Re: Wing vs. tail-mounted engines?

Date:         16 May 2001 17:45:29 
From:         John Liebson <>
Organization: NMIX
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  or MIME structure (Gord Beaman) wrote:

>But those tanks are comparatively very small John, their purpose
>is for trimming out the aerodynamic drag of the aircraft's
>'stability system' when it's not essential. It's only used in
>stabilized cruise conditions, so for takeoff and landings these
>tanks are always empty. The engines are not fed from them.

True, but that does not detract from my original comment, which is
that fuel can be present and sometimes _is_ present, a fact which
contradicts the first statement that wing-mounted aircraft don't have
fuel where tail-mounted ones do. The tail tanks are never completely
empty, nor is the piping from them to the main tanks.

A reminder (from someone, namely me, who happens to be a retired fire
chief), empty tanks may be considerably more dangerous than full ones!

Adding to that, there are also, on some aircraft, auxiliary fuel tanks
that are mounted in the cargo areas, and those tanks are used on
aircraft with wing-mounted engines.

So, to conclude, the theory of the message that started this, namely
that wing-mounted-engine airliners are inherently safer in regards to
fuel than rear-mounted-engine airlines is, I submit, somewhat of a
canard. (And, yes, the pun IS intentional ...).