Warnings for low fuel level

Discussion in 'Other Electrical Systems Tech.' started by Jenisch, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Hello,

    I know that at least the Bf 109 had a horn for alert the pilot when the flaps were not retracted in the take off. WWII aircraft didn't have a horn for the fuel level as well? Again in the German planes, I know there was a red light to warn of low fuel, but would like to know if it was enough to alert the pilot.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I don't know specifics for the -109 but most of the time when a low level light illuminates on a military type aircraft you're usually looking at 20 - 30 minutes fuel remaining. This isn't written in stone and will vary accordingly.
     
  3. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #3 Jenisch, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    Yeah. I asked this because modern aircraft warn the pilot of low fuel by some sort of sound warning. Since I know such kind of warning system existed for flaps in some WWII planes, use it for fuel does seems natural to me.
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Most of the WW2 fighters would have been so noisy in the cockpit, no audio warning short of a explosion would be heard. Unless it was wired in thru their headphones, and that might blank out other important messages. A low fuel warning of any sort will probably go off early several times in a manuvering fighter.
     
  5. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    Right at the end of the war Erich Hartmann ended up in a fight with a group of Mustangs. He dodged the Americans for quite a while when he recounts a fuel out warning light flashing shortly before the engine came to a stop, I had the impression it was only a few minutes. He jumped out of the aircraft. The American leader graciously didn't shoot him in his parachute but saluted as he flew past.
     
  6. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    You might use the same amout of fuel under full power in 5 minutes, that would give you a lot more time in the air under cruise power.
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I think audio alerts are usually reserved for things that need you immediate attention, like flaps up at certain airspeed, stall warning, gear not down at low airspeed, etc. Something you'd better correct in a few seconds or less.
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Many British aircraft of WWII undercarriage warning horn. Most early war pilots had trained on aircraft on which there was no retractable undercarriage and had a propensity for forgetting to lower it.
    Steve
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Understand that most of these warning systems were usually set up for cruise operation. Fly with the throttle wide opened at full rich and yes, you're looking at minutes, again this is not written in stone and will vary depending on aircraft.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
    That happens today with aircraft having warning horns. Use of a checklist during landing mitigates that risk.

    GUMPS

    G - Gas
    U - Undercarriage
    M - Mixture
    P - Propeller
    S - Seat belts and Switches
     
  11. model299

    model299 Member

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    In the last Cessna 152 that I flew, (Admittedly, this was a "few" years ago.) your low fuel warning was a sputtering engine. :shock:
     
  12. jimh

    jimh Active Member

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    The T-6, P-51 and B-25 have a warning horn on the throttle. If it is retarded to a certain point with the gear up it sets it off...the first time you hear it...it scares the bejeezus out of you. Its LOUD and can be heard over the merlin and R2600's. As mentioned GUMPS and/or a checklist eliminates hearing it. We figure an hour per wing of gas in the T-6 and 51...the 25 holds 670 gallons and burns about a 140 per hour.

    jim
     
  13. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many good allied pilots and bomber crews died because of that graciousness?
     
  14. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    T-41, T-38 and C-141 had horn and light in handle for gear and a flash low fuel level light. Low fuel level light started flashing in C-141 audio was provided by the navigator jumping up and down yelling "OMG we're gonna die!":D.
     
  15. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    if he was dodging an enemy 1) he was probably looking more to the rear than at his instrument panel...so the light could have been on for some time...he just noticed it when it was too late..and 2) with him doing wild maneuvers the sensor may not have had the chance to read the fuel level correctly. he may have settled into straight and level flight just long enough for it to get the correct reading...and again too late to do anything but bail.

    one of the procedures for landing was to announce to the tower "wheels down and locked"...more to keep that foremost in the pilots mind. a lot of cadets were used to this and as a joke when flying old BT13s used to call in "wheels down and welded" ( since it didnt have retractable gear)..
     
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