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.
|Average Fuel Burn
(USG Per Hour)
|Cessna Citation Mustang
|Embraer Phenom 100
|Cessna Citation CJ2
|Embraer Phenom 300
|Bombardier Learjet 45
|Bombardier Challenger 350
|Dassault Falcon 7X
|Bombardier Global Express 5000
|Bombardier Global 6000
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.
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:
|Average Fuel Burn
(USG Per Hour)
|Blackshape Prime CF300
|Beechcraft Bonanza G36
|Beechcraft Baron G58
As the table above shows, a similar pattern emerges when we compare the efficiency of Avgas-fueled aircraft.
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.
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!