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The Different Types of Aviation Fuel or Jet Fuel
by Admin on January 5, 2021

Aviation fuel is one of the most essential requirements of flight operations. However, not all flight operators are familiar with the different types of fuel used in airplanes. Some of them are frequently confused by the fuel types and specifications!

What are the different types of aviation fuel? What is the difference between all those types? Which is the suitable aviation fuel for a specific aircraft?

Due to its long experience in providing all types of clean and reliable airplane fuel, iJET answers all these questions and provides a classification of airplane fuel types.

What Jet Fuel Does Each Aircraft Require?

What kind of fuel do airplanes use?

In general aviation, there are two main aircraft fuel types, which are AVGAS and Jet Fuel. Choosing the right aviation fuel for your aircraft depends mainly on its engine type. AVGAS, or aviation gasoline, is used for piston-engine aircraft. These types of aircraft fly through the rotation of the propellers which generate the thrust. While Jet Fuel is used for aircraft with turbine-engine jets. These fly with the thrust of expelled air.

What Are the Main Types of Aviation Fuel?

What kind of fuel do airplanes use? There are various types of airplane fuel available worldwide. However, commercial airplanes, private jets, and general aviation aircraft widely use and depend on two main types of airplane fuel: Jet Fuel and AVGAS.

As previously mentioned, the main determiner of which aviation fuel type to choose is your aircraft engine type!

1-      Jet Fuel Aviation Fuel Supply Image - iJET

Jet fuel is a colorless, refined kerosene-based type of fuel. It is used for airplanes with turbine engines, like jet engines and turboprops.

Jet Fuel is available in two types, too. Jet A and Jet A1.

What Are the Differences Between Jet A and Jet A1?

Despite some differences in the manufacturing specifications between the two Jet Fuel types, both can be used interchangeably to operate turbine-engines airplanes.

The main differences between Jet A and Jet A1 are:

  • Freezing points. Jet A freezing point is -40°C, while Jet A1 freezes at -47° The lower freezing point of Jet A1 makes it more suitable for international long-haul flights, especially the ones overflying polar routes.
  • Additives: Jet A does not regularly include static dissipater additives. These additives help to decrease the static charges which could form due to the movement of Jet Fuel. Jet A1 mostly contains static dissipater additives.
  • Jet A is mainly used in the U.S, while Jet A1 is more common in the rest of the world.

2-      AVGAS

Aviation gasoline, or AVGAS, is the type of aviation fuel that powers small piston-engine airplanes. These airplanes are usually operated by flying clubs, flight training jets, and private pilots.

AVGAS is the only available airplane fuel that still contains amounts of tetraethyl lead additive. Tetraethyl lead prevents harming the engine knock or detonation, which can cause unexpected engine failures. However, it is a toxic substance for humans in case of inhalation or absorption into the bloodstream.

For this reason, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is cooperating with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eliminate this substance from AVGAS.

AVGAS is also includes two main types, which are AVGAS 100 and AVGAS 100LL. The 100 in both types refers to the octane rating.

What Are the Differences Between AVGAS 100 and AVGAS 100LL?

  • The key difference between both types is the percentage of the included tetraethyl lead additive. AVGAS 100 has high lead content, while AVGAS 100LL (low lead) includes low amounts of tetraethyl lead, as the name refers.
  • AVGAS 100 is dyed green, whereas AVGAS 100LL is dyed blue.

Now, since you became familiar with choosing the aviation fuel type that suits your aircraft, you need to supply the aircraft with fuel from a trusted fuel provider like iJET.

Jet Fuel Vs. AVGAS – What Are the Differences?

Now that you know about the specifications and uses of both Jet Fuel and AVGAS, iJET presents the following comparison of AVGAS Vs. Jet Fuel:

Jet Fuel AVGAS
Jet Fuel is easier to obtain, it is reached earlier than AVGAS during the refining process of crude oil. Takes longer to be distilled when being refined. It also requires additional reforming and combining processes.
Although it operates huge engines, Jet Fuel price is cheaper because of its simple refining methods. More Expensive than Jet Fuel
The number of airplanes operated by AVGAS is higher. The number of airplanes operated by Jet Fuel is lower.
Sales volume is lower. Sales volume is higher

Other Types of Aviation Fuel?Aviation Fuel Supply Photo - iJET

The above-mentioned Jet Fuel variations and AVGAS variations form the main four aviation fuel types used for different aircraft worldwide. But there are other types of aircraft fuel, too. Flight operators and airlines use these types only in special conditions or situations like extreme weather. The most common other airplane fuel types are:

TS-1

Russia and CIS nations mainly depend on this type of aviation fuel for operating their airplanes. TS-1 has a low freeze point of -50° C, which makes it essential for flying in the cold weather of these areas. Moreover, the TS-1 flash point is 28°C, giving it high volatility.

Jet B

Jet B is contains a light mixture of about 30% kerosene and 70% gasoline. This type of airplane fuel is essential in extremely cold countries like Canada and Alaska, as it has a freeze point of -60° C. However, its dangerously flammable kerosene-gasoline mixture makes it rare to use.

JP-8

JP-8 is an aviation fuel which mainly operates military aircraft, especially NATO air forces and the U.S military. This type of aircraft fuel is similar to Jet A1, but JP-8 has additional anti-icing and corrosion inhibitor additives to cover the logistical and operational differences between military and commercial airplanes.

JP-5

JP-5 is a yellow, kerosene-based airplane fuel that commonly operates military aircraft fueling. This fule type is a complex combination of hydrocarbons including naphthene and alkanes. This mixture gives JP-5 a high flash point of 60° C and allows it to avoid the risk of fire that accompanies aircraft carriers transportation.

What Is sustainable Aviation Fuel?

Sustainable aviation fuel is a game-changer in the aviation sector. It is the eco-friendly alternative of the regular airplane fuels. All the different types of regular aviation fuel contribute to the increase of global warming and climate change because of their high rates of CO2 emission.

Sustainable aviation fuel is becoming more demanded recently since it could turn the aviation sector from being responsible for about around 2-3% of the global carbon emission into a sector that follows high sustainability strategies.

If you like to know more about the benefits of this airplane fuel type and its environmental benefits, read our blog on sustainable aviation and sustainable jet fuel.

Aviation Fuel Prices Aviation Fuel Supply Pic - iJET

With international flight restrictions worldwide, aviation fuel oversupply and decreased demand have seriously affected aviation fuel prices. From AVGAS price to JetA1, fuel prices are dropping worldwide, with a great deal of disparity. According to AirNav, currently, AVGAS 100LL price nationwide in the US is an average of $4.60, with the lowest being $2.20 going maximum to $11.40. You can also check IATA’s Jet Fuel Monitor to see the graphs of how aviation fuel price is dropping in the industry.

Aviation Fuel in the Times of the Coronavirus

With the current upheaval in the world and travel restrictions, the aviation industry is facing fuel demand fears, affecting the aviation fuel price. Airplane fuel suppliers and experts have suggested that airplane fuel could take years to recover. But the aviation industry is pivoting and trying to get back to normal. Private flights and cargo flights are flying smoothly in many nations.

Due to the fluctuation in jet fuels, it is always recommended to trust an aviation fuel re-seller like iJET. The sufficient amount of aviation fuel we purchase every year and our strategy to procure jet fuel from local fuel suppliers enable iJET to offer you aviation fuel supply at the best price. Whether it is AVGAS price or Jet A1, we offer you the best quality aviation fuel at the best rate in the market.

You can Check out our other aviation services as well to choose what your airplane requires for a smooth flight.

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