dizzydev
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:17 am

### Fuel Tank Volume

Hello all -

I fly a good deal, and I love to share my travel experiences with my family and friends - part of which is how amazing it is that a machine can spend a minute accelerating down a runway on one side of the ocean, and ten hours later land on the other side. I was trying to put some of the facts and figures into context for a young relative, and strangely enough he went down the fuel path. I dutifully explained to him weight, volume, specific gravity, all that, and then (as kids tend to do) he asked me - 'How much fuel could this room hold.' I was stumped, because I had never thought about fuel in a volume sense, though I recall that volume varies with pressure and temperature.

Thus I pose the question to this crowd - how much volume does a given bit of fuel take, and what variables influence the translation? And, more to the point - how much volume is available on a large commercial transport (say 77E, since that was the plane in question in the conversation), and how much actually gets used vs what's 'headroom' for expansion/contraction based on those variables?

Any wisdom on this much appreciated!

onetogo
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:40 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

While Jet-A's weight by volume does SLIGHTLY vary as a result of the factors you have listed, it is not enough to make enough difference to actually factor in. The number is roughly ~7 pounds per gallon.. That's pretty rough just going from memory, might be like 6.75 of 7.25.

jetmech
Posts: 2316
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:14 am

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

 Quoting dizzydev (Thread starter):Thus I pose the question to this crowd - how much volume does a given bit of fuel take

In metric terms, I have seen the specific gravity (SG) of Jet A1 mostly range between 0.78 - 0.81 kg/L, though my first employer had published refuelling charts for an SG range of 0.75 - 0.85 kg/L.

 Quoting dizzydev (Thread starter):And, more to the point - how much volume is available on a large commercial transport

The 773ER and 772LR (without auxiliary tanks) both have a maximum fuel capacity of 181,280L, or 181.28 cubic metres. This is the same as a cube (room) with a linear dimension of 5.659 metres

 Quoting dizzydev (Thread starter):and how much actually gets used vs what's 'headroom' for expansion/contraction based on those variables?

I believe that there is a 2% expansion space provided on top of the 181,280L for variation in fuel volume once it is in the tanks.

Regards, JetMech
JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair .

Max Q
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

 Quoting dizzydev (Thread starter):I fly a good deal, and I love to share my travel experiences with my family and friends - part of which is how amazing it is that a machine can spend a minute accelerating down a runway on one side of the ocean, and ten hours later land on the other side.

What a great description of something that so many take for granted.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.

LH707330
Posts: 1553
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

Many Wikipedia pages on civil airliners include fuel volume in the specs, both in gallons and liters (which can easily be converted to cubic meters).

LZ129
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:30 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

I just did the maths and here are some examples assuming a ceiling height of 2.5 m.

A room would have to be of this size to hold all the fuel in a full tank of fuel of the following aircraft:

Airbus A380 (320,000 l): 128 sqm
Boeing 748 (239,000 l): 95.6 sqm
Boeing 744 (217,000 l): 86.8 sqm
Boeing 77W (181,000 l): 72.4 sqm
Boeing 77E (171,000 l): 68.4 sqm
Airbus A333 (98,000 l): 39.2 sqm
Boeing 738 (26,000 l): 10.4 sqm
Airbus A320 (24,000 l): 9.6 sqm

With this handy chart you can now illustrate fuel tank sizes for your children

[Edited 2013-08-18 03:28:33]

Starlionblue
Posts: 17206
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

 Quoting LZ129 (Reply 5): I just did the maths and here are some examples assuming a ceiling height of 2.5 m. A room would have to be of this size to hold all the fuel in a full tank of fuel of the following aircraft: Airbus A380 (320.000 l): 128 sqm Boeing 748 (239.000 l): 95.6 sqm Boeing 744 (217.000 l): 86.8 sqm Boeing 77W (181.000 l): 72.4 sqm Boeing 77E (171.000 l): 68.4 sqm Airbus A333 (98.000 l): 39.2 sqm Boeing 738 (26.000 l): 10.4 sqm Airbus A320 (24.000 l): 9.6 sqm With this handy chart you can now illustrate fuel tank sizes for your children

You forget that his children use the US system.  Quote a ceiling height of 8 and 1/3 feet and multiply all the square meter numbers by 11 to get square feet.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

LZ129
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:30 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

By popular demand:

Airbus A380 (320,000 l): 1408 sqf
Boeing 748 (239,000 l): 1052 sqf
Boeing 744 (217,000 l): 952 sqf
Boeing 77W (181,000 l): 797 sqf
Boeing 77E (171,000 l): 752 sqf
Airbus A333 (98,000 l): 431 sqf
Boeing 738 (26,000 l): 114 sqf
Airbus A320 (24,000 l): 106 sqf

*toomuchsparetimeonarainysunday*

[Edited 2013-08-18 03:29:04]

Starlionblue
Posts: 17206
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: Fuel Tank Volume

 Quoting LZ129 (Reply 7): By popular demand: Airbus A380 (320.000 l): 1408 sqf Boeing 748 (239.000 l): 1052 sqf Boeing 744 (217.000 l): 952 sqf Boeing 77W (181.000 l): 797 sqf Boeing 77E (171.000 l): 752 sqf Airbus A333 (98.000 l): 431 sqf Boeing 738 (26.000 l): 114 sqf Airbus A320 (24.000 l): 106 sqf *toomuchsparetimeonarainysunday*

Well done! Now you just have to convert to a standard US ceiling height of 8 feet (2.43 meters).

***divesforcover***

[Edited 2013-08-18 03:30:24]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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