– Hi, I’m Cristen, and this is Brain Stuff. When you think about it,
airplanes are pretty much amazing. Despite their weight, these
enormous metal contraptions can lift hundreds of people into the air, and most of the time
they can do this safely if not kind of comfortably. Take the Boeing 747-8, for example. It has a maximum takeoff
weight of 487.5 tons. Now for comparison, that’s
about the same weight as almost 140 average
sized African elephants, and that’s a bunch of weight to move, and the engines need a lot
of fuel to make that happen. But how much fuel do they need, exactly? Now before we answer that, let’s ask another question. Why should we care? Well, fuel efficiency and
fuel cost is part of how an airline determines ticket prices. So a more efficient
airline can theoretically result in lower ticket prices for you. Let’s look at a plane
on an international trip to see how much fuel it uses per person. And since we’re dealing
with a lot of numbers, let’s set it up this way. I’ll use US standard measurements, but since the rest of the
world uses the metric system, we’ll pop those up on the screen too. So save those comments for something else. So here we go, we’re ready for takeoff. A plane like the 747-8 can carry around 63,034 gallons of fuel, giving it the ability to
make extremely long flights. So flying from, say, LA
to Australia is no problem as long as it’s gassed up. However, the plane uses approximately one gallon of fuel every second, and this means that over the
course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons of fuel, which sounds like a lot, right? Now, according to
Boeing, this works out to approximately five
gallons of fuel per mile when the plane is in flight. And at first this might
sound like the plane gets a terrible miles per gallon
rating and isn’t very efficient, but let’s remember that the 747-8 isn’t some four-door sedan. It can carry as many as 568 people on a very uncomfortable flight. So how does all that
fuel work out per person? Well, let’s say, for
example, that there are 500 people on a plane. So a 747-8 is transporting 500 people one mile using five gallons of fuel. This means that the plane
is burning about .01 gallons per person per mile. In other words, the plane is getting 100 miles per gallon per person. For comparison, the
typical car gets around 25 miles per gallon. So in this respect, the
747 is actually much better than a car carrying one person, and compares favorably even if there are four people in the car. Now of course, this isn’t
exactly an apples to apples comparison for a number of reasons. But still, 100 miles per gallon per person isn’t all that bad when you consider that the 747 is flying at
about 550 miles per hour. So how about you? How fuel efficient is your private plane? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and
subscribe to Brain Stuff. And hey, you should also
check out my channel, Stuff Mom Never Told You.

## 100 thoughts on “How Fuel Efficient Is An Airplane?”

1. fatboy19831 says:

Thank you thank you. I always wondered how it was possible to have a round trip ticket to Thailand for \$1,000. If the normal fair is \$1,500. Fuel cost is about \$800. If your aircraft is half full during the rainy season. You can discount the fair to \$1000. That is not including fist class and business class passengers.

2. Aoru says:

This video is literally one of the worst "education video", especially the math. The background is in metric while the explanation is in imperial units. Not only is this confusing when the world uses metric standard, the math was also wrong on the conversions. Example @ 2:29, the math is so wrong, since a mile = 1.6km not 0.6km. Literally jaws drop. Also no one compares fuel efficiency on such horrendous math like 0.04l / 1.6km. Metric countries does L/100KM while imperial uses miles per gallons.

How can you even produce an education video when everything presented creates cognitive dissonance. It is the opposite of educate, more like confusion.

3. Alex Nenoff says:

Also note this: in a car you have to go around some stuff – bays, mountains, etc. Planes can just fly straight above them. (well, sometimes you get diverted due to traffic or weather, but not too much).

4. Sky Bound says:

Gas? Kerosene is a liquid

5. xAlphaAx says:

Holy shit, can you please at least get the metrics right when doing calculations? This is so basic. And why use the imperial system when "the rest of the world uses the metric system"? Aren't you supposed to be a science channel? Science uses SI. And you did not at all calculate the amount of fuel taken up with starting and landing an airplane. What's the mileage when flying lower distances? I calculated that once for fun and there is actually a certain distance which the distance flown should not fall below in order to have a positive gas mileage relative to cars. Not a great video.

