Fuel Efficiency of Popular Business Aircraft

Have you ever wondered how popular models of business aircraft measure up in terms of fuel capacity, consumption and range? Read on to find out the answers to these questions, and more!

How Do Jet Fuel-Powered Aircraft Compare?

Business aircraft can be categorized both by weight and by range (maximum distance possible on one full tank of fuel). Private planes currently on the market range from very light aircraft, all the way up to full-size airliners with custom-fitted interiors. The following table presents a comparison of the technical specifications for twelve of the most commonly used private aircraft powered by Jet A / Jet-A1.

Aircraft Model MTOW
Fuel Capacity
Average Fuel Burn
(USG Per Hour)
Cessna Citation Mustang 3,921 1,141 131 2,161
Embraer Phenom 100 4,750 1,238 200 2,182
Piaggio Avanti 5,239 1,271 150 2,795
Cessna Citation CJ2 5,613 2,000 150 2,687
Embraer Phenom 300 8,139 2,428 122 3,650
Bombardier Learjet 45 9,299 3,759 165 3,795
Bombardier Challenger 350 17,622 6,420 190 5,926
Dassault Falcon 7X 31,752 14,488 318 11,019
Gulfstream G450 33,200 13,281 320 8,060
Gulfstream G550 41,050 18,267 358 12,501
Bombardier Global Express 5000 44,452 16,329 356 9,630
Bombardier Global 6000 44,452 20,434 486 11,390

The aircraft are listed in ascending order of MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) in kilograms.
The Fuel Capacity is the maximum amount of fuel which can be carried onboard, expressed in kilograms.
The Average Fuel Burn is the amount of fuel burned during every hour of flight, expressed in United States Gallons.
Range represents the aircraft’s maximum operating distance, measured in kilometers.

There are many variables to take into account when it comes to determining the relative efficiency of different aircraft models. Looking at the table above, we can see a clear relationship between the weight of the aircraft and the average fuel burn. The heavier the aircraft, the more fuel it will consume during its flight.

It is important to consider as well that the fuel itself which powers the journey adds to the overall weight. Fuel consumption per hour gradually reduces over the course of a flight as the level of fuel on-board goes down. Fuel capacity also plays a part, as this determines the operating range.

HondaJet Elite Jetex 3


The HondaJet Elite sports design improvements to increase fuel efficiency, including Over the Wing Engine Mount

Advances in aerospace technology are leading to greater fuel efficiency in modern aircraft, helping to ensure that environmental impact is lessened by reducing fuel consumption and engine emissions. Aircraft engine emissions correlate directly to fuel burn. For every kilogram of fuel saved, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reduced by 3.16 kg.

According to IATA, new aircraft burn fuel 70% more efficiently than those from 40 years ago, and 20% better than 10 years ago. As new technologies emerge we can expect to see even greater fuel efficiency in the future.

What About Avgas Fueled Aircraft?

Although there are currently more Avgas-powered aircraft flying than those which run on jet fuel, most of these tend to make short flights within a limited area. For this reason, the amount of Avgas sold globally represents just a fraction of total aviation fuel sales.

Avgas-powered planes tend to be used for very specific purposes, including pilot training, recreation, local air-taxi services and crop-dusting. The following table presents a summary of the characteristics of a few popular models:

Aircraft Model MTOW
Fuel Capacity
Average Fuel Burn
(USG Per Hour)
Blackshape Prime CF300 473 52 8 1,700
Beechcraft Bonanza G36 1,655 312 16 1,704
Beechcraft Baron G58 2,494 468 32 2,741
Cessna 310/320 2,495 500 60 1,609
Cessna 404 3,810 278 36 3,410

As the table above shows, a similar pattern emerges when we compare the efficiency of Avgas-fueled aircraft.

Fuel Efficiency Blackshape Prime

The ultra-light Blackshape Prime is one of the most fuel-efficient models in its class.

Due to environmental concerns, the quest has been ongoing for several years to establish a viable alternative to leaded Avgas. Most piston aircraft are already running on 110LL (low lead) Avgas. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in America is currently evaluating several different lead-free fuels, with an aim to begin phasing out the use of lead in fuel entirely starting from 2018.

Further Reading

Now that we have learned which types of aircraft offer the greatest fuel efficiency, you may be wondering where you can refuel, and how much it costs to do so. In the next part of our Focus on Fuel, we will be looking at fuel pricing and availability around the world.

In case you missed Part One, find the link below:

Focus on Fuel Part One: Different Types of Aviation Fuel
Focus on Fuel Part Three: Global Fuel Pricing and Availability

If you have any questions about aviation fuel types, availability or pricing please feel free to reach out to our team.
We will be delighted to assist!

Contact the Fuel team today, on +971 4 212 4000 or fueldispatch@jetex.com.