The hot ambient/high altitude operating environments of modern helicopters with crashworthy suction fuel systems put stringent demands on the design of fuel pumps and lines, especially when using volatile fuels such as JP‐4. Flight testing of engine/airframe fuel systems designed
to meet these requirements is a task equally as stringent. A recent flight test program of the Black Hawk helicopter using hot JP‐4 fuel developed techniques which could be used on any hot fuel test program. An innovative fuel heating system was developed that quickly heats the fuel
to the desired temperature without unduly “weathering” the fuel or driving off the volatile “light ends” and lowering the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). The tests were conducted with “worst case” JP‐4 fuel volatility (RVP = 3.0)
to assure end point acquisition. The aircraft was instrumented in such a way that whatever problems arose, data to investigate the problem was available. The aircraft performed a series of maneuvers that separated the fuel system performance variables as much as possible and duplicated operational
usage. All of the techniques were conducted within the framework of safety demanded by working with volatile fuels in a flight test environment.
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Document Type: Research Article
Sikorsky Aircraft Division, United Technologies Corporation, West Palm Beach, Florida
Publication date: 1984-07-01
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