How Much Does It Cost To Fuel A Fighter Jet? How much fuel does a fighter jet use? how much fuel does a fighter jet carry? We will answer these in our post below. Modern military fighter aircraft are extremely expensive to procure with the unit cost for a single F-35A coming to $98 million, according to Lockheed Martin . That program has already gone down as the most expensive weapons system in history and it’s set to cost $1.509 trillion through to 2070. The amount of money needed to keep America’s cutting-edge military aircraft airborne once they enter service is also considerable.
how much fuel does a fighter jet use?
How Much Does It Cost To Fuel A Fighter Jet?
FAIRFORD, ENGLAND – JULY 01: The first of Britain’s new supersonic ‘stealth’ strike fighters… [+]
According to Department of Defense data, the Air Force's two newest fighters are extremely expensive to operate. The F-22A and the F-35A have an hourly operating cost of $33,538 and $28,455 respectively. That’s considerably more than the aircraft they’re set to replace, such as the A-10 which costs just under $6,000 every hour. Air Force attempts to retire the twin-engined attack aircraft have been met with fierce criticism after its success supporting soldiers and Marines on the ground in Afghanistan. The F-16, the workhorse of the Air Force, has hourly operating costs of around $8,000.
A US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft manuoevers near a mountain during the joint US… [+]
Across the Navy and Marine Corps, the cost of keeping aircraft operational is also relatively low in relation to the new 5th generation fighters coming into service. The hourly bill for keeping an AV-8B Harrier in the air comes to around $13,700 while a two-seat FA-18F costs somewhere in the region of $10,500. F-22As have been active bombing ISIS targets in Syria but with such massive hourly operating costs, shouldn’t other platforms be doing the same job at a fraction of the cost?
The Air Force has planes for every mission, but those planes aren’t always doing missions for the Air Force.
In October, the Defense Department comptroller released the latest reimbursement rates for each service branch’s planes and helicopters.
These costs are generally calculated based on fuel use, wear and tear, and personnel needs — the branch providing the aircraft also typically provides a pilot and crew, an Air Force spokeswoman told Business Insider.
The document lists four categories for reimbursement: other Defense Department components, other federal agencies, foreign-military sales, and “all other.”
“When determining the hourly rate, agencies should utilize the appropriate rate category,” the document said. “The ‘all other’ annual billable rate will be used to obtain reimbursement for services provided to organizations outside the Federal government.”
Below, you can see Air Force aircraft reimbursement rates for users that fall into the “all other” category — that’s you.
A-10C Thunderbolt — $6,454
The A-10C Thunderbolt, also known as the Warthog, is the US Air Force’s premier ground-attack aircraft and perhaps the best in the world, renowned by foot soldiers for its ability to absorb punishment and dish out even more with its 30 mm cannon.
The Air Force has a total of 281 A-10s in its inventory. As of mid-2018, 173 of them had gotten or were in the process of getting new wings.
The future of the roughly 100 that still need wings has been the subject of debate between Air Force officials, many of whom want to retire the Thunderbolt and move on to other platforms, and members of Congress, who want to see the fearsome gunship continue flying.
AC-130J Ghostrider — $7,541
The AC-130J is the latest variant of the AC-130 gunship, upgraded with enhanced avionics, as well as integrated navigation systems, defensive systems, and radar. It is also modified with the Precision Strike Package, which has a mission-management system that puts sensors, communications, and order-of-battle and threat information into a common picture.
The Ghostrider — a name officially designated in May 2012 — is still relatively new, having completed developmental tests and evaluation in June 2015. As of 2016, the Air Force planned to have 32 Ghostriders in the active-duty force by fiscal year 2021.
The aircraft has struggled, particularly with its 30 mm and 105 mm guns. But the commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing said last year the gunship would probably be “the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare.”
B-1B Lancer — $51,475
Of Air Force aircraft, the B-1B Lancer packs the largest payload — 75,000 pounds — of both guided and unguided weapons and is the “backbone” of the US long-range-bomber force.
It has a ceiling of 30,000 feet, which isn’t the highest of the Air Force’s bombers, but it is the fastest, capable of topping 900 mph, or a little over the speed of sound at sea level.
In order to comply with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed by the US and the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Lancer was modified to make it incapable of carrying nuclear weapons, a conversion process completed in 2011.
As of late 2016, the Air Force had 64 Lancers — two for testing — all of which were in the active force.
B-2A Spirit — $62,012
The B-2A stealth bomber arrived at the Air Force in 1993, six years after the first Lancer was delivered.
