state-of-the-art aircraft fuel flow instruments, their fuel flow instruments are often better than the OEM fitted at the time of purchase.

J.P. Instruments does a lot of research and constantly improves usability and design of their Keyspan USB – this is what makes them one of the top manufacturers of highly accurate aircraft instruments. So if your cockpit is still sporting a vintage model fuel gauge or one that is not digital, it is time you upgraded to the modern, flexible and powerful fuel flow instrument.

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