When an airliner is parked up at the gate and passengers slowly disembark, it’s a busy time for the cleaning crew.
This does not just mean cleaning the aircraft for new passengers to come onboard, but also safety checks and refueling need to be carried out.
Most aircraft are refueled with a complex refuel delivery system via pipes and tubes. This means that typically nobody ever sees the actual jet fuel liquid.
What color is jet fuel, and what is it made from? We take a look at jet fuel and find out what fuel an airliner needs.
What’s The Color Of Jet Fuel?
Jet fuel is the primary fuel for commercial airliners. Jet fuel comes in several colors, depending on its composition.
However, usually jet fuel has a light straw to clear color.
Types Of Jet Fuel
There are three types of jet fuel used for commercial aircraft: Jet A-1, Jet B and Avgas. Let’s take a look at these different types in more detail.
Jet A is the jet fuel typically used by commercial airliners. This type of jet fuel is known as 100LL, and it contains about 91% kerosene.
It burns more efficient than other fuels because it does not contain additives that can cause engine damage.
However, this type of fuel is very expensive.
Jet A fuel burns at temperatures higher than 120 degree Fahrenheit, and it also requires a much higher temperature to ignite.
This type of jet fuels is known as 100HP or 100LL, and it contains approximately 96% kerosene and 4% gas oil.
This mixture produces lower emissions than Jet A-1, but it also costs less than Jet A-1.
Avgas (aviation gasoline) is typically used for lightweight aircraft or smaller helicopters. It’s also used in older aircraft with piston engines.
This type of jet fuel is composed of 87% kerosene and 13% gas oil.
It is considered to be one of the most popular jet fuels for small aircraft today.
The use of biofuel is becoming increasingly common. Biofuel is made from plants like corn, soybeans and sugar cane.
These fuels still require significant research and investment to make them commercially viable in the aviation industry.
But there are some worthwhile benefits to using biofuels. For example, they can have a positive impact on the environment.
What Is Jet Fuel Made From?
Kerosene is the main ingredient in all jet fuels. Kerosene is a petroleum product derived from crude oil.
When you turn on your car, you start the engine by igniting a spark plug.
In a jet engine, the same principle applies. When you turn on a jet engine, you first need to heat up the fuel before ignition occurs.
Once ignited, the flame travels through a series of tubes until it reaches the combustion chamber where it mixes with oxygen and explodes into steam.
In a typical jet engine, the turbine blades spin rapidly due to the explosion. These spinning blades create thrust which propels the plane forward.
What Fuel Do Helicopters Use?
Helicopters use two different types of jet fuels. One is called JP-4 and the other is called JP-5.
JP-4 is a blend of kerosene and diesel fuel. It is similar to Jet A-1. The difference between the two is that JP-4 is cheaper than Jet A-1, and it doesn’t produce as many pollutants.
JP-5 is a blend of kerosene and avgas. It is similar to Avgas.
Why Are There Different Types Of Jet Fuels?
There are many reasons why airlines choose to use specific types of jet fuels. Here are some of the main factors why different types of jet fuel may be used.
Type Of Aircraft
Different types of jet fuels are needed depending on what kind of aircraft we’re talking about.
For example, if you’re flying an Airbus A320 then you’ll want to fly on Jet A-1. If you’re flying a Boeing 737 then you’ll want to use Jet A-2.
Most commercial airliners use Jet A fuel.
Jet A-1 is the cheapest option available. But it is also the most polluting. Other options such as Jet B and Avgas cost slightly more than Jet A- 1, but they don’t emit as many pollutants.
Jet A-1 has better performance than other jet fuels. It is able to burn hotter and faster than other fuels. This means that it will provide more power and speed.
Jet A-1 can withstand extremely high temperatures. This makes it ideal for use in military jets.
Jet A-1 causes the least amount of environmental damage compared to other jet fuels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Jet Fuel Blue?
Jet fuel of commercial airliner is straw-colored. However, avgas which is jet fuel for smaller aircraft is colored according to its grade.
This means that low leaded avgas is dyed blue.
Does Jet Fuel Burn Skin?
Yes, jet fuel can burn skin, and it has been reported to cause skin irritations, such as eczema and even skin tumors.
You should always wear protective clothing when working around jet fuel.
What Octane Is Aviation Fuel?
Aviation fuel has a minimum requirement of 87 octane. Most aviation fuel sold today is 100 octane or greater.
Octane rating is the measurement of how much energy (or pressure) a given volume of fuel provides.
The higher the octane number, the more energy or pressure the fuel gives off.
How Does Jet Fuel Get To The Airport?
Commercial jet fuel comes from refineries located near airports. The jet fuel then travels via a pipeline to a storage tank.
From the storage tank, refueling tanker trucks can pick up the jet fuel and refuel the aircraft.
Jet fuel is one of the most important parts of any airplane. It’s responsible for providing enough power to get your plane airborne, and travel to your destination.
Jet fuel is also responsible for keeping your engines running smoothly, and the right jet fuel can make the aircraft run effectively.
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