startknob
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Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 4:30 am

As an quite frequent passenger I'm just curious what techniques a Pilot uses to safe fuel. Some I've found include, but are not limited to:

- lowering cruising speed
- getting the fuel quantity to tank right
- more brakes and less (or none) thrust reversing after touchdown
- "early gear in" after take-off and "late gear-out" on approach
- keeping ECS off if you´ve got multiple ones
- restricting bleed air to the ECS
- if there´s no need for: no heating on the cargo deck
- asking ATC for higher flight levels
- turning off unneeded electrical systems (e.g. fin lights etc.)
- no-op of the APU when on ramp as long as its possible
- ???
- ???
- ???

What measures and techniques are wrong or missed here?
What's your personal "standard operations" for less fuel burn?
What are the most effective "fuel savers" of these measures on fuel burn in your case?

Thank you very much for lightening this up.

Best Regards,

Kojak
When playing cat and mice it's imperative to know, who's the cat.
 
soaringadi
Posts: 452
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 4:42 am

You kinda covered it in "asking the A.T.C. for high altitude cruising", but anyways I'll say it........

Studying meteorology very closely, and looking for helping winds aloft etc.

Also loading the aircraft properly...

And also I think that if you ask for too high altitude for cruising example: fl. 400 on an airliner, wouldn't it increase the cruise speed ???


enjoy  Smile

If it ain't Boeing, I'm not going !
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 5:47 am

Air Canada and Air Transat take enough to go half way and glide the rest Laugh out loud

 Smile

[Edited 2004-05-19 22:48:17]
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
mikedlayer
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 5:53 am

LOL, can I just point out that wasn't Air Transat's fault  Big grin lol.

Mike
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:19 am

Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

By coming in hot, every time  Big grin
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:25 am

Mike,

So who's engineers was it that replaced the engine then put a part on it that should not have been on that particular engine ?, or who's pilots opened the crossfeed valve (albeit the proceedure) but.... did not notice that the fuel was going at a faster rate than the engine could burn it ??  Big grin

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:41 am

Start,
Unless you have an air cart the NO-OP of the APU in the summer is nonexistent. When you sit for an hour on the ground waiting to turn, the APU is a must, or the crews will whine


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
frntman
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 7:36 am

When you sit for an hour on the ground waiting to turn, the APU is a must, or the crews will whine

Naaaw. Crews whine?! I've never heard of such a thing!  Big grin
 
bucky707
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 9:08 am

really, there is very little we can do anymore. There is so much traffic, it's tough to get direct routing, or change flight levels. Very often any savings I made enroute are eaten up in holding at the destination, even on a clear day.
 
don
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 9:39 am

Some other additional ways

1. Shut down one engine after landing (taxiing conditions permitting)

2. Delay APU start, at both before engine start (Ground power is cheaper) and after landing

3. Staying clean as much as possible (minimum time with flaps and landing gear down) by planning a proper descent profile

4. Planning your cruise level with updated wind data (with ACARS much easier now)

5. Proper inflight monitoring of engines which may be burning more fuel than others and checking rudder and aileron trims which may indicate improper rigging of control surfaces and reporting them for remedial action

6. Proper diet and execrcise to keep your own body weight low and minimising your layover shopping (LOL)

 
musapapaya
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 11:42 am

LOL Don!!!

also, avoid using full power on take off roll?

wish me luck for exams tomorrow!
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 11:44 am

90% power take-offs if possible, get high and get clean.
 
musapapaya
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 11:47 am

do you guys know which airlines pilot use laptop to calculate power setting themselves during take off?
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
jderden777
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 11:49 am

by leaning the mixture out to peak EGT (or slightly lower than peak), and finding an altitude that gives favorable winds (works one way, at least)  Wink/being sarcastic

jonathan d.
"my soul is in the sky" - shakespeare
 
doug_or
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 11:59 am

RE: oringal options

I don't know if its the same on other a/c, but i belive on the 727 and others, the cargo bins are heated by the cabin air outflow.

Gear is always retracted soon after takeoff (positive rate, gear up)

Gear is usualy put down when on the final approach. you want to remain in a set configuration for the entire approach so that it is stable. The only reason crews would put the gear down early is to slow or decend quicker than usual. (putting the gear down slows you down. I like to go fast Smile)

I don't think the extra gas burned during thrust reverse amounts to anything very meaningful (10 seconds max, right?)
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
bristolflyer
Posts: 2103
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 12:46 pm

Kojak, surely if you use brakes instead of reverse thrust on landing what you save in fuel will cost you in brake pad wear?

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
tsentsan
Posts: 1921
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 12:53 pm

BristolFlyer -

You also save on engine wear in addition to fuel. Cheaper to replace brake pads then engines.

TT
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 1:16 pm

Probably the most mentioned method is judicious APU usage...i.e. starting as close to pushback as possible, and turning it off right after engine startup, or using it longer and doing a delayed engine start, especially if you've got a real nice long taxi to the runway, with pleanty of stopping (i.e. ATL 26L and 27R)

I think the pilots saved Delta something like 100 mil over a quarter (may have been longer), just by cutting down on APU usage...a pretty good chunk of change!

