Twin Fuel Flow Rate Indicator

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0436
Category: Fuel Systems
Object Type: Indicator/Instrument
Object Name: Twin Fuel Flow Rate Indicator
Part No: 78-003-01
Serial No: 009/73
Manufacturer: Elliott Bros
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): Tornado 
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

Indicator - Fuel Flow
Type No. 78-003-01
Ser No. 009/73
Spec No. SP.P.56150


Instruments for the measurement of fuel tank capacity and flow seem to have been made by a number of companies such as Simmonds Aerocessories of London who advertised the product in 1952 and in that year, they acquired Firth Cleveland Instruments and as that became the overall company name from 1953 onwards they are found under the Firth Cleveland Instruments name. Elliott Bros purchased Firth Cleveland Instruments in 1961 and continued the brand from the Treforest works where they also made Flowmeters and Test sets for these.
Originally the system would include the Transmitter which sensed the fuel flow in the feed line, an Amplifier which amplified and processed the signal from the Transmitter and an Indicator which gave a read-out in lbs/min. Basic signals are generated by the magnetic rotor of the flow transmitter, signal frequency being proportional to the volumetric fuel-flow. Fed to the integrator, the signal emerges as two distinct outputs in the form of a direct current proportional to rate of flow and pulses proportional in number to the total quantity of fuel passed. The two output signals are then fed to the cockpit instrument, which gives presentations of rate of flow as a needle on a dial, and totalized flow as a digital counter. Corrections for variation in fuel density may be made manually or automatically. By 1964 the Company was offering an Indicator which contained the amplifier/integrator saving weight and gaining- ±0.75% in accuracy. With the new Fuel Flow Test Lab in action the Company was by now a major supplier in fuel instrumentation.

This is a two pointer Fuel Flow meter indicating in Kg/min for both engines. It was designed and fitted to the MRCA , later Tornado.

The Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems Limited fuel flowmeter system fitted to the Tornado comprises two engine-mounted true mass transmitters and a twin channel computer/indicator, which displays left and right engine flow rates on concentric pointers.

The transmitters apply measurement techniques similar to the Marconi-Elliott Avionic system supplied for the VC10, Phantom and Harrier aircraft. For the Tornado, however, a turbine is used as the driving element in place of the conventional electric rotor. Turbine speed is controlled by a spring-operated valve, which allows some fuel to by-pass the turbine at high flow rates.

This new design feature improved transmitter reliability, significantly reduced transmitter size and weight, eliminated the need for an electrical power supply and, allied with improvements to the pulse pick-off, has allowed the transmitter harness to be reduced to three wires in an enveloping screen.

System development was conducted by Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems Limited at Rochester. In production the system was also manufactured by Teldix of Germany and OMI of Italy under the work sharing agreement.

Tornado has one Fuel Flow Indicator with two pointers, marked ‘L’ and ‘R’ for the two engines. The legend is Kg/min up to 60Kg/min. This pattern of Indicator is  installed in the Tornado GR4 (and other variants) with the range increased to 75Kg/min.

The Tornado originally came in two variants; the Interdictor Strike Version (IDS) for the German, Air Force and Navy, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force, and the Air Defence Version (ADV) for the Royal Air Force only. Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems provided a wide range of equipment for both variants.

• Digital Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS)in conjunction with Aeritalia, Italy
• Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS)  in conjunction with Bodenseewerk, Germany
• Quadruplex Actuator Integrated into Fairey Hydraulics power control unit
• Stores Management System (SMS) in conjunction with Selenia, Italy
• Fuel Flowmeter System in conjunction with Teldix, Germany and OMI, Italy
• TV Tabular Display System in conjunction with AEG Telefunken, Germany
• Combined Radar and Projected Map Display (CRPMD) from Ferranti
• E-Scope Display System
• Triplex Transducer Unit
• Central Suppression Unit
• Engine Control Unit

RAF IDS variants were initially designated the Tornado GR1 with two variants called the Tornado GR1A and Tornado GR1B; the Tornado F3 was yet another version.

The contract covering the development and production investment for the Royal Air Force's mid-life update (MLU) for their 229 Tornado GRl and F3 aircraft was signed in April 1989. The upgrade included the following:

• Introduction of a new avionics architecture built around a 1553 databus.
• New sensors & Displays consisting of a Forward Looking Infra-red sensor, a Pilot's Multi-Function Display with digital map, wide angle HUD, Computer Symbol Generator, Video recording System and a Computer loading System.
• New Armament Control System consisting of a Stores Management System, a Weapon Interface Unit linked to a 1553 databus within a 1760 interface.
• A Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and the aircraft is also equipped with Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR)
• Terrain Reference Navigation /Terrain Following Display/Terrain Following Switching & Logic Unit /Covert RadAlt.

Ferranti won the contract for the new HUD, Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) to replace the TV Tabs, EHDD and E-scope. To support the new avionics a new Computer Signal Generator (CSG), with several times the computing capacity of the original Tornado main computer, and using the new high level ADA progamming language was procured

The Ferranti Nite-Op jettisonable NVGs were also procured under a separate contract.

In the event the MLU project stalled. In March 1993 a new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project was launched and in1994 the UK signed a contract for MLU of GR1/GR1A/GR1Bs to GR4/GR4A standard.

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