Airbus A380 General Familiarisation – Fuel Storage

The Airbus A380 is a big aircraft in every regard and of course fuel tanks are no different. The fuel powers the 4 engines which will create the thrust for the aircraft to create lift and fly.

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To consider some aspects the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) that will differ a little on configurations, but as a guide it can be a little over 550 tonnes.

That is a lot of weight to lift and to carry around the globe – as such it means that the aircraft will need a lot of fuel.

The aircraft has eleven fuel tanks with five tanks in each wing and one tank in the horizontal stabilizer also called the ‘Trim Tank’ (this is located at the aft of the aircraft). It is called the trim tank because for flight the aircraft can move fuel from the wings to the tail and vice versa. The reason for this is efficient flight – by moving fuel we can change the centre of gravity.

Now in the wing tanks there are additional small tanks called engine feed collector cell – these are designed to hold the fuel that will be sent to the engine next. The purpose is to ensure that there is always fuel for the engines, even during manoeuvres where the aircraft rolls one way or another; there is always fuel ready for the engine.

Each wing also contains a surge tank and a vent tank – these are used to allow pressure to equalise as fuel is used or if the main tank overfills it will not spill onto the floor.

The centre tank is an option and might not be installed on all aircraft variants.

With a centre tank the aircraft can carry an amazing 280 tonnes of fuel and without it can carry 247 tonnes of fuel.

Why not learn more about the Airbus A380 on our General Familiarisation Course or take a look at some of our other courses and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn