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The Fuel Flow Laboratory

Technical Information

Catalogue No: PM00613
Picture Type: Rochester Photo Negative
Topic: Fuel Systems
Title: The Fuel Flow Laboratory
Platform(s):
Date: 15 Feb 1964
Width (mm): 108
Height (mm): 83
Copies: 1
Location: Negatives Cabinet PM ("54/") [RAA Office]
Notes:

This is a view looking South towards the Airfield. The Test Laboratory is to the left of the picture and this shows the unique design of the Test House where the high temperature and pressure tests were carried out.

The Fuel flow business was important to Elliotts and a new fuel-flow test laboratory—the most advanced in Europe, if not in the world—was opened at Elliott-Automation's Rochester factory on November 20 1964 by Mr Neil Marten, Parliamentary Secretary to the MoA.

Enclosed in a blast-absorbing concrete emplacement, it was designed to test fuel flow equipment for the new generation of supersonic aircraft where fuel temperature of 150°C or higher would be encountered, and units would be required to operate at rigid standards of accuracy under extreme conditions of temperature (up to 200°C ambient) and in areas of extreme vibration.All controls and observers are in a separate building and several closed-circuit TV cameras give a view of critical parts of the system. Hot water and freon are used respectively as heating and cooling media. The laboratory is suitable for developing flow-measurement systems for supersonic airliners or VTOL aircraft. 

The Laboratory can achieve gravimetric calibration accuracy within an error band of ±0.1% of flow rate under the following conditions:

1. Flow rates from 50 to 120,000 lb/hr through three different bores of pipe.

2. Fuel temperatures from -55°C to +180°C.

3. Ambient temperatures from -60°C to +200°C.

There is also a Vibrator capable of producing a maximum thrust of 500 pounds with frequencies of up to 3,000 c.p.s. for resonance searches.

Mass-flow test measurement is effected by weighing the fuel as it accumulates in a tank mounted on a weighing balance, the whole unit being housed in a sealed container filled with nitrogen.

Fuel measurement systems such as Tank capacity, Fuel Flow rate, Fuel Remaining, Fuel Consumed were all big business for Elliott Bros (and subsequent names) and a snapshot of the platforms to which these were fitted can be gained from one of the Company databases:

AV8B, Buccaneer, Concorde, Dominie, EFA, Fiat Rig, Hawk, HS125, HS146 (BAe146), Javelin, Sea Venom, Sea Vixen, Valiant, Scimitar, P1127, Phantom, Phoenix, Trident, Transall C160, MRCA (Tornado), Finnish Hawk, G222, VC10, RB211 and RJ500 engines.........

Click to enlarge