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Max Q
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727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:18 am

IIRC with center tank fuel greater than wing tanks we would take off tank to engine then
above 10k would open all crossfeeds and turn off the boost pumps in the wing tanks


Feeding all engines from the center tank until all tanks were equal. Then reverse the procedure, turning on all wing tank boost pumps and closing the wing tank crossfeeds , leaving the center tank crossfeed open to keep the manifold pressurized



It just struck me that seems an unusual procedure compared to most other aircraft where normal procedure burning the center tank down to zero then all fuel is fed from wing tanks



My question is where we different than most others in the industry or was your procedure similar?
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fr8mech
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:47 am

Not a driver here, so I can't speak to specific procedures, but as I recall, the center tank on the B727 is the #2 tank. So, when you burn the #2 down to the quantity in the wings, you're actually switching to tank-to-engine when you close the cross-feeds and turn on the wing pumps.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:41 pm

That’s how BN and EA did it. The later models had override boost pumps in the center tank, so just open the crossfeeds. Boeing designed it that so once down to 36,000 pounds, it was tank-to-engine the rest of the flight. If you burned off all the Center fuel, you wouldn’t be landing with crossfeeds open to feed the center engine. I know of no type that allows that feed procedure.
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:44 pm

I can't remember if it was 10,000 feet for the switch to all center tank feed (I think it was lower), but your procedure sounds like the one we used at NW.
 
113312
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:51 pm

Several issues here. First, in some other aircraft types, a center tank is an .auxiliary tank. Fuel is only loaded and used from it to extend the range of the main tanks. On the B727, except in some modified planes, there are no aux tanks. The larger center tank acts as an aux tank. But it is the main tank for the #2 engine. Next, on most early models, all of the fuel pumps were of equal force. Therefore, all takeoffs were performed tank to engine. If tank 2 contained greater fuel than tank 1 and 3, after takeoff fuel would be fed to all engines from tank 2 until all three were equal. The crossfeed manifold would be used to do this. Flight would continue to landing tank to engine. On advanced planes, the pumps in tank 2 were higher output than those in the other tanks. Therefore, you could takeoff with all boost pumps on and all crossfeeds open for takeoff and climb when tank 2 contained greater fuel than in tanks 1 and 3. Fuel would flow to all engines from tank 2 with a backup from the other main tanks. This configuration would be maintained until all tanks were of equal amounts and then fuel would again be configured tank to engine.
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:42 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That’s how BN and EA did it. The later models had override boost pumps in the center tank, so just open the crossfeeds. Boeing designed it that so once down to 36,000 pounds, it was tank-to-engine the rest of the flight. If you burned off all the Center fuel, you wouldn’t be landing with crossfeeds open to feed the center engine. I know of no type that allows that feed procedure.



Now I remember the center tank fuel could only be a maximum of 2000 pounds lower than wing tank fuel and the company even recommended that configuration for a while as it produced a more aft CG with a beneficial affect on trim and fuel burn


Problem was quite predictable though, it was easy to forget and / or miss when you got to that 2k lower number in the center tank and then you’d exceeded a limitation



So that procedure went away



All theoretical of course as you’d be exceeding a limitation again but surely you could burn center tank fuel to zero then feed one and three with the wing tanks and number two engine from the wings with all three crossfeeds open ?


As I theorize I can see a problem with this idea as you’d have only four boost pumps supplying fuel to three engines



All aircraft I’ve operated since the 727 burn the center tank dry then from the wing tanks, I wonder if part of the reason for the 727 procedure of burning center tank fuel down to equal the wing tanks was not just structural, but also to prevent a rear CG shift, perhaps beyond limits which would occur with more fuel in the highly swept wings further aft than in the center tank which was much closer to the CG


In fact I remember on very light or empty ferry flights carrying extra ‘ ballast fuel’ which should not be burned in the center tank to keep the CG forward adequately and stay within limits
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:23 pm