6. Jesus Palacios says:

just remembering that ONLY 2 countries in the world still keep using Imperial unit (even the people who invented it doesnt use it any more) 19L/1.5Km Just say! 12.6L/Km !!!

0.04L per 0.6Km???just say 15Km/L !!! OMG

7. Robert Woodside says:

I now feel secure that my Masters in Aviation is worth something. This was totally Sesame Street level despite having brain in the title.

8. TMoD7007 says:

Seriously…. why don't you bury that medieval gallon/foot/pound-crap 6 feet under, where it belongs??? It is ridiculous!

9. Daisy Duke says:

Geo Metro gets 50+ highway and seats 4-5, so 200-250 mile•passengers/gallon

10. J B says:

GASed   uP ?  you mean kerosene  ?

11. ISpitHotFiyaa says:

And the 747 is a gas guzzler amongst planes. That's why airlines are opting instead for two-engined planes like the 777 and 787.

12. Mohit Kumar says:

Awesome video! The only problem is you didn't fill the car with passengers the way you did the plane. 500 people in the plane was 100mpg/person, yet the car with 5 people getting 20*mpg (*car full of people means less mpg) would be in theory near 100 mpg also. =O Don't mean to poke holes, yet I am. <3 lol

13. Bjørn Tennebekk says:

the video did not mention the fuel efficiency of a jet engine, compared to other engines.

14. Afrolicioso says:

A mile is 1609 meters not fucking about 1.5 km

15. Joao A. says:

My brain melted while trying to make sense of the different measurement units. The real solution would be for americans to stop being fucking retards using nonsensical units and joining the civilized world with metric.

16. Luciano Stegun says:

Good video, but… Considering that only US uses imperial system, I think it would be better explain using metric system and pop imperial measures on the screen. It was really confusing to follow the explanation =/

17. hectordng Fuck Google + says:

19L per 1.5km what a convenient measurement, next time maybe 4.234 mL/light nanosecond might be easier to use

18. ProPatriaRO says:

average car…in AMURICA FUCK YEAH. in europoor the cars tend to be more fuel efficient. not have 6L engines tends to help.

19. LaurMTB ツ says:

My private plane has 2 wheels and runs on carbs.

20. Σigma π says:

"…the typical car gets around 25 miles per gallon…" (11.3 litres per 100 km). Are American cars really that bad? I'd consider 40 mpg (7 l/100 km) as typical.

21. The Artificial Society says:

So trains, they are supposed to be fairly fuel efficient, so why do they charge so much for travel on a train?

22. Stephen Nonames says:

Is that US gallons or Imperial gallons?

23. VisualWarp says:

Seems like jumbo jets throttle back quite a bit at cruising altitude to save fuel and because the air is thinner. But they are full throttle on takeoff. I think the shorter the flight and the more connections the efficiency goes down a lot. Would like to see the average MPG for the average length flight. But the numbers so far were impressive.

24. Twig says:

"A typical car get's 25 miles per gallon". I did have to look at the metric numbers for it. 10.6KM/L? I knew American cars were bad, but this bad…? No wonder they complain about fuel prices, even though it's dirt cheap.

My car does 20.4 KM/L on average. In weird units, thats 48MPG.
Please jsut go with the Metric system from now on. Most of the world uses it, because it makes sense.

25. Polish Al says:

my god…can't you make it more confusing…learn about standards worldwide before you post educational video…unlike x

26. Yousha Ahmad says:

In a typical configuration the 747-8 doesn't seat anywhere near 500 passengers. A quick search revealed a Lufthansa 747-8 with a capacity for 362 passengers. Also, aircraft are often not fully booked.

27. Pradeep Nagila says:

did i missed something?
OR
The video didnt lighten up my MIND?

28. korelly says:

I would like to see a comparison Between the gas consumption of a cargo aircraft vs a truck per kg of marchandise transported. And vs a cargo boat as well.

