Modeling fuel system to predict its performance

At first sight, the description of an aircraft fuel system seems straightforward: it enables fuel to be loaded, stored, managed and delivered to the propulsion system engine of an aircraft. And its composition also since it is mainly about tanks, valve, pump, ribs, and holes.

Where things get interesting is when we start looking at the role of the fuel system in the functionalities of the overall aircraft. Indeed, carrying and pumping a large amount of fuel requires complex fuel gauging and management strategy, which must ensure an uninterrupted fuel flow at any altitude, – and during any maneuver. Moreover, the safety regulation constraints and potential failure cases make aircraft fuel system design even more challenging.

Being able to optimize the complete system performance over various configurations early in the development cycle is key. Simulation is one way to proceed efficiently in order to assess the best system architecture trade-off of at the aircraft level. That’s something we want to demonstrate and for what we decided to go beyond our usual job and show how concretely our Simcenter simulation solution can fully support aircraft fuel system engineers to solve their major challenges. Thus, we developed and built a replica of an aircraft fuel system from scratch.

Discover how building the digital twin of an aircraft fuel system helps to predict fuel system performance even before building the complete aircraft. 

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at