It’s that but it’s that the fuel feed configuration must be tank-to-engine for take-off and landing. Those Center fuel tanks were for extended range not takeoff or landing
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:43 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It’s that but it’s that the fuel feed configuration must be tank-to-engine for take-off and landing. Those Center fuel tanks were for extended range not takeoff or landing



Good point
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DL_Mech
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:33 pm

Fuel Management from a UAL training video:

http://youtu.be/IUA-PWBBWEQ?t=3101

I frequently use this video when I can't get to sleep.
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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:43 am

DL_Mech wrote:
Fuel Management from a UAL training video:

http://youtu.be/IUA-PWBBWEQ?t=3101

I frequently use this video when I can't get to sleep.



That’s a very detailed video, could have used that when I went through my 727 FE type rating course !
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tb727
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:55 pm

Depending on the cargo door mod we had some planes that would burn down evenly after #2 got to ~10k but we had a couple we would burn number #2 down to 6,000 pounds with the wings full, then burn only out of the wings to 6, then burn them all down evenly.
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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:17 am

tb727 wrote:
Depending on the cargo door mod we had some planes that would burn down evenly after #2 got to ~10k but we had a couple we would burn number #2 down to 6,000 pounds with the wings full, then burn only out of the wings to 6, then burn them all down evenly.



Interesting, thanks for that TB


Looking at that UA training video it appears that on the advanced aircraft with #2 tank fuel greater than #1 and 3 they would operate after engine start with all boost pumps on, all crossfeeds open and rely on the override pumps in the #2 tank to supply fuel to all three engines



Once all tanks were equal they would go back to tank to engine and maintain that configuration for the remainder of the flight, crossfeeding as necessary for lateral balance between #1 and 3 tanks



Obviously a different procedure than tank to engine until above 10k then feeding from #2 with crossfeeds open then wing tank pumps off until tanks were equal


Question is, would the first procedure work on non advanced aircraft, I thought we tried it for a while, also thought all 727-200 aircraft had override boost pumps in the #2 tank, not just the advanced version ?
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DL_Mech
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:01 pm

Max Q wrote:

Question is, would the first procedure work on non advanced aircraft, I thought we tried it for a while, also thought all 727-200 aircraft had override boost pumps in the #2 tank, not just the advanced version ?


Could be a UAL thing. Maybe to keep the non-adv planes similar to the -100s (remember UAL had a ton of those).
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tb727
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:19 pm

Max Q wrote:
tb727 wrote:
Depending on the cargo door mod we had some planes that would burn down evenly after #2 got to ~10k but we had a couple we would burn number #2 down to 6,000 pounds with the wings full, then burn only out of the wings to 6, then burn them all down evenly.



Interesting, thanks for that TB


Looking at that UA training video it appears that on the advanced aircraft with #2 tank fuel greater than #1 and 3 they would operate after engine start with all boost pumps on, all crossfeeds open and rely on the override pumps in the #2 tank to supply fuel to all three engines



Once all tanks were equal they would go back to tank to engine and maintain that configuration for the remainder of the flight, crossfeeding as necessary for lateral balance between #1 and 3 tanks



Obviously a different procedure than tank to engine until above 10k then feeding from #2 with crossfeeds open then wing tank pumps off until tanks were equal


Question is, would the first procedure work on non advanced aircraft, I thought we tried it for a while, also thought all 727-200 aircraft had override boost pumps in the #2 tank, not just the advanced version ?


I was doing a flight out of LAX flying mail to EWR with a fuel stop in SLN and had a pretty weak FE back goofing around with the weight and balance computer during flight. Captain looked back for the fuel hack and had a few expletives. I looked back, #2 was less than 2000 pounds, wings were pretty much full still and he was still burning all out of 2. About 8-10 more minutes things would have gotten really interesting! We didn't think the APU was going to start when we got on the ground! :eyepopping:
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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:44 pm

tb727 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
tb727 wrote:
Depending on the cargo door mod we had some planes that would burn down evenly after #2 got to ~10k but we had a couple we would burn number #2 down to 6,000 pounds with the wings full, then burn only out of the wings to 6, then burn them all down evenly.