29. Rafael Nádasi says:

sooo not 19l per 1.5 km, it is 1266L/100km nice try, keep it up 😉

30. Rafael Nádasi says:

so fuel consumption is measured in how many fuel in 100km, not how many kms in one liter

31. Pete Kuhns says:

Excellent question at the end there ("How fuel efficient is your private plane?'). Let's see:

My 1979 Cheetah (with a dinosaur-era O-320) burns 8gph at 105kts cruise with 4 seats (although you can really only carry 3 people because the useful load for my Cheetah is an abysmal 725lbs). Sooo… we'll calculate for 3 peeps.

8gph at 105kts gives you 15mpg for the plane, or .06 gallons per mile for the plane (3 peeps), or .02 gallons per person per mile.

Soo… my 70's-era airplane is half as efficient as the 747-400 or about as efficient as an SUV. But granted I'm flying at 120mph and … I'm flying!

32. Obviously Dead says:

Those "US Standard Measurements" are called the Imperial System of Units. Typical American arrogance to claim something as their own.

33. pushdword says:

22.2km per litter. (4.5L/100km).

34. Jorge Lima says:

Hello Cristen, very interesting facts about typical comercial airplaine fuel consuption. However, instead of comparing their fuel efficiency with a a fuel efficiency of a family car, I think it would make more sense to compare with other mass transport veicules, for example trains.

35. Adnan Aslam says:

Still gonna dislike for using confusing units. verbally and visually no coordination.

36. Carlos P says:

Well, my private plane is a Boeing 787-9 and it uses 20% less fuel per person per mile. 🙂

My private can squirt 5600 f/sec, faster that ar15 bullet

38. seanhean says:

Ermm my plane does'n need fuel

39. Swat Me says:

Simple answer: planes obviously cannot be compared to a car's fuel efficiency simply because overcoming gravity takes a lot of energy. But that's not why people choose to travel in planes over cars is it.

40. Behrooz KHaleghi Rad says:

1:18
OK darling, honestly you are gorgeous. you have adorable face and sexy body shape.
how old are you?
are you married?
what do you do?
where do you live?
I am really attracted to you <3

41. A Fadhli says:

let's talk about space shuttle now…lol ?

42. rmfleming69 says:

The sounds effects are moronic.

43. Paul James says:

Like asking "how big is a fish", it could be an ultra light or a 747, both planes.

44. Tony Samson says:

Whats the mileage when the plane dumps 57,921 gallons in flight?

45. op3l says:

Hmm… she's kinda hot in a very knowledgeable way.

46. Ryder Lee says:

Fun fact. A person on a bike can go about 720 miles per gallon. I calculated using lard, which almost has as much calories as gasoline.

47. Aaron Baldwin says:

When leaned out, my bonanza burns about 9 gallons an hour at an airspeed of around 140 MPH

48. khansaeed9999 says:

Very confusing with what she is saying and what's being written

49. Ben Suskind says:

But the more fuel the plane carries, the added weight makes the plane burn more fuel. So what you said is somewhat wrong.

50. Anthony Almgren says:

I pay 50 cents for half a litre of water what the fuck how much is fuel really worth

51. Scott Jenkins says:

Cool. How about the most common airframe, say a 737, on a common driving rout, say Chicago to St. Louis.? That would be easy to compare time of travel and fuel efficiency of air travel to road travel. Or how about a private jet, carrying 5 passengers across country and back to attend opening night on Broadway. How efficient is that?

52. Not hing says:

Can you not use miles and gallons? Only pretty much US uses miles and gallons. Even UK uses km and liters now…

53. Marko Sabljic says:

When you don't actually know model numbers because there is no such this as a boeing 747 8 it's a 747-800 and are reading the manufactures numbers. You shouldn't have picked an airplane at all but instead a jet engine manufacture such as p&w or General Electric and simply explained the mechanical efficiency & capabilities of commercial jet engines in respect to internal combustion engines

54. Søren Stilling says:

This is fucking scary. You say "Why should we care" and then say why we should care. BECAUSE OF THE FUCKING PRICE?!? That's the least of my worries. When you burn that much fuel you will lead out TONS of CO2. Fuck now I think about how many flights take place every day. Rip.

