Current aircraft flying around in the skies have either the analog fuel flow instrument (aircraft 10+ years old), or have the new digital version. While the analog ones simply display the balance fuel quantity, the digital version (depending on the model), provide a whole host of important information.
Aircraft owners who have opted for after-market fuel flow instruments, usually install the fuel scan 450 Twin manufactured by J.P. Instruments, and is probably the best fuel indicator in the market.
Typically, modern-day fuel flow instruments (depending on brand and model), offer lots of information in real time including:
1. Fuel quantity alarm.
2. Pilot selectable quantity display in gallons, litres or pounds.
3. Interface with GPS (depending on the brand and model).
4. Automated K-factor calculation.
5. Real-time fuel flow rate.
6. Solid-state pulse generating rotor fuel flow transducer.
7. Total fuel consumed and fuel balance.
8. TTE - Time to empty at the current fuel consumption rate.
9. Fuel Management.
After a refuel, the pilot manually enters the quantum of fuel filled into the tanks. From there on, the digital fuel flow instrument takes over. It goes without saying, that the accuracy of fuel balance and time to empty will depend on the accuracy of the figure entered by the pilot. Typical problems include fuel figure entered in gallons while fuel flow instrument is set to litres or visa-versa. If the fuel flow instrument is paired with a GPS then the fuel-to-next-way-point figure will also depend on the initial fuel input figure.
Modern digital use a small and highly compact turbine transducer that is fitted into the fuel outlet pipe itself and measures the fuel flowing into the engine. The fuel transducer works in an identical way to the spinning water wheel. This ingenious design paired with modern day electronics ensures that the transducer keeps performing and accurately displays fuel figures.
In terms of accuracy, fuel transducer does to the fuel indicator what modern electronics did to the heart-rate Engine Monitor i.e. the high rate of pulses generated by the transducer, ensures higher accuracy in calculating fuel flow.
The functionality of the aircraft fuel scan 450 Twin manufactured by J.P. Instruments includes:
Operating Modes: There are two operating modes – Manual and Automatic Indexing.
Programmable Alarms: Pilot can programme minimum fuel alarm. This alarm will activate when the level of fuel left in the tanks is equal to the figure entered by the pilot.
Sleep Alarm: Once low fuel alarm is sounded and the pilots are aware of the situation, he/one of the pilots simply presses the STEP button and the alarm will ‘sleep’ for 10 minutes or, press and hold a couple of seconds and the alarm will turn off.
Automatic Self-Diagnostic: At start-up, the Aircraft Fuel Flow Monitors will run a self-diagnostic to make sure the electronics is working well.
These and several other functions and features, make the aircraft manufactured by J.P. Instruments an awesome product. It is hardly surprising therefore, that it has been declared as the best aviation consumer product for this year.
More information here: https://www.jpinstruments.com/shop/fuel-scan-450-copy/
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