How much fuel does a jet airplane need? Explained by Captain Joe

Dear friends and followers, today I’ll be talking about a very important topic: All you need to know about fuel figures. So let’s get started! Now a lot of passengers have the impression that pilots fuel up the aircraft as if they would fuel up their cars. Fuel loads in, and just go for it. But that is not true! On most flights you only fuel up the plane with the amount of fuel you need for the trip to get to your destination. And a little bit more in case that you have to alternate to another aerodrome And some more to comply with flight regulations. So let’s imagine this is our fuel tank and we will be flying from Dusseldorf to Faro Portugal. So regarding our flight plan, we need this amount of trip fuel So let’s put that into the tank. Now, what exactly determines ‘Trip Fuel’? The ‘Trip Fuel’ is the fuel you need from the point of takeoff Climb Cruise flight Descent Approach and until touchdown at your destination. So more or less you can say it’s the fuel from A to B. But that, for sure, it wouldn’t be enough You never know how much do wind would might shift during that flight Thunderstorms you might have to circumnavigate And maybe the Air Traffic Controller won’t let you climb to the requested Flight Level And you’re flying at the lower level Resulting in a higher fuel consumption And therefore, you add a so called ‘Contingency Fuel’. Which must either be 5% of the ‘Trip Fuel’ Or a minimum of 5 extra minutes which is also mandatory by law. I’m gonna have to make another video only about ‘Contingency Fuel’ and ‘Alternate Fuel’ cuz there are a few more facts you need to know about. Okay, now let’s imagine you’re on final approach at Faro And a preceding aircraft has blocked the runway due to a burst tire. Then what? Ahah You would have to perform a Go Around and you wouldn’t be able to land at your destination. Therefore, you add the so called ‘Alternate Fuel’ … into your tank. The ‘Alternate Fuel’ will get you to your alternate aerodrome Which you have chosen during your briefing. So the missed approach at Faro is part of the ‘Alternate Fuel’ Plus the Climb, Cruise, and Descent and Approach to the alternate aerodrome. So in our case, our alternate airport is Seville in Spain. Now, in approach to Seville and the Controller Tower says, ‘AirJoe 125, Go around. The runway is blocked because the runway inspection car has just broken down.’ Okay, I admit you are really having a really bad day as it is, and now this: Okay, so let’s recapture the ‘Trip Fuel’ is used up The ‘Contingency and the Alternate Fuel’. So what’s left? There’s so called ‘Final Reserve Fuel’ which is regulated by law and must be a minimum of 30 minutes flying time at a 1500 feet over the aerodrome, the holding speed. So, Seville has 30 minutes to get the car from the runway And you will be Number 1 for approach, cuz you will have declared a ‘Fuel Emergency’ As soon as you start using the ‘Final Reserve Fuel’. Now, pilots have the option to add some extra fuel at their own discretion And there many reasons for extra fuel. If you are familiar with the airport and you know that the rush hour is just at your arrival time You might want to add a little extra just for maybe a holding or long transitions. Or, if there are many isolated thunderstorms predicted on your route You might want to add a little extra just to have some reserve, so you don’t immediately have to divert. But keep in mind, adding more fuel will increase the fuel flow due to the more weight you’re gonna be have to flying around with. And last but not least, you need ‘Taxi Fuel’. That’s the fuel getting you from the gate position to the runway. But not only that, it’s also considered to fuel the ‘Auxilary Power Unit (APU)’ for air-conditioning and engine start. And you can add a little more extra ‘Taxi Fuel’ if you feel the need, especially during winter operation In case your airplane needs to get deiced, which will extend your taxi time and your fuel burn by a good 15 minutes! So, adding up all the fuel figures will give you the so called ‘Block Fuel’. The fuel which you will have on board at the parking position before the blocks are removed And you’re ready for engine start. Okay, this was a basic introduction into the fuel chapter of a jet airplane. I must admit there are a few more details to learn about the ‘Contingency’, ‘Alternate’ and ‘Final Reserve’ fuel But more sorts of legal regulations. For example, if your destination airport has 2 or more runways Different procedures apply, such as ‘enroute alternate’ and ‘weather minimas’. But more about that, in another video. I hope I was able to answer another aviation related question for you! Please be so kind to share the video with your Facebook friends And make sure to subscribe my channel, and follow me for great aviation pictures on my Instagram account. So, see you soon! All the best Farewell. Your Captain Joe. A great tip for future pilots Start practicing to convert ‘Kilograms’ to ‘Pounds’ and vice versa. Cuz, for example in the U.S. Fuel figures are given in ‘Pounds’ and in most European countries… in ‘Kilograms’. And… not in ‘Litres’. Haha That’s got to do with the density of the fuel but more about that in another video. Bye Bye!