Unlike the Lancer, which is designed for high-speed, low-altitude strikes, the Spirit flies higher — up to 50,000 feet — and slower. It’s also capable of hauling nuclear weapons.
As of the end of 2015, there were 20 Spirits in the Air Force active-duty fleet, one of which was for testing. The only operational base for the B-2 is Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, so add that flying time into your budget.
B-52H Stratofortress — $33,919
Pricewise, the B-52 is a bargain compared with its bomber counterparts, but the Stratofortress is well over a half-century old, reaching initial operating capacity in spring 1952.
Flying at 650 mph and up to 50,000 feet with a payload of 70,000 pounds of both conventional and nuclear weapons, it can conduct strategic strikes, close air support, and maritime operations.
Its unfueled range is more than 8,800 miles. With aerial refueling, its range is limited only by its crew’s endurance.
At the end of 2015, there were 58 B-52s in use by the Air Force’s active-duty force and another 18 being used by the Air Force Reserve. They’re all H models and are assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base and to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
C-130J Super Hercules — $6,651
The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130J family, replacing older C-130Es and some C-130Hs with more flying hours.
Technology on the C-130J reduces manpower needs and operational and maintenance costs. The J model also climbs higher and faster and can fly farther with a higher cruising speed, in addition to taking off and landing in a shorter distance.
As of June 2018, the Air Force had 145 C-130Js in active duty, with anther 181 being used by the Air National Guard and 102 by the reserve component.
C-17A Globemaster III — $16,236
The C-17 is the most flexible member of the Air Force airlift fleet, able to deliver troops and cargo to main operating hubs or to forward bases.
“The C-17 was designed for multi-role functions,” Maj. Steve Hahn, an instructor pilot with the Air Force Reserve’s 301st Airlift Squadron, said in 2010. “Its strategic and tactical abilities join the missions of the C-5 (Galaxy) and C-130 (Hercules) into one aircraft. It does everything, and not many aircraft can do that.”
As of mid-2018, there were 157 C-17s in active service, 47 in use by the Air National Guard, and 18 being used by the Air Force reserve.
C-5M Super Galaxy — $25,742
The C-5M Super Galaxy — the modernized version of the legacy C-5 aircraft — is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, tasked with transporting troops and cargo.
It can carry oversize cargo, including 50-foot-long submarines, over intercontinental distances, and doors at the front and back allow for it to be loaded and offloaded at the same time.
Its maximum cargo is 281,000 pounds, and the longest distance it can fly without refueling is just over 5,500 miles — the distance from its base at Dover Air Force Base to the Incirlik air base in Turkey.
In August 2018, Lockheed Martin delivered the last of 52 upgraded C-5s, bringing 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and one C-5A up to the M variant and wrapping up a 17-year overhaul effort. The work extends the C-5 fleet’s service life into the 2040s.
E-4B — $73,123
The E-4B is an expensive aircraft with an invaluable mission.
It serves as the National Airborne Operations Center, providing a highly survivable command, control and communications center where the president, defense secretary, and joint chiefs of staff can direct US forces, execute emergency war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities if ground command centers are destroyed.
The Air Force has four E-4Bs in its active force, and at least one is on 24-hour alert. In addition to an advanced satellite-communications system and an electrical system to support it, the E4-B is hardened against electromagnetic pulses, if that’s something you’re worried about.
F-15E Strike Eagle — $17,936
The F-15 is an all-weather, highly maneuverable tactical fighter designed to gain and maintain air superiority. It became operational in 1975 and has been the Air Force’s primary fighter jet and interceptor for decades.
The F-15E is two-seat integrated fighter for all-weather, air-to-air, and deep-interdiction missions. The Air Force has 219 F-15Es in total.
The first F-15E was delivered in 1989, about a decade after the F-15C, a single-seat fighter, and the F-15D, another two-seater. The latter two are also available, but they’ll cost you a little be more — $22,233 for the C model and $22,045 for the D model.
What are the most popular private jets?
With private aviation showing robust growth over the last few years, latest demand for exclusive flight services exceeded pre-recessionary levels over the course of 2017-2018. This is underpinned by strength across all segments of the industry including private jet rentals and used jet purchases. In this market currently, the most popular private planes are:
- Bombardier Challenger 350: According to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Bombardier Challenger 350 made 60 deliveries in 2018 continuing its upward trajectory from 56 in 2017. Offering excellent range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 kilometres) integrated with leading-edge technology, cabin comfort and design, it is consistently the first choice of experienced flight operators around the world. Powered with an impressive range of performance attributes, the planes are designed to purvey an exclusive private jet experience.