Interesting, thanks for that TB


Looking at that UA training video it appears that on the advanced aircraft with #2 tank fuel greater than #1 and 3 they would operate after engine start with all boost pumps on, all crossfeeds open and rely on the override pumps in the #2 tank to supply fuel to all three engines



Once all tanks were equal they would go back to tank to engine and maintain that configuration for the remainder of the flight, crossfeeding as necessary for lateral balance between #1 and 3 tanks



Obviously a different procedure than tank to engine until above 10k then feeding from #2 with crossfeeds open then wing tank pumps off until tanks were equal


Question is, would the first procedure work on non advanced aircraft, I thought we tried it for a while, also thought all 727-200 aircraft had override boost pumps in the #2 tank, not just the advanced version ?


I was doing a flight out of LAX flying mail to EWR with a fuel stop in SLN and had a pretty weak FE back goofing around with the weight and balance computer during flight. Captain looked back for the fuel hack and had a few expletives. I looked back, #2 was less than 2000 pounds, wings were pretty much full still and he was still burning all out of 2. About 8-10 more minutes things would have gotten really interesting! We didn't think the APU was going to start when we got on the ground! :eyepopping:



That would get your attention, talk about out of limits !


Do you remember the fuel panel had on / off switches that would shut off fuel to the engines ?


On our aircraft they were guarded ‘kind of’ by a metal loop above the switch, this prevented normal ‘accidental operation’


But nothing’s idiot proof, one of our probationary FE/ SO’s decided that guard made a fine pen holder and used it as such


Immediately shutting down the corresponding engine, and ending his brief career
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:03 pm

Just remembered another 727 day

Landed with min fuel, less than 2k per tank, CA had already shut down #3. I was the FE and had switched essential to the #1 generator


He was in a hurry to catch his commuter flight home. We went round a corner so fast the #1 engine flamed out as the fuel unported from the line


I called out ‘power loss’ switched essential to #2 as that was all that was left and did my big download

He couldn’t believe it but didn’t slow down much and was out of his seat before the cabin door was open


The FO and I took our time with the parking check and I was the last off, not being in a hurry


As I glanced out the window on the side of the jetway I saw the aircraft start to settle as all the tire thermal fuses let go

We had some characters..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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tb727
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:35 am

Max Q wrote:
Just remembered another 727 day

Landed with min fuel, less than 2k per tank, CA had already shut down #3. I was the FE and had switched essential to the #1 generator


He was in a hurry to catch his commuter flight home. We went round a corner so fast the #1 engine flamed out as the fuel unported from the line


I called out ‘power loss’ switched essential to #2 as that was all that was left and did my big download

He couldn’t believe it but didn’t slow down much and was out of his seat before the cabin door was open


The FO and I took our time with the parking check and I was the last off, not being in a hurry


As I glanced out the window on the side of the jetway I saw the aircraft start to settle as all the tire thermal fuses let go

We had some characters..


Hahaha, yeah that sure sounds like it! FOQA nowadays would weed them out lol
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Starlionblue
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:46 am

tb727 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Just remembered another 727 day

Landed with min fuel, less than 2k per tank, CA had already shut down #3. I was the FE and had switched essential to the #1 generator


He was in a hurry to catch his commuter flight home. We went round a corner so fast the #1 engine flamed out as the fuel unported from the line


I called out ‘power loss’ switched essential to #2 as that was all that was left and did my big download

He couldn’t believe it but didn’t slow down much and was out of his seat before the cabin door was open


The FO and I took our time with the parking check and I was the last off, not being in a hurry


As I glanced out the window on the side of the jetway I saw the aircraft start to settle as all the tire thermal fuses let go

We had some characters..


