NBAA Convention News

Wilson Air rings gallons/pounds

 - September 26, 2007, 3:00 PM

The Wilson Air Center FBO chain, exhibiting at the Shell Aviation Booth (No. 405), has solved a weighty problem in fuel sales by introducing a system on its fuel trucks that registers fuel uploads in pounds as well as gallons. Fuel sales of avgas and jet-A have heretofore been indicated in gallons. However, most turbine aircraft indicate onboard fuel quantity in pounds, and pilots are typically more concerned with the weight of the fuel load than the quantity, often requiring them to convert pounds to gallons before ordering fuel.

“It’s such a simple idea; it’s just amazing to me this industry has never figured it out,” Robert Wilson, president and founder of Wilson Air Center said at a press conference announcing the new system on Tuesday. “It’s so simple, it’s unique.”
The new trucks have been rolled out at the company’s Memphis, Tenn. location, and Wilson expects to introduce the innovation to its facilities in Houston, Texas, and Charlotte, N.C., as well.

The system incorporates a computer board that receives a pulse signal from the pulser on the fuel truck that tracks fuel flow using a fixed density value equal to 6.7 (the weight in pounds of one gallon of fuel) to generate the digital displays. The cost of fuel purchases will continue to be charged in gallons.

Wilson’s Shell fuel supplier, Eastern Aviation Fuels, and fuel-truck supplier Determan Brownie worked with Wilson to create the weight-measuring system.

“To our knowledge, there is no other company or airport in the U.S. that has this type of capability,” said Sherri Kolkind, account sales manager at Determan Brownie.
Beyond convenience, the system enhances safety, as an error in weight calculation when ordering fuel can negatively affect aircraft performance.