What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

Of all the questions asked by those interested in the aviation industry, one of the main and most interesting ones is what kind of fuel airplanes and helicopters use. In any case, the question is whether mechanical birds can use gasoline for power like cars. If you have ever wondered what kind of fuel airplanes and helicopters use, in the rest of this article we are going to introduce you to the types of fuels used by airplanes and helicopters.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

What affects the type of fuel that airplanes use?

If you’re wondering what type of fuel airplanes use, the answer is simple: the type of fuel an airplane uses is a direct result of the type of engine it uses. More simply, commercial and fighter planes use kerosene or kerosene-based fuels, but special products are usually added to this fuel. These compounds include antifreeze, hydrocarbons, metal deactivators and antioxidants, and anything that prevents rusting and freezing at high altitudes.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

There are also combinations of aircraft fuel, but in total there are three types of aircraft fuel, which are as follows:

Kerosene-based jet fuel

Kerosene-base fuel for aircraft is usually divided into several types, which differ depending on the physical qualities and specific characteristics of the aircraft and its engine. This type of fuel includes the following:

Jet Fuel A: Available only in the United States, this fuel was developed as a heavy fuel with a higher flash point and higher freezing point than standard kerosene. This fuel has a low vapor pressure and a flash point of approximately 43.3°C.

A1 jet fuel: Most airplanes with turbine engines use this type of fuel. This fuel has a flash point of 37.7 degrees Celsius and a maximum freezing point of minus 46.6 degrees Celsius. It is easy to find this fuel anywhere in the world.

Jet fuel B: This fuel, commonly known as wide-cut fuel because it is a mixture of kerosene and gasoline, is often used in regions where the weather is extremely cold, largely because Its freezing temperature is about minus 60 degrees Celsius. The vapor pressure of this fuel is somewhere between gasoline and kerosene. This fuel is mainly used in military aircraft and is classified in the JP-4 category. The composition of this fuel consists of 65% gasoline and 35% kerosene and is used in areas with very low temperatures.

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What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

Military fuels

In total, there are 8 types of military aircraft fuel, which are as follows:

JP-1 fuel: This fuel is pure kerosene and has a freezing point of minus 60 degrees Celsius. Although JP-1 is an efficient fuel, it was soon replaced by other full jet fuels, including those made from kerosene-naphtha (heavy gasoline) or kerosene-gasoline blends. This fuel is usually used in turbine engines. NATO military aircraft also use the same fuel but with more additives that put it in the Jet Propellant 8 (JP-8) category.

JP-2 and JP-3 Fuel: JP-2 fuel was originally developed to replace JP-1 and was rarely used. This fuel had a high freezing point but was eventually replaced by JP-3, which was highly volatile and volatile and was supposed to improve the performance of the previous option. But because both of these fuels lost a lot of steam and were volatile, none of them are used today.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

JP-4 fuel: This type of fuel is flammable and clear with a light or straw color and a kerosene-like odor. Additionally, JP-4 fuel floats on water and simply evaporates. This fuel has such a low ignition temperature (minus 17.7 degrees Celsius) that throwing a match into it does not ignite it, and its maximum water temperature was 3687.7 degrees Celsius.

JP-5 fuel: This fuel is a yellow fuel that contains hydrocarbon, naphthene, alkene and aromatic hydrocarbons. This fuel has an ignition temperature above 60 degrees Celsius and its freezing temperature reaches more than minus 46 degrees Celsius, and of course, it does not contain any anti-static agent. This fuel is mainly used in military aircraft.

JP-6 Fuel: This fuel was specially designed for the General Electric YJ 93 jet engine of the supersonic XB-70 Valkyrie, a high-altitude bomber. This fuel was very similar to JP-5 fuel, except that its freezing temperature was minus 18.3 degrees Celsius. Also, this fuel had better thermal oxide stability than the previous fuel.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

JP-7 fuel: This fuel copes very well with the heat and stress of supersonic high-speed flights, in part because of its high boiling point. This fuel was developed specifically for the Pratt & Whitney twin turbojet/ramjet engines used in the SR-71 Blackbird.

JP-8 Fuel: JP-8 fuel is similar to the A1 fuel used by most commercial aircraft and widely used by the US military and NATO. Compounds have been added to prevent corrosion and to prevent freezing, and it has a freezing point of minus 46.6 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 37.7 degrees Celsius. In commercial and military aircraft, different additives are used for this fuel.

In addition to all this, Russia and former Soviet Union countries use aviation fuel called TS-1, which has a low freezing point of minus 50 degrees Celsius, which makes it a suitable option for flying in such cold regions. slow Also, the ignition point of this fuel is 28 degrees Celsius, which gives it a high evaporation capability.

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What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

Aviation gasoline (AvGas)

Aviation gasoline is a very common aviation fuel, often used by small piston-engined aircraft. This fuel is specifically used for tasks such as seeding aircraft and private aircraft, flying clubs and even flight training. Airplane gasoline fuel works on these planes because their pistons work like the pistons of car engines, and the fuel itself works like regular gasoline on these systems, although the two fuels are different. This leaded fuel with octane 100 is the most standard airplane fuel, but only airplanes with gasoline engines can use it, and airplanes with turbine engines or diesel engines must use kerosene instead.