Hahaha, yeah that sure sounds like it! FOQA nowadays would weed them out lol


We still have characters. Just not quite at that level. :D
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:09 am

tb727 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Just remembered another 727 day

Landed with min fuel, less than 2k per tank, CA had already shut down #3. I was the FE and had switched essential to the #1 generator


He was in a hurry to catch his commuter flight home. We went round a corner so fast the #1 engine flamed out as the fuel unported from the line


I called out ‘power loss’ switched essential to #2 as that was all that was left and did my big download

He couldn’t believe it but didn’t slow down much and was out of his seat before the cabin door was open


The FO and I took our time with the parking check and I was the last off, not being in a hurry


As I glanced out the window on the side of the jetway I saw the aircraft start to settle as all the tire thermal fuses let go

We had some characters..


Hahaha, yeah that sure sounds like it! FOQA nowadays would weed them out lol




You’re right about that TB !


Best wishes
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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:09 am

Starlionblue wrote:
tb727 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Just remembered another 727 day

Landed with min fuel, less than 2k per tank, CA had already shut down #3. I was the FE and had switched essential to the #1 generator


He was in a hurry to catch his commuter flight home. We went round a corner so fast the #1 engine flamed out as the fuel unported from the line


I called out ‘power loss’ switched essential to #2 as that was all that was left and did my big download

He couldn’t believe it but didn’t slow down much and was out of his seat before the cabin door was open


The FO and I took our time with the parking check and I was the last off, not being in a hurry


As I glanced out the window on the side of the jetway I saw the aircraft start to settle as all the tire thermal fuses let go

We had some characters..


Hahaha, yeah that sure sounds like it! FOQA nowadays would weed them out lol


We still have characters. Just not quite at that level. :D




Yes, don’t miss that kind !

Best wishes SB
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:11 pm

Max Q wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
tb727 wrote:

Hahaha, yeah that sure sounds like it! FOQA nowadays would weed them out lol


We still have characters. Just not quite at that level. :D




Yes, don’t miss that kind !

Best wishes SB


They added interest and laughs to the boring days.
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:01 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

We still have characters. Just not quite at that level. :D




Yes, don’t miss that kind !

Best wishes SB


They added interest and laughs to the boring days.




They did that :


Same era, I was still an FE. Dispatched to Guadalajara with the APU inop. Not good going to Mexico but we had no choice


On arrival for an RON, sure enough no external power available. We keep one engine running for electrical power.


As the last passenger deplaned the Captain gets out of his seat and starts collecting his bags stating ‘we’ll just leave the engine running so the cleaners have power’


The FO said nothing, just raises his eyebrows. I’d flown with this guy before, he was eccentric to say the least. I said we needed to shut it down. Leaving an aircraft unattended with an engine running is unthinkable


He repeats himself, that the cleaners need power for the lights. So I wait until he, the FO and all the FA’s are off, turn off the emergency exit lights then shut down the engine, dark airplane.


After I get off he asks me why I shut it down against his instructions and I reminded him that was specified in the parking checklist and besides, you just don’t leave any aircraft unattended with an engine running


Minor airmanship details like this seem to elude his mind however and he sulked all the way to the hotel


Yes, characters, don’t miss those kind !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:44 pm

That was stupid, not just a character. Characters were fun to fly with, entertaining on the layover, could fly like a bird. We had some stupid ones, too.
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:06 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That was stupid, not just a character. Characters were fun to fly with, entertaining on the layover, could fly like a bird. We had some stupid ones, too.



Well put
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exFWAOONW
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:39 pm

Didn’t the 727 require ballast fuel in center tank when parked at the gate? How was that handled? Min arrival fuel account for this?
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Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:25 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
Didn’t the 727 require ballast fuel in center tank when parked at the gate? How was that handled? Min arrival fuel account for this?