100 thoughts on “How much fuel does a jet airplane need? Explained by Captain Joe

  1. Fun fact: the amount of fuel used for ONE flight from Perth to London is enough to run an average family car for over 100 years

  2. make more videos about this topic and make video from all the videos before as you said a small request from a little subscriber

  3. A car has about 1GJ of energy in its gas tank, but an airplane needs to have around 1TJ of energy in its gas tank. GJ is gigajoule or 1 billion joules and TJ is 1 terajoule or 1 trillion joules. The way that airplanes fill gas is to calculate how much energy they need for the flight itself and some extra precautions mentioned in this video since the fuel itself has a lot of weight and a full tank does not have an acceptable fuel efficiency for the airplane.
    Wish for airplanes to go electric or use alternative energy, but making TJ capacity batteries don't seems to be ideal in this situation, but hydrogen fuel cells are a possible way to make aircraft go electric. NASA used hydrogen fuel cells in its spaceships in the past, so it is not a bad idea to try the newer fuel cells that can act like a battery, run at lower temperatures than fuel burning, a fuel cell can run at less than 100 degrees C compared to engines that simply burn fuel, and batteries run at room temperature, but are not doing well when it comes to TJ capacities for aircraft. So those rechargeable hydrogen fuel cells function by electrolysis of water to "charge" and then use the hydrogen and oxygen to get electricity from the electro-chemical reaction. Due to low air pressure at high altitiudes, the oxygen component is important on an airplane since cars will simply use air for oxygen in the fuel cells, so research is needed to build a fully enclosed battery like hydrogen fuel cell for both cars and airplanes, and to include ships and trains as well as buildings.

  4. Hello Joe! Are you going to cover other details about fuelling? (All what you need to do as a pilot after you requested refuelling at a distant airport)

  5. Till now you made videos like Boeing Vs airbus ,cargo Vs passenger aircraft…

    Can you make a video on aircraft engine like Rolls Royce,GE,Pratt & Whitney , CFM etc…

    Share u r opinions

    A fan of Joe from India.

  6. Wow, listening to this guy explaining how a plane engine works reminds me of asking a dumb blonde how a car works. Just cause the bitch can drive, doesn't mean she knows shit about cars.

  7. For easy calculation example, how many litres/gallons/kg/lbs do we need for each kind of fuel in that example as if we use B737-800?

  8. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am MITIN NIKOLAY SERGEEVICH the Managing Director to ZAO REGIONNEFTETRANS OIL/GAS. We are a certified and authorized mandate that supply Oil and Gas products to buyers and consumers. We represent the major Oil Refineries to the Government of the Russia Federation to help buyers meet their various requirements and needs. We Can supply Aviation Kerosene,Jet fuel (JP 54-A1,5), Diesel (Gas Oil) and Fuel Oil Mazut (M100) REBCO, LNG/LPG,UREA ETC in CIF/FOB base email us ([email protected]) for more clarification and understanding as this is an arrangement and compromise with a take over bid. more of a government bond with incentives and relief. Kindly contact us with our information below for soft co-operate offer SCO.

    Email: [email protected]
    Tele: +7 (926) 801 5735 
    Skype: mitinnikolay

    Thank You

  9. Das ist das erste video was ich von dir gucke und ich hatte von anfang an das gefühl das du ein deutscher bist 🙂 und es hat sich als wahr herausgestellt 😀

  10. You are lying bro or they tricked you it’s just compressed air it’s old technology of genius like best scientist Victor Schaumberger and others it’s just free energy. How could you sleep with this lies and discrediting what they did.

  11. that remind me of avianca 52 that run out of fuel and crash because of the delay in new york and that the pilot failed to declared a fuel emergency.

  12. Why do we just power planes with batteries. Attach a fan to the plane that turns from the air stream, and have that power an electric propeller.

  13. the more I watch pilot Joe I am more convince that NO GUY WIT 3-6 MONTH TRAINING FLEW THOSE PLANES INTO THE TOWERS

  14. Dear captain Joe your video so amazing but I have a one question how to calculate fuel consumption and how to calculate fuel average per galen or barel bcoz that effect ticket price is this correct? Thnx!

  15. JUst top the freakin thing off and drive the plane. Too much messing around. If you crash, your going to burn anyways.

  16. None! The air around us is compressed and nitrogen oxygen is the fuel. The streaks you see in the sky are bleeder valves for condensation. Often misconsrued as “fuel dumps” or chemtrails.

  17. Air traveling is horrendous for the planet! STOP AIR TRAVELING SO MUCH! Too many flights these days in Europe and airports are wrongly being ever expanded. NO MORE UNTIL EVERYTHING IS ELECTRIC/SUSTAINABLE!

  18. Moron you never answer your own question smh
    You know well your plane don't use fuel to flight ignorant sheep …or mason

  19. Can I get any advice actually I’m very confused while reporting my position
    Ex: north of xx lake , south t of xx lane etc please it will make my training easier ☹️ just small vedio on direction …

  20. Imagine this is an aft wing fuel tank!?!? Imagine because no one has ever actually seen one before. Numbers Lie Joe. Math isnt reality and your fuel story is BS. Love ya!

  21. Regarding last tip although I do understand the use of weight unit (Kg or Pounds) for fuel instead of of volume unit (L or cubic M). I’m still (not) surprise that Americans aren’t using International System units (respectively Kg and L). I remember that at least one flight crashed when they were measuring in Gallons where whether it was the pilot or the feeling crew that messed up putting US Gallons where the pilot required Imperials Gallons…
    Thus how come they don’t use standard values across the whole industry ? I believe it’s also pilot responsibility to at one point say “stop” to these non-sense and start calculating anywhere in the world the same way. No ?

  22. theres more fuel than plane! Tons of fuel but planes release compressed air! How do that happen at the same time!

  23. thing that all the air crash investigaton episodes didn't talk about… i've mostly learned about airplanes from that


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *