How to refuel an aircraft?

While small aircraft can be refueled by pilots at the airport, directly from the dispenser, refueling a large aircraft is no small feat. Today you’ll learn how it’s done.


Fuel (aviation kerosene, or aviation gasoline) is delivered from refineries to giant tanks, where it’s poured into tankers and checked for quality. Of course, already at the refinery, aviation fuel undergoes very stringent tests. However, it is important to check its quality at every step: there must be no impurities in the fuel. Besides, imagine what would happen if some kind of sludge got into the engine and caused it to malfunction in flight.

AirportSim - Vagar Airport, 737, Fuel, Followme

Then the refueled tanker takes off for the airport,and here, in AirportSim, you take over, sitting behind the wheel.


As you go about your business in AirportSim, you will have the opportunity to refuel different types of aircraft, such as a Boeing 737 MAX and anAirbus A320 NEO. These planes differ in detail in terms of the procedure of refueling itself, but the scheme remains the same.

AirportSim - Cistern interior

Once you’ve boarded the tanker, you will have to drive to the right place. What do we mean here? Well, each aircraft has three fuel tank sections: one located in the center of the fuselage (the smallest) and two main ones – in the wings. It is in their vicinity – in a well-defined place – that you will have to park the tanker in such a way that you can proceed with the next refueling operations.


Since your task is to refuel the aircraft in such a way as to comply with safety procedures (and we’re not talking about the obvious, like not smoking cigarettes in the vicinity of a tanker containing tens of thousands of liters of fuel), you need to remember a couple of things:

Firstly, you need to locate the fuel line socket panel. In each type of aircraft they are located in slightly different places on the underside of the wing (but we won’t spoil the fun – you have to discover where by yourself). Then simply create the panel, connect the cable to it, and start the fueling operation…

AirportSim - Boeing 737 Max fuel panel

Wait a minute! Did you seriously think it was that easy? Before you start refueling, for example, you need to remember to connect the ground. What would happen if suddenly there was a spark?

You also need to keep a close eye on the flow of fuel during refueling. Remember: you’re refueling it to a section on one of the wings – and that means you need to make sure that the other wing is properly refueled as well. Otherwise the aircraft will not maintain proper balance.

Remember also not to run over the fuel line while the aircraft is being refueled. You should also not unplug the fuel line in any way during refueling – you can only do this after you have stopped the pump.

AirportSim - Cistern fuel panel

The fate of the equipment you’re entrusted with depends on you at this point.

We’ll see you on the apron in AirportSim!





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