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# Many years ago I was told that aviation fuel was always measured by weight not volume (pounds rather than gallons). Is that still true?

Question #126121. Asked by darksplash. (Jun 06 12 11:27 AM)

star_gazer

This Wiki article does not indicate that that is true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation_fuel

 Jun 06 12, 5:38 PM
skypilot024

Mass is constant. Volume changes with variations in temperature and pressure.

The volume of fuel in an aircraft's tanks changes during the flight, (besides the obvious burn-off), because an airplane will experience huge temperature and pressure drops. Volume, temperature, and pressure are inextricably linked ...

Source---many years of flying

 Jun 06 12, 6:22 PM

An airplane's weight is critical in determining whether or not the plane can generate enough lift to go airborne at take-off. In addition to passengers and freight, the weight fuel in the tanks is a significant consideration.
Also, the heat content of the fuel is consistent on a per pound basis, but not on a per volume basis.
Especially in hot or high-altitude locations (thin air), a pilot needs to know that he is light enough to take off and that he has enough fuel to make his destination. Only weight can tell him that.

http://www.pprune.org/spectators-balcony-spotters-corner/429201-calculating-aircrafts-weight.html

 Jun 08 12, 7:05 PM

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