Design Improvements for the Zenith 601 HDS: Fuel Gauge

Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge is a nylon hose supplied by the factory. Instead of mounting the gauge in the center of the panel, it is off to the left hand side of the panel, then swings to the left side wall of the cabin. This allows for measurement of fuel level down to 1 gal. The center tank has 8 gal capacity. Fuel cannot be directly filled into the center tank. Instead, all fuel is pumped by two electric pumps from the wing tanks into the top of the center tank, and the engine fuel pump draws all fuel out of the center tank. The wing tanks have no fuel level indicator. When the two electric pumps are no longer able to raise the level in the center tank, we know that the wing tanks are dry. At that time, fuel in the center tank is sufficient for 2 hrs.

The fuel system has worked well. On a typical flight, we land after about 3 hrs 30 min. At that time, the wing tanks contain little fuel, while the center tank is still full. We refill the wing tanks and take off again. In the rare case where a longer flight is done - we have had flights of up to 5 hrs - we land with dry wing tanks and with the center tank containing at least 4 gal. We first refill the wing tanks, pump up the center tank, and refill the wings tanks one more time.