- Cessna Citation Latitude: After entering the private jet landscape in 2015, the Cessna Citation Latitude has consistently ranked amongst the top 10 best private medium jets in a host of range and performance metrics. As the most-delivered midsize jet for the third year in a row, the Cessna can accommodate 9 passengers with a seats-full range of 2,877 nautical miles. Offering increased comfort through a lower cabin pressurization, the Latitude also offers the most spacious cross-section of any Citation built by Cessna.
- Embraer Phenom 300: From 2013 to 2016, the Phenom 300 (now 300E) was the most-delivered light private jet in the world. As the fastest and longest-range single pilot aircraft in the world, the planes are designed with gen-next avionics, impressive cabin space and a top speed of 834 kilometres per hour. Seating 11 passengers, these planes are powered to achieve peak ranges of 3,650 kilometres.
What are the best business jets?
While business travel was traditionally regarded as the primary use of private jets, latest technology advancements and increased wealth have made private flying – which is considered the most expensive form of flying – more accessible to leisure travellers as well. Nevertheless, the corporate market still represents a substantial share of the overall industry. Below are some of the planes best equipped for corporate travel:
- Embraer Legacy 600: Via the feature of a spacious cabin space, the Embraer Legacy 600 can accommodate up to 13 passengers and is segregated into three areas within the cabin plus a galley and washroom. This makes it ideal for business travel, enabling the passengers to work, relax and interact separately while the galley is large enough to house a 3-course dining menu configure option. For clients travelling in larger groups or preferring to bring more luggage aboard the plane, this aircraft offers an exclusive experience that lies at the intersection of comfort and economy.
- Airbus ACJ 319/320 NEO: While the commercial counterpart has seating for 160 passengers, the Airbus ACJ in its private jet avatar accommodates approximately 18. The space is instead taken up by conference rooms, dining tables, and a VIP suite that boasts a bedroom, en-suite shower and office. Coupled with trademark fuel efficiency and quieter engines, the Airbus ACJ 319/320 is a recurring favourite of top 10 lists, business executives and sports personalities.
- Dassault Falcon 7X/8X: While the Dassault made its name in the military and commercial aircraft space, the larger Falcon jets carved out a niche in the business space due to their impressive range (5,950 nautical miles), a digital flight control system and an ability to customize the plane’s interiors into 30+ formats depending on usage priorities. With the versatility to make both long-range and short-range trips courtesy of a tri-jet engine, the Falcon models offer speed, efficiency and improved comfort.
Best private jets for international travel
Over larger, long-haul flights, commercial travel can often be cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient. For clients seeking to alleviate these factors when travelling internationally, the following options have consistently been recognized in media articles as the latest champions of long-range travel:
- Gulfstream G650ER: Passengers looking for comfort, range and high speeds need to look no further than the G650ER that offers a range of 14,000 kilometres with 14 hours of flying time. Coupled with best-in-class cabin altitude of 3,290 feet, and a cabin that is longer and higher than any other ultra long-range private jet, the plane has seating for 19 passengers and can carry up to 103,600 lbs. of luggage. Inside the plane, there is a flexible cabin design with the option to customize the layouts to passenger preferences, handcrafted seats, digital audio/video equipment and porcelain dinnerware for a truly high-class experience.
- Bombardier Global 6000: The closest competitor to the Gulfstream is the Bombardier Global 6000, eponymously named for its ability to fly 13 hours or 6000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres). Powered with industry-leading technology and performance, the 6000 is designed to provide a smooth ride, complete with wider leather seats, hardwood flooring and ultra-fast digital connectivity. All cabin controls are available at a single click while a large media bay enables passengers to wirelessly watch movies, mirror live streaming or display documents onto HDTV monitors, making it the perfect option for long-haul flights.
- Boeing VIP Dreamliner: As the most expensive option on the private jet charter market, the Dreamliner was originally designed to carry up to 335 passengers and bags. In the private jet version, it can carry up to 40 passengers for a range of 15,000 kilometres (17 hours flying time). The Dreamliner is separated into a master suite with a close en-suite washroom, a spacious main lounge, a guest cabin, and kitchen.
