Fuel Conservation

Testing and detection of fuel leaks

In addition, a mixture of air and anhydrous ammonia can also be used when enhancement of leak detection is desired. Ammonia content of up to 12 percent can be used. Use can then be made of commercially available leak detectors. Most of these detectors are hand held units and have flexible probes that are ideal for passing along an aircraft skin with no physical contact. Materials used in the cart are compatible with the ammonia.

The cart structure is fabricated of stainless steel with an open lower section for hose storage. Swivel castors and push bar handles on each end allow maneuverability inside a hangar or on the ramp. Other characteristics include relief valves for both pressure and vacuum. The pressure relief valve is set at 6.5 psig and the vacuum relief valve is set at -4.5 psig. These valves should be set at the maximum tolerable levels of the airframe being tested to ensure that over-stressing can never occur.

With this, efficiency begins on the ground. Industry professionals in all positions need to align universal visions and goals for a safer, profitable industry for 2005.

Outlook for the future

As aviation and science progress, fuel will no longer be essential to flight. Space and air technology corporations are working on ways to make fuel cells or power generators combining hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce electric power. GSE manufacturers are designing hybrid tow tractors. Designing equipment that works and helps people in industry is why we continue to work in this field. And technology will continually allow the field to break through barriers allowing the aviation industry to emerge victoriously.

But the emergence of the industry requires forward thinking solutions to help decrease some of the harsh economic factors. Undoubtedly, the field will progress and re-bound with the element of time. Aviation is resilient. It will seek and find ways to maintain its presence in the market. History teaches lessons. After all, The Wright Brothers taught us all a lesson or two in perseverance.

John Seeley is the Sr. Project Engineer for James A. Staley Company.

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