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QUESTION: Dear Jan

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airplane_Service_Station

Do fuel stations are available to the commercial airplanes at the airports facility where airplanes do take off and landing ?.

Are there special planes for the same to do this refueling which has the storage facility ?.

It will be very rare that the fuel stations at the airports can exhaust for filling fuel for the airplanes ?.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: The fuel requirements and service depend on the aircraft size.

For aircraft with perhaps a capacity of 8 or more people, the usual way to fuel them is by a tanker truck or a truck with large fuel filters that connects to underground pipes. Both types of truck have long hoses that can reach the aircraft's fuel connections.

Smaller aircraft have the option of a tanker trunk coming to them, but they usually pull up to a gas pump similar to what cars use and stretch out long hoses to the wings.

The link that you provided is meant to be a joke. It is a building that looks like an airplane, but it is not designed to pump fuel to an airplane.

tanker truck https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_fuel#mediaviewer/File:Aircraft_being_fueled_by_tanker.jpg
filter truck https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_fuel#mediaviewer/File:Jet_a1_truck_refueling_dsc04316.jpg

pump station http://www.aero-news.net/images/content/genav/2009/Yingling-Aviation-Cessna-400T


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jan

Thank you.


1. Do the commercial airplanes have to be parked to a special infrastructure area
within the airport where the fueling is done ?. i.e. There is a area within the airport where the plane moves to a special place for the fueling ?. This station has the fuel storage capacity within the airport.

OR

2. Do a tanker, truck etc vehicle having the fuel storage facility moves to the airplane where the airplane is parked and then the airplane is fueled ?.

Is it 1 or 2 for airplane fueling ?.

If both the two methods are right which is the Better method for fueling also taking account safety measures if required ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: The aircraft do not have to be parked anyplace special.

At large airports where underground fuel lines are used, the pavement has lines that all aircraft are required to follow and there are designated parking spots. At each of these parking spots are valves under metal plates that the filter trucks can connect to. The filter trucks do not have pumps... the fuel in the underground pipes is kept pressurized (about 60psi) at the storage tank farms (usually several miles away).

Tanker trucks deliver the fuel to where the aircraft are parked. There are no special places for aircraft to be fueled by a truck.

The best method to fuel aircraft is using underground pipes. But this is only available at large airports. It requires specially trained people to be available 24hrs a day. Keeping the fuel below ground in pipes is much safer than having hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel moving around by someone that might crash. Another advantage to filter trucks is they are much smaller and easier to drive than a tanker and are much less apt to run into an airplane.

A Boeing 747 may need as much as 60,000 gallons for a trans-oceanic flight. Even the smaller 737 can carry 6,500 gallons. Sooner or later a tanker truck will hit an airplane and all that fuel is very dangerous.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Jan

Thank you.

I got your point. The Best method is using underground pipes for fueling.

Just inputs from your end regarding having Fuel stations installed at the airport at a distance.

i.e. The airplanes move to special area zones where these fuel stations (Fuel station 1, Fuel station 2 etc are available and then they are fueled.

Do you feel the advantage of these fuel stations would be better than moving the fuel tanker, truck to the airplane carrying gallons of fuel from the safety point
of view ?.

The disadvantage of these could be having fuel stations at the international and domestic airports is that the airports will require a bigger infrastructure land area for those fuel stations to be installed ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
At first, your suggestion seems like a good idea.

But, the problem is that the airplanes usually need to be fueled before the pilots and passengers are all on board . For example, a Boeing 747 going from London, England or New York, USA headed for Hong Kong will take about 1hr to be fueled. Fueling will start long before the passengers are ready to be put on it. So, while the sewage and wast is removed, food, cargo and passengers are being put on the airplane - the fuel was started before some of these other things are started.

It takes about 1-1/2hrs to prepare a plane for flight and there is not enough time to taxi it somewhere. Often times the aircraft is being fixed while it is being fueled. Each airlines mechanics must have their tools near the airplane. They also need access to computers and printers.

As part of the international safety precautions against theft, terrorism and hijacking, by law the plane can only be fueled just before it flies. So, it needs to be at the passenger gate so all the other things can also be done. As hard as it may be to believe commercial jets are stolen on a regular basis!

Most large airports are very busy and it would cause many problems if airplanes needed to be taxied to a different spot on the field. Also, it would require a pilot, mechanic or tug driver to taxi the plane and they have to be licensed for each type of aircraft.

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J. Zumwalt

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Aeronautical Engineer, Pilot & Air-frame & Power-plant mechanic (A&P), Current president of EAA (experimental Aircraft Association) chapter 837 (Payette, ID), Past instructor, computers, robotics and aviation, Past Director of Maintenance (two airlines), Past Continental Airlines shift supervisor (Anchorage, Alaska)

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FAA certified commercial pilot FAA certified (A&P) Air-frame & Power-plant mechanic Aeronautical Engineer - University of Anchorage (Alaska) High school instructor, computers, robotics and aviation Current president of EAA chapter 837 (Payette, ID) Past Director of Maintenance (two airlines) Past Continental Airlines maintenance shift supervisor (Anchorage, Alaska)

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Current president of EAA chapter 837 (Payette, ID)

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FAA certified commercial pilot FAA certified (A&P) Airframe & Powerplant mechanic Aeronautical Engineer - University of Anchorage (Alaska) FCC MROP-Marine Radio Operators License FCC GROL-General Radio Operators License FCC RADAR endorsement GEN FAM certificates MD aircraft GEN FAM certificates Boeing aircraft State Instructor License High school instructor, computers, robotics and aviation

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Continental Airlines, University of Anchorage, Pegasus Aircraft Maintenance, Klondike Air, Methow aviation, Bridget Mina infant Foundation, Aviation Wholesale Supply, Bureau of Land Managment

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