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Access Panel

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247554D
Publication Date: 2016-Sep-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A visual inspection of the fuel tank, upon refuel, needs to be carried out in order to investigate the possible causes of fuel probe failure. Currently there are no ways to view inside a fuel tank upon refuel.

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Access Panel

Background

Fuel tank levels are measured by fuel probes in the fuel tank. As the fuel quantity changes, the capacitance of the probe changes causing a voltage differential, the probe capacitance is then processed to determine fuel levels in each tank.

Fuel probes can fail. The possible causes of failure can include

1) Foaming fuel upon refuel/fuel transfer,

2) Water in the fuel tank dripping onto the probe.

3) Leaking pipework

A visual inspection of the fuel tank, upon refuel, needs to be carried out in order to investigate the possible causes. Currently there are no ways to view inside a fuel tank upon refuel.

Description

The proposed solution is to modify an access panel in such a way that a camera can be inserted into the tank to view inside the wing tank upon refuel, whilst the camera is not in contact with any fuel.

The objective is to install the proposed panels shown in Figure 1 onto an aircraft and insert an approved camera and light into ‘panel A’, a temporary replacement for a standard panel, and an additional light source into ‘panel B’. This will allow the tank to be filmed during refuel.

In the example described herein, inspection of an outer fuel tank of a port side wing of an aircraft is described. However, this process may be applied to any of the fuel tanks in either aircraft wing. The process may also be applied to fuel tanks elsewhere on the aircraft that are accessed by the same means as those of the wings.

Figure 1

The modified panes will be able to be used in any location with the same panel ‘type’ installed. This includes manholes and other access panels routinely installed on aircraft wings.  

The access panels can be located between the ribs of the wing on the port side wing of the aircraft to provide access to one or more fuel tanks.

The modified access panels are designed for short-term useduring Refuel, Defuel and Fuel Transfer, and as such should not be submerged in fuel for prolonged periods.

The modified panels must be installed on the aircraft with the wing tank full. The panels must be left installed for an approximate time of 3 hours to ensure that they...