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Beginner's Guide to Propulsion
Range and Fuel Consumption

  1. You are an acrobatic pilot getting ready to go to an airshow. The airshow is being held at an airport 500 nautical miles (NM) away. Given the cruising speed of the Extra 300 you are flying, how long will it take to fly to the airshow?
    2.8 hours
  2. In the situation above, will you be able to fly to the airshow without refueling along the way? NO
    Why or why not? Because the range of the Extra 300 is only 462 NM
  3. A Cessna Skylane has a range of 820 NM, and a cruising speed of 140 KTS. How many hours will it take you to fly 820 NM? 5.85 hours
  4. Since the Skylane has a fuel capacity of 88 US GAL (including 10% in reserve), how many gallons of fuel per hour does it use? 13.67 gal/hour
  5. You are flying a Cessna Skylane at a speed of 120 KTS. You are flying on a trip that will take you 520 NM. How long will it take you to get to your destination? 4.33 hours
  6. In the situation above, given that your Cessna holds 88 US GAL of fuel (with 10% held back as reserve fuel), how much fuel will you use? (Hint: you will need your final answer from Question 4 above to find this number.)
    59.19 gal
  7. You are the pilot of a Learjet 31A leaving Chicago's Meigs airfield under dense fog conditions. You must fly using your instruments (IFR). How much fuel do you have for this flight? (Don't forget about your reserves.)
    2,588 lbs
  8. You've been flying the Learjet for 1.5 hours, at a speed of Mach .76 (Visit the Conversion page to convert Mach numbers into Knots.), under visual flight conditions (VFR). How much fuel do you have left (excluding reserves)?
    1668 lbs.
  9. How much farther could you fly on the fuel you have left from Question 8? 726.5 NM
  10. You are a WW-I Sopwith Camel fighter pilot chasing the infamous "Red Baron." You are traveling at a speed of 115 KTS. You know that your enemy is 40 NM away from you. How many minutes will it take to reach him?
    21 minutes


Related Pages:
Propulsion Activity Index
Propulsion Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, May 13 02:38:39 PM EDT 2021

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