55. steveq34 says:

A380 would've been the best reference for a big AC

56. Spinnetti says:

A good homebuilt near 200mph can still get around 30mpg.. try that in any car at that speed!

57. Ajay Yadav says:

You Forgot about commercial cargo which planes carry

58. kritarth seth says:

Even if you pop up metric system on the screen, it doesn't really make it any better. Metric system is good because its standardized, and easier to understand. Since the starting point is Imperial system, even conversions end up in weird places (eg. 1760 yards in a mile; even gallon can be Imperial gallon or US liquid gallon). Also, the calculations were wrong.

59. Pranay Gawas says:

metric system !

60. basant vimal sharma says:

and air plane requires no fuel.just say the hindu mantra and it will go . controlled by the mind.why they fill fuel i do not know.next flight no fuel just say fly and the bugger will fly.

61. Harsha Acharya says:

retarded units

62. Railfan Steve says:

JEesus christ a train can go 500 miles with a gallon it locks like planes need generators

63. habib syed says:

She is annoyingly so awkward.

64. americanswan says:

there are two types of countries in the world. Those who use metric and those who put a man on the moon.

65. CRAMATIONS DAM says:

I have a simple formula just calculate the engine efficiency and put 10percencet more fuel in engine tank so it landed safely

66. Mastacheifa 118 says:

Displays metric and customary units on screen to prevent hate… only to receive more hate.

67. Elias Dolinsek says:

787, 777 and A350 has a much lower fuel burn per person than the 748!

68. Damien Tong says:

What if the plane is full of fat people

69. N SR says:

Nice explanation… but annoying background music.. the music alone was making me want to skip the video.

70. Ken Bellchambers says:

Jet aircraft were obsolete from the start. Hugh altitude heat deposition is already too big a problem for safety. Pushing massive volumes of superheated pollution into a frigid zone has frightful consequences on weather, creating super storms. Jet air craft contrails are not composed of water vapour and ice crystals. they consist of smog from burned kerosene, gasoline, aluminium oxide, and ten additives. The jet engine consumes and pollutes massive quantities of atmosphere as it passes through the engine, and the hot expanding contrail condenses massive quantities of water vapour as it descends.
All of this water vapour and atmospheric gas are contaminated by post combustion by-products. Jet aircraft also rake ozone and water vapour from high altitudes to lower altitudes resulting in loss of ozone from the upper layers of the atmosphere where it normally stays and blocks U.V. radiation, to lower levels where it acts as a corrosive herbicide. The immense quantities of polluted water vapour constitute acid rain, which not only is carcinogenic, but result in drought due to the high-altitude water vapour being dragged to lower levels where it is dispersed.
Air traffic is rapidly expanding as more and more Asians get enough wealth to afford jet holidays, and the atmosphere is already showing signs of reaching the breaking point. Jet air travel is fatal to the health of the entire biosphere. Look up, most of what you see are ordinary persistent jet contrails, not chemtrails. Add chemtrails to the equation, and we have a double disaster.

71. Peter says:

You are looking at this from a human perspective, which is very understandable. But if you want to consider the impact of air travel on the environment (or – for global warming skeptics – on the depletion of our oil reserves), it is also not correct. You see, the environment doesn't care if you travel 100km or 1000km. It only cares about how much CO2 and other gases it has to deal with in a certain amount of time. So rather than calculating the fuel consumption per unit of distance, consider the fuel consumption per unit of time. Yes, an airplane is far more efficient than a typical car per kilometer, but the airplane covers that kilometer in far less time. Say a typical plane flies ten times as fast as a typical car (should be about correct). Now you can see that an hour in a plane is far worse for the environment than an hour in a car, let alone an hour in a train. And you wouldn't do a 10000km car ride in the first place, because it would take forever. Well, maybe a few people would, but otherwise, no. Which actually helps the environment even more.