The price of avgas is high because its production is low and quality control is complicated, and that’s why everyone goes to diesel or kerosene fuels. In general, the main difference between jet gasoline and regular gasoline used in cars is that jet gasoline still contains large amounts of tetraethyl lead. Although this toxic compound has a high amount of lead, it is still used because it prevents deposits in the engine and is very effective in raising octane.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

AvGas fuel is a safe, stable and predictable fuel that performs well regardless of the conditions and its formulation is slightly different from the regular gasoline used in most cars. This fuel has different grades and usually has an octane rating that is much higher than regular gasoline. The price of this fuel in the United States is currently 4.6 dollars per liter on average, while its minimum price is 2.2 dollars and the maximum price is 11.4 dollars.

Aircraft fuel production

When producing aircraft fuel, it usually falls into two categories: fuel suitable for turbine engines and fuel suitable for internal combustion engines. For each of these types of fuels, international specifications are required. For example, in both turbine and jet aircraft, jet fuel is used because it has a lower viscosity at low temperatures and burns very cleanly. Also, this fuel has low density and high calorific value, while it remains stable even when its temperature reaches high degrees. All these properties are critical to produce a suitable jet fuel.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

AvGas, short for aviation gasoline, is made from a highly refined form of regular gasoline. This fuel is very pure and has anti-knock capabilities and reduces the disruption of spark plugs. In addition, this type of gasoline has the right combination conditions for taking off and is the best option for cruise mode, where reducing fuel consumption is very important. As a general rule, less of this fuel is sold than jet fuel, although many aircraft carriers use it. In contrast, major airlines, including commercial airlines and the military, use jet fuel instead of airplane fuel.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

Future fuels

In addition to these types of aircraft fuels, promising research has been done to produce newer and better types of fuels in the future. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the fuels are of fossil type and therefore are not clean and cannot be used forever. In fact, producing a more sustainable type of fuel for both aircraft and vehicles is the goal of many of these research companies, which are developing some of the most promising fuels of the future:

Biofuels: fuels that are produced by the biomass to liquid method and include long-lasting aircraft fuels and even vegetable oil. This fuel, abbreviated as SAF, has several advantages, including the fact that it does not require any changes to the aircraft itself when used. Some types of this fuel have a small amount of other fossil fuels to combine with them and their pollution level is also less. However, most biofuels have a higher price than airplane fuels and face many economic and political obstacles and complications that limit their use.

Compressed Natural Gas/Liquefied Natural Gas: Both Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have less energy, making them less suitable options for the aviation industry. However, some aircraft, such as NASA’s N+4 concept, were specifically designed to run on natural gas fuel.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

What fuel do helicopters use?

Like airplanes, the type of fuel that a helicopter uses depends on the type of engine. Since most civilian helicopters have gasoline piston engines, most American and European helicopters use aviation gasoline for fuel. This fuel contains 0.56 grams of tetraethyl lead per liter, which is three times the amount of lead used in gasoline fuel of today’s cars. More powerful helicopters, above 400 horsepower, use turbine engines that use turbine fuel (Avtur or ATF), a fuel known as jet fuel.

In general, it should be said that airplanes and helicopters use the same fuel. Airplanes and helicopters with piston engines use 100LL aviation gasoline fuel. Turbine airplanes and helicopters also use Jet-A airline turbine fuel as fuel. The amount of gasoline used in each helicopter depends on the type of fuel. Helicopters that use turbine fuel consume more fuel than piston engines. But Avtur is cheaper than Avgas and therefore it compensates for the higher amount of fuel that is consumed.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

Typically, small piston engine helicopters consume 22 to 60 liters of fuel per hour of flight. Larger turbine helicopters can also consume at least 76 liters of fuel per hour, which can go up to 380 liters per hour. For example, the MIL MI-26 transport helicopter made by Russia consumes 3,800 liters of fuel every hour. This helicopter can lift and transport up to 13 tons of military equipment. For comparison, a Boeing 747 passenger plane consumes 4 liters of fuel every second, which amounts to 150,000 liters in a 10-hour flight. This plane consumes 12 liters of fuel per kilometer.

In general, airplanes have better fuel consumption rates than helicopters due to the nature of each design. Compared to airplanes where the wings do most of the lift, the lift in helicopters is done by the rotors. Also, helicopters fly at a lower speed, which affects fuel consumption. In addition, helicopters consume much more fuel when hovering and standing in the sky, something that airplanes cannot do. The advantage of other helicopters is that they have more freedom of action when landing and are more economical in some short and special trips.

What fuel do airplanes and helicopters use?

All jet fuels are colorless to straw colored in appearance. On the other hand, airplane gasoline contains additives to increase its safety. The reason jet fuel is colorless is that it is generally safe to use in turbine engine helicopters. But it’s important to be able to identify avgas because the higher the grade of gasoline, the more pressure the fuel can withstand without exploding. Fuel coloring ensures that the correct fuel is poured into fuel trucks and helicopter fuel tanks.

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