We certainly didn’t do that, however our policy was to extend the rear ventral stairs and ensure they were locked down until gate departure to prevent any possibility of the aircraft sitting on its tail with an excessive rearward CG
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exFWAOONW
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:36 pm

I can’t be sure, but I think every operator propped up or dropped the tail stair at the gate.
Maybe the ballast fuel was airline specific for overnight or longer-term parking.
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tb727
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:52 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
I can’t be sure, but I think every operator propped up or dropped the tail stair at the gate.
Maybe the ballast fuel was airline specific for overnight or longer-term parking.


We always did a ramp load of 30,000 pounds whenever we left the plane parked overnight on the freighters. Kept them from weathervaning in the wind or tipping on their tail if heavy snow was coming.
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Nicoeddf
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:54 am

tb727 wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
I can’t be sure, but I think every operator propped up or dropped the tail stair at the gate.
Maybe the ballast fuel was airline specific for overnight or longer-term parking.


We always did a ramp load of 30,000 pounds whenever we left the plane parked overnight on the freighters. Kept them from weathervaning in the wind or tipping on their tail if heavy snow was coming.


Interesting thread!

What was a typical fuel load for a standard 2h sector? Or a typical cruise fuel burn with a typical load?

Thanks.
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hitower3
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:18 pm

Nicoeddf wrote:

What was a typical fuel load for a standard 2h sector? Or a typical cruise fuel burn with a typical load?

Thanks.


Assuming a 4,5t/h fuel burn and a reserve fuel of slightly over 1h, they would load about 15t (33klbs) for such a flight.

Best regards,
Hendric
 
Nicoeddf
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:10 pm

hitower3 wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:

What was a typical fuel load for a standard 2h sector? Or a typical cruise fuel burn with a typical load?

Thanks.


Assuming a 4,5t/h fuel burn and a reserve fuel of slightly over 1h, they would load about 15t (33klbs) for such a flight.

Best regards,
Hendric


Thank you Hendric. And wow, 4.5t fuel per hour...how times have changed.
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Deception justified for your holy design
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tb727
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:23 pm

Yeah I always figured on 12,000 pounds the first hour, 10,000 the 2nd hour, then 9,000 every hour after that. Upwards of 1000 pounds for taxi and takeoff.

We could generally upload 25,000 pounds of freight and still top off in the -9 powered planes. We would dust off both ends of the runway for sure, but she was a capable airplane for the job we gave it.

The -15 powered ones with winglets we could take closer to 40,000 pounds of freight or a full load of 21 horses plus tack with no problem, most of the year even off LEX's 7000' runway and make the west coast.
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Nicoeddf
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:46 pm

tb727 wrote:
Yeah I always figured on 12,000 pounds the first hour, 10,000 the 2nd hour, then 9,000 every hour after that. Upwards of 1000 pounds for taxi and takeoff.

We could generally upload 25,000 pounds of freight and still top off in the -9 powered planes. We would dust off both ends of the runway for sure, but she was a capable airplane for the job we gave it.

The -15 powered ones with winglets we could take closer to 40,000 pounds of freight or a full load of 21 horses plus tack with no problem, most of the year even off LEX's 7000' runway and make the west coast.


Thanks tb, very informative
Enslave yourself to the divine disguised as salvation
that your bought with your sacrifice
Deception justified for your holy design
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FlyMKG
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:00 am

We have three 727s. Two sister planes and one oddball. The two sisters have all boost pumps on and all crossfeeds open for takeoff. The oddball has all boost pumps on but the crossfeeds tank to engine. I think it just depends on the STC installed for the ZFW increase on the freighters, and whether or not override boost pumps are installed.

FlyMKG
 
Max Q
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Re: 727 fuel burn / tank management

Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:29 pm

FlyMKG wrote:
We have three 727s. Two sister planes and one oddball. The two sisters have all boost pumps on and all crossfeeds open for takeoff. The oddball has all boost pumps on but the crossfeeds tank to engine. I think it just depends on the STC installed for the ZFW increase on the freighters, and whether or not override boost pumps are installed.

FlyMKG




That makes sense
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