Also, while airplanes are now about twice as efficient as the first jets, there are far more airplanes in the sky to begin with. All in all, it seems that we find ever faster ways of getting through our oil and dumping CO2 and other gases into the atmosphere. Not that it's all bad. But like I said, it depends on your perspective. And I do feel this perspective should be getting more attention.

So I just hope that part of what is happening is that these environmentally-unfriendly flights are bringing together people from all over the planet to come up with a solution for this problem.

72. G Thomas says:

Despite the differences in British English and American English, the video was very well presented and was easy to understand and follow, I was glad you showed the metric as well as mentioning the old world imperial, it helped.

73. Kumar Falguni Sahoo says:

Very good.

74. Anton Kalliokoski says:

first thank's for showing the non-retarded units but please make the km/l to 100L/KM

75. Moe Osman says:

wtf is a gallon? why do these neanderthals still use gallons? pisses me off lol

76. Nice-oscar says:

Nonsense,

77. Aliyu Ahmed says:

my private plane in GTA has unlimited fuel. Very fuel efficient

78. baka baka says:

Hmm interesting.

79. Kevin McCune says:

Not nearly as efficient as a good train, of course, we have the added benefit of injecting all those nice combustion byproducts directly into the stratosphere

80. Rajeev Ranjan says:

Very bad explanation ??

81. DragonView.CH Tandem Paragliding Flying Adventure Switzerland says:

There are 1.64 km to a 1 mile. Not 0.6km per mile as in this video. Also if you include big suitcases for 4 persons, and hand carry on luggage, you will need a van not a car. Please focus bit more on the accuracy of the content.

82. Wissam Sakre says:

I like your video nice job
But you should give an extra time for the numbers you go fast and it's is confusing

83. Nicky Surr says:

white stripes really? GREEN SCREEN…
we still need to see how the planes are refueling… lol…show us
the other agent of urs (jayZ) says same crap as u do

84. Randall Lannon says:

They do not use fuel Van!!!!

85. Bhimesh chowdhary says:

Units suck

86. Karl E says:

So you didn't think to include takeoff, climbing, descent, landing and taxi? And what about medium sized planes? It's much more common with around 100-200 passengers. I mean I do get your point but you kind of missed something important.

87. navylaks2 says:

but how does a plane compare to a helicopter considering that E = m*v^2

88. AbdulJakool SalSalani says:

I wanna eat her smelly pussy!!

89. Édouard Murdoch says:

In the metric system, we usualy use L/100km and not km/L.

90. whatsgoingon07 says:

So why don’t Boeing develop 2 passenger planes to replace the car?

91. فارس says:

My engine is fueled by anxiety and boy is it the most abundant fuel ever.

92. jatt4life10 says:

How about using measurement system that rest of the world uses and keeping your American system away?

93. J & J says:

with 63,034 Gallons of fuel, 238,610 litres, can you tell us all what the weight of the fuel is alone. That plus the plane, passengers and baggage, how does it even lift off the ground. Seems odd to us. If water weighs 1kg per litre. 238,610 litres equals . They say aeroplane fuel weighs .81kg/litre. 238610 litres x .81kg equals 193274.1kg. how do it lift off?

94. cammandoookhalsha skyblue captain junior says:

fucking bullshit

95. gmcjetpilot says:

And the Jet is going 12 times as fast as the car. Inefficient general aviation aircraft can get about 25 miles per gallon and hold for people, and go at least two to three times faster than a car

96. sean darke says:

I have a question I haven’t seen the video yet but what about versus the helicopter I don’t know if you’ve covered that I might find out in a few minutes LOL I just had a question first

97. TimeGamingToday says:

Your math is wrong.

1 gallons per second

1 mile per 5 gallons

1/5=0.2 miles per sec
0.2*60=12 miles min
12*60=720 miles per hour
720 mph with no air resistance.

@BrainStuff
How long have you been based in California?

98. Xsauce says:

My private plane is all electric… jokes on you.

99. Zachary Imus says:

Compressed air engines peace out friends

100. Mr. One Nine Seven Five says:

Speaking about gallons and miles verbally and showing litres and kilometres on the screen is a terrible idea. please don't do it again. It was confusing.