Jump to content

Fuel management


Recommended Posts

I have tried to find the answer in the manual with no luck. Apologies if I have missed it somewhere in there.


My question is fuel management on the P-51D.


I understand the rear fuselage tank causes instability when filled up, and caused many inexperienced pilots deaths.


So my theory is, fuselage tank selected first, then drop tanks, then left/right wing tanks?


Firstly how do I know when to switch between the left and right external drop tanks? Did pilots switch after a predetermined time? Also are drop tanks run down until the engine starts to splutter as there is no way of knowing the fuel quantity remaining?


Also is the fuel booster pump left on, or can it be switched off after takeoff and only turned back on when switching tanks?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the time the rear fuselage tank wasn't filled up. There's a special note in the manual where it says don't fill it up except under special order by the squadron commander. The reason being that the P51 already has incredible legs as is, and the extra 40 gallons and resulting instability isn't worth it unless you need every spare gallon.


If you do fill up the fuselage tank, select that first, then once it's empty switch to another tank.


If you're running drop tanks, use either the fuselage tank (if it's full) or one of the wing tanks for takeoff, then at 2000 feet switch to your drop tank. As far as knowing when your drop tanks are empty, the only real way is to look up the fuel burn per hour for your cruising speed, then calculate in minutes how long the fuel tank will last before being depleted.


Alternatively, the p51 retains enough fuel pressure to keep the engine running for a few seconds(albeit roughly) when the tank runs out, so if your quick, once it sputters you can switch it over real quick and restore normal operation. It helps to have a general idea of when to start thinking about switching it over though. That's where fuel burn per hour comes in.


As for booster pump, don't quote me but I'm pretty sure you leave it on when running drop tanks, then turn it off after switching to your wing tanks.


Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Micro-switches are inside Fuel Selector Valve and they swich On/Off booster pumps.

When external fuel tank is selected, no one booster pump is running.

Only booster pump in selected fuel tank, L/R wing or fuselage, runs.


P-51D | P-47D | Mosquito FB Mk VI |Spitfire | Fw 190D | Fw 190A | Bf 109K |  WWII Assets Pack

Normandy | The Channel

F-86 | F-16C | A-10C | FC-3 | Syria | PG | NTTR | CA | SC |

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drop tanks are pressurized by air provide from supercharger iirc.

Windows 11, I7 12700KF Stock, Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Elite, Ram 32 GB G.skill, Palit Gamerock OC 3090, Hotas Warthog, Thrustmaster Pendular Pedals, OLED 48" 120Hz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I'm not sure if it's modeled accurately to where this is necessary, but the manual (page 39) says to use the left fuel tank first:



The carburetor is of the fuel injection type with a separate idle cut-off device and is equipped with a vapor return line that extends to the left fuel tank. The vapor vent line may become a fuel return line if the needle valve in the vapor eliminator sticks in the open position. The left fuel tank should always be used first to ensure availability of space for any returning fuel.


Not sure if it's modeled, though, and I think Tiger-4-2 said all the rest pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...