De-rated takeoffs also help save wear and tear on the engine, but also on fuel consumption in general.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 5:12 pm

do you guys know which airlines pilot use laptop to calculate power setting themselves during take off?

WN uses it. I got a chance to see it on a stop-over in SLC from SEA to PHX. It was pretty handy. It also helped figure out how much more fuel it needed while at the gate.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
L-188
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 5:33 pm

There was a story about a Flying Tigers DC-3 years ago that was flying a load of migrant farm workers in the southwest somewhere.

It is the middle of the night and one of the pilots starts noticing that one of the motors is showing low oil pressure so they go ahead and do a precautionary shutdown. Anyway they keep flying, since that wasn't unusal in those days. An hour or so later all of a sudden BAMM!!! a cylinder head goes flying out of the cowling on the otherside.

They get the dead engine feathers and then start worring about the rest. No doubt that everybody in the plane is now awake. It is the middle of the night, and they don't like the idea of a forced landing in the middle of the desert with a load of passengers with questionable english skills.

So they decide to start up the engine that had low oil pressue. They get it going and manage to get the airplane into an airport.

As all the farmworkers are getting off, one old man asks the co-pilot if they allways fly that way. On one engine and then the other.

"Oh yes" The copilot answered, "We save on Gas that way"

It is from Vern Moldrems book on the flying tiger line so it must be true  Big thumbs up

There was a story out of UND about a flight instructor who while not trying to save gas was trying to save his hourly rate, Since the Hobbs only measured off one motor he shut that one down and did his flying on the other one. I am pretty sure he got busted doing that too.

Charles Lindberg was sent to the Pacific as a tech rep for Lockheed. One of the things that he did was instruct pilots on the management of fuel. By using the right leaning mixtures they where able to get significantly more range out of the P-38's.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:01 pm

Even the 737Classic FMC gives you an optimum altitude at a given weight. Then it's of course a question of getting that FL from ATC.

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Lufthansa
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:02 pm

Deltaguy and others

About APU use. I remember reading a transcript of an interview with Gordon B when he first took over continental. He was telling everybody how he was in a DC-9 in Houston, and it was a nightmare. The plane was in the old livery, and apparently had seats from several different previous airlines fitted and all had different colours, and the waiting passengers were all complaining and the crew were irritable as they waited and baked in the summer heat.

What was the biggest cause of the problem? A plan to reward pilots for saving fuel had been put in place. So, the pilots weren't running the APU's, just following company line. Obviously this was so short sighted it wasn't funny (typical accounts way of thinking) and obviously there wasn't too many business passengers onboard. They, by this stage, had all learnt to connect in DFW and fly American. Obviously this was one of the first things Gordy scrapped. And the sort of thing he's talking about when he said that you can make a pizza so cheap, eventually you'll cut out the cheese.

So 100mil may sound like a lot (i doubt that would be in a quater though...maybe over a year or longer) but how much revenue could it possibly cost them through frustrating their premium passengers? Not just road warries, but small business ppl etc who don't fly that much, but when they do they often buy at the last minute so they pay more and still are aware of reputation.
 
buckfifty
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RE: Pilots: How Do You Save Fuel?

Thu May 20, 2004 6:51 pm

APU usage, over many flights and a longer period of time, will certainly impact on the company bottom line. That is why companies will have standard operating procedures dictating when to turn on the APU during preflight to minimise fuel costs (around 30 minutes before departure typically).

However, in terms of fuel planning for a flight, APU usage is not really an issue. Depending on aircraft, a typical APU on a heavy will run somewhere in the region of 600-800kgs of fuel per hour. Not inconsequential (for example, it will be an issue if you have to run it inflight), but then again, not really too much of a planning issue either. At some airports, we waste more fuel taxying than having the APU on for an hour.

And as Lufthansa mentioned above, our primary concern is the welfare of the passengers. If ground air is not available, APU will most certainly go on, regardless of circumstance. And ground air is not always available.

Generally speaking though, we do save fuel in a variety of ways. Cost index is the main one, as the aircraft will generally fly a more economical speed with a lower cost index, taking into account things such as specific fuel consumption, and specific ground range.

Higher levels will also help, as turbine engines run more efficiently at higher altitudes (the higher the engine rpm's, the more efficient they are generally, though there is a practical limit.)

Shortcuts, or directs as we call them, will save a bit of fuel and time, though that is very much an ATC constraint. Will get it mostly in North America, Japan and Europe, but less flexible in China or Russia.

Reducing bleed usage is another method, though now we're going into small details. For example, anti-ice usage is normally at a minimum, packs are run on low if there are less passengers, etc.

Judicious checks of the aircraft C of G will impact upon economy also, as on the larger jets, this can be controlled via piping fuel to the aft trim tanks on the horizontal stablizer. The operation is automatic for the most part, but still important to make sure that it is operating normally, with large fuel loads on long haul flights.

As to reduced power takeoffs, they're not really for saving fuel. Reducing the power for takeoff can reduce engine wear, but increases noise (which is why LHR requires max takeoff thrust in order to clear the noise abatement areas at a higher altitude) and fuel burn because of a slower climb to cruise.

As to some of the other ones, Don has already mentioned a few.

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