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3 Answers

What happens to the CG of the airplane as the fuel burned?

Asked by: 4646 views Aerodynamics

Is the CG moved forward or aft?

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3 Answers

  1. Brian on Aug 25, 2012

    Depends on the location of the fuel tanks. Typically they are located in the wings and very near the CG, so shifts are minimal. But in the case of a aft belly tank there can be quite a bit of forward shift in the CG as fuel is burned.

    Either way, see your aircraft’s W&B section within the POH to know for certain.

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  2. JB on Aug 25, 2012

    In most swept wing jets it moves forward.

    An aft CG provides greater range which is why some aircraft have fuel tanks in the horizontal stabilizer. Fuel is pumped back to the tail tanks to move the CG aft for that reason. Additionally, the computers will continue to keep the aft CG by moving fuel to the tail tanks as the flight progresses (i.e. CG moves FWD during flight) until a point is reached that the tail fuel is either burned or must be moved forward for landing.

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  3. Steve Pomroy on Aug 28, 2012

    Hi Ami.

    The CG will always move away from the fuel tank in use. The further the tank is from the CG, the faster the CG will move (for a given fuel flow rate). As noted by JB, larger, more complicated aircraft (especially swept-wing aircraft) have the ability to pump fuel between tanks in order to compensate for the CG movement.


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