Re: 747 fuel consumption

Date:         31 Mar 2000 22:25:23 
From:         Graeme Cant <>
Organization: Global Network Services - Remote Access Mail & News Services
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Karl Swartz wrote:
> Hopefully someone will give you better numbers, but a few years ago I
> flew LAX-LHR aboard a 747-238B.  The pilots posted the following info:
>    762,710 lbs takeoff weight
>    257,400 lbs of fuel (48,418 US gallons)
> Block time was about 9.5 hours, so if we landed with about 10% reserves
> (probably high) then we burned about 24,385 lbs or 4,587 gallons of fuel
> per hour.  ORD-NRT would be a 747-400, which is significantly more fuel-
> efficient, so treat that as an upper bound.

LAX-SYD in a 747-400 with about 390 passengers uses around 155 -
160,000kg of fuel and takes about 13 - 14hrs depending on the winds on
the day.

Any flight over about 8 hrs has an average fuel flow in the vicinity of
10 - 10500kg per hour, carries about 400 passengers and covers an
averages about  480 knots ground speed.  I make that around 29grams of
fuel per passenger km.  A compact car such as a Ford Taurus consumes
around 12 litres/100km carrying 4 passengers (leaving aside the
philosophical question of whether the driver is crew or passenger and
whether we're talking city cycle or highway - YMMV).  At an SG of around
.72, this is around 22grams per passenger km.  But of course it's hard
to cross the Pacific in a Taurus, it takes up more of your life and
while a lot of people like flying 747s, it's not clear whether people
get any real pleasure driving a Taurus.

Of course that's a non-stop flight where every extra ton on board needs
about half a ton of fuel to carry it the distance.  Shorter range
flights are more fuel-efficient but passengers don't like travelling on

Graeme Cant