Most luxurious private jet interiors
While private planes have certainly enjoyed the largest resurgence in recent times following the recession in 2008, there are some models that truly stand out even amongst this exclusive set of aircraft that are reputed for luxury and resplendence. Some of the latest, most expensive, and notable ones include:
- Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ: As the most expensive plane in the world, the 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ has approximately 4,800 square feet of space with a full office, bedroom and grand dining room, which can further be transformed into a corporate boardroom based on the passengers’ usage needs. As far as luxurious interiors go, the Dreamliner is headlined as the “Queen of the Skies” with a $403 million price, dazzling passengers with gorgeous interiors complete with wide, leather seating, and a breathtaking design that can be configured into the passenger’s preferences.
- Boeing 757: The plane probably holds a place in recent public memory as President Donald Trump’s personal air travel vehicle of choice after he bought it for approximately $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011. Powered with Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines, the plane has a silk-lined master bedroom, master bathroom with 24-karat gold features, big-screen entertainment with leather seats, dining room, private guest room, 2 bedrooms, galley and main lounge – all features that serve to exemplify the palatial aura.
Which is the best private jet to buy?
Due to the increased popularity of charter flying and an undeniable asset appeal, private planes have attracted a range of long-term investors who seek to leverage its demand from high net-worth individuals and/or other flying enthusiasts. However, private jets are multi-million dollar prospects from an up-front capital outlay perspective with that must be managed carefully. As such, a premium is placed on value retention and durability over the life of the plane.
- Cessna Citation family planes: In the private jet market, Cessna planes have a reputation for being workhorses. In a study conducted by AVBuyer in 2015, three Cessna planes (CJ3, CJ2+ and CJ1+) ranked in the top 10 private jets that had the lowest depreciation (assuming standardized policy) over 10 years. It speaks to the resilience and longevity of the planes across different versions. However, beyond their operational excellence, Citation jets also fulfill a key need for prospective private jet owners. By fulfilling a popular goal to have a private jet that is still within affordable price parameters, the Cessna family of planes the preferred choice of many corporate houses and “newly-rich” business executives.
- Gulfstream G550: A new G550 is worth approximately $61.5 million depending on configurations. In the same study mentioned above, it achieved 10-year depreciation of 35% i.e. 65% price retention after 10 years. As the most successful model in Gulfstream history, the aircraft is equipped for long-range flights, with annual costs of $2.85 million equating to a per hour cost of $7,135 (assuming 400 flight hours).
- Embraer Lineage 1000E: With a $53 million price tag, the Embraer 1000 and 1000E version pack a punch with its overall offering. In the ultra-large segment, it offers the lowest cabin altitude with a maximum range of 4,500 nautical miles that enables it to go from London to the US east coast, Riyadh from Beijing and Lima from Los Angeles. It is also for this reason that it is a popular choice amongst buyers from the Middle East.
Most luxurious & fastest private jets in the world
Users of private planes primarily value three things: comfort, convenience and time. As such, it is pertinent to explore the aircraft that provide luxury matched with speed for truly exclusive experiences tailored towards discerning travellers:
- Dassault Falcon 900B ($45 million): The fuselage of the Dassault Falcon 900 is built from a combination of materials including Kevlar, titanium and carbon fiber allowing the jet to weigh significantly lower than other in-class twinjets. This then translates into significant fuel economy and a top speed of 644 miles per hour with a range of 4,598 miles. Equally impressive on the interior, the 900B carries on the Dassault Falcon tradition of spacious cabins, leather interiors and quality craftsmanship to provide an unparalleled luxury flight that delivers passengers refreshed and on time to their destinations.
- Bombardier Global 7500 ($73 million): In December 2018, the G7000 entered the markets and consolidated its place as one of the fastest private jets in the world with a top speed of 650 miles per hour. In 2021, the aircraft’s cabin then won the Red Dot Design Award for its clean aesthetics, viewing windows and leather interiors. At an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles, this flight coalesces luxury and speed like no other.
Best private jet trips
As private jets have proliferated in popularity, there has been a good level of interest in rentals for milestone birthdays, large celebrations and other milestone moments in people’s life. From a leisure perspective, some of the most popular private jet destinations include:
- Rome and Paris: In Europe, Rome and Paris remain tourism hotspots frequented by people from all over the world. In recent times, airport statistics have showed accelerated inbound activity from private planes in these two destinations. Offering a delectable range of historically significant attractions, natural beauty, and cultural appeal, these two cities encourage big-ticket purchases by offering excellent infrastructure to accommodate private flying and value for money over the duration of the stay.
- Las Vegas: The social scene of the American city is legendary the world over, and has been crystallized over the past few decades via media articles and Hollywood. It is no wonder then that Las Vegas ranks as amongst the go-to places – particularly amongst the younger demographic – for luxurious social gatherings and life events.