Have you ever wondered about the type of fuel Airplanes use ? Answer will shock you…

We all travel in them,We want to travel in them and some of us event want to pilot them.Airplanes are one of those things which even God couldn’t master and we did.When these beauties tear through the sky,It makes everyone wish they could fly them.

But do you know what fuel does Airplanes require to fly ?

Some will say Petrol,Some will say diesel and most will say some Hi Tech Light Super Flammable Fuel and Gamers will say Nitro…

But all these speculations are wrong.

The fuel that makes an aircraft travel faster than the speed of sound can be found in your HOME.

If your wondering what fuel is actually required to fly a Plane,Its Kerosene

Yes Kerosene is used on all Jet powered Aircraft whereas a type of petrol calledAviation Gasoline” is used on piston driven Aircraft

Lets learn more about Aviation fuel

Aircraft with piston-engines use specially developed petrol known as “Aviation Gasoline” or simply “AVgas”. It is very volatile and extremely flammable at normal operating temperatures.


The different grades are defined by their  Octane Rating. The higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before igniting.

In broad terms, fuels with a higher octane rating are used in high performance gasoline engines that require higher compression ratios. Two ratings are applied to aviation gasoline (the lean and the rich mixture rating) resulting in a multiple numbers e.g. AVgas 100/130 (lean mixture is 100 and the rich mixture is 130). The octane rating of regular automobile petrol is between 85 and 87, and some top-end car makers recommend 98 octane for their cars.  (The octane rating of petrol tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression alone rather than because of the spark from the spark plug, it causes knocking in the engine.)

The standard high octane fuel for aviation piston engines is AVgas 100. It has a high lead content and is dyed green. There are two major specifications for Avgas 100. The ASTM D 910 and UK DEF STAN 91-90. These two specifications are essentially the same but differ over antioxidant content, oxidation stability requirements and max lead content.


The AVgas 200-LL  is the low lead version of Avgas 100. Low lead is a relative term. There is still up to 0.56 g/litre of lead in Avgas 100LL. This grade is listed in the same specifications as Avgas 100, namely ASTM D 910 and UK DEF STAN 91-90.  AVgas 100LL is dyed blue.

AVgas 82 UL  is a relatively new grade aimed at the low compression ratio engines which don’t need the high octane of Avgas 100 and could be designed to run on unleaded fuel. AVgas 82UL is dyed purple and specified in ASTM D 6227.

All equipment and facilities handling AVgas are color coded appropriately and display prominently the API markings denoting the actual grade carried. Currently the two major grades in use internationally are AVgas 100LL and AVgas 100.


JET FUEL can be broadly categorized into Civil and Military Jet Fuels.  Aviation turbine fuels are used for powering jet and turbo-prop engined aircraft and are not to be confused with AVgas.  Outside former communist areas, there are currently two main grades of turbine fuel in use in civil commercial aviation : Jet A-1 and Jet A, both are kerosene type fuels. There is another grade of jet fuel, Jet B which is a wide cut kerosene (a blend of gasoline and kerosene) but it is rarely used except in very cold climates.

JET A-1 is a kerosene grade of fuel suitable for most turbine engined aircraft. It is produced to a stringent internationally agreed standard, has a flash point above 38°C  and a freeze point maximum of -47°C.  Jet A-1 meets the requirements of British specification DEF STAN 91-91 (Jet A-1), (formerly DERD 2494 (AVTUR)), ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A-1) and IATA Guidance Material (Kerosine Type), NATO Code F-35.

JET A is a similar kerosene type of fuel, produced to an ASTM specification and normally only available in the U.S.A. It has the same flash point as Jet A-1 but a higher freeze point maximum (-40°C). It is supplied against the ASTM D1655 (Jet A) specification.

JET B  is a distillate covering the naphtha and kerosene fractions. It can be used as an alternative to Jet A-1 but because it is more difficult to handle  (higher flammability), there is only significant demand in very cold climates where its better cold weather performance is important. In Canada it is supplied against the  Canadian Specification CAN/CGSB 3.23

JP-4 is the military equivalent of Jet B with the addition of corrosion inhibitor and anti-icing additives; it meets the requirements of the U.S. Military Specification MIL-DTL-5624U Grade JP-4. (As of Jan 5, 2004, JP-4 and 5 meet the same US Military Specification). JP-4 also meets the requirements of the British Specification DEF STAN 91-88 AVTAG/FSII (formerly DERD 2454),where FSII stands for Fuel Systems Icing Inhibitor. NATO Code F-40.

JP-5 is a high flash point kerosene meeting the requirements of the U.S. Military Specification MIL-DTL-5624U Grade JP-5 (as of Jan 5, 2004, JP-4 and 5 meet the same US Military Specification). JP-5 also meets the requirements of the British Specification DEF STAN 91-86 AVCAT/FSII (formerly DERD 2452). NATO Code F-44.

JP-8 is also the military equivalent of Jet A-1 with the addition of corrosion inhibitor and anti-icing additives; it meets the requirements of the U.S. Military Specification MIL-DTL-83133E. JP-8 also meets the requirements of the British Specification DEF STAN 91-87 AVTUR/FSII (formerly DERD 2453). NATO Code F-34.


In Short

There are two types of fuels used in Aircrafts- Aviation Turbine Fuel and  Aviation Fuel. They are generally very pure, have a very high calorific  value and have anti-knock additives.

  1. Aviation Turbine Fuels– Also called  Jet fuel, is used in aircrafts with gas-turbine engines. Are of  two types- Kerosene based and Naptha based. They also contain  antioxidants, icing inhibitors and biocides
  2. Aviation Fuels– Also known as AvGas (aviation gasoline) and are used in aircrafts with internal combustion engines. They are primarily petroleum based and principal components include n-heptane and isooctane Also contain additives like antioxidants and metal deactivators.