Jet fuel is one of the most vital requirements of flight operations. Unfortunately, some flight operators and specialists don’t know the different types of jet fuels, and others confuse fuel specifications. This guide will look at the different types of jet fuel, their specifications, and their use in various aircraft.
Types of Aviation Fuel
Like vehicles, aircraft can use various fuels, but two are the most common – Jet Fuel and AVGAS. Generally, private jets, commercial airplanes, and aviation aircraft widely use and depend on Jet Fuel and AVGAS to function efficiently. However, the right aviation fuel depends on an aircraft’s engine type.
This is a refined kerosene-based, colorless type of fuel that’s used in aircraft with turbine engines, including turboprops and jet engines. There are two main types of jet fuel – Jet A and Jet A1. Although flight operators can use both fuels interchangeably for flight operations, there are some differences in manufacturing specifications.
For instance, Jet A1 has a lower freezing point (-47OC) than Jet A (-40OC), making it suitable for long-haul international flights, particularly those overflying polar routes. Similarly, unlike Jet A, Jet A1 has static dissipater additives, which decreases any static charges that can form during the movement of the fuel.
Jet A1 is the most common type of jet fuel in the United States, and it can be used to power all jet aircraft. Jet A1 and Jet A are easier to obtain than AVGAS because, during the refining process, jet fuel comes off first. Its simple refining process also makes Jet Fuel much cheaper than AVGAS.
Also known as aviation gas, AVGAS is used to power traditional propeller aircraft and small piston-engine airplanes. This includes aircraft operated by private pilots, flight training jets, and flying clubs. AVGAS contains small amounts of tetraethyl lead, a substance that prevents harm to the engine detonation or knocks.
Unfortunately, tetraethyl lead is toxic to humans when inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream. Luckily, efforts are underway to eliminate it from AVGAS.
There are two main types of AVGAS, AVGAS 100LL and AVGAS 100. The major difference between the two is the amount of tetraethyl lead, with AVGAS 100 having a higher lead content than AVGAS 100LL.
Other Types of Jet Fuel
In special conditions, flight operators use other types of jet fuel, including:
It’s the most common alternative to Jet Fuel and AVGAS in civil aviation, and it contains a light mixture of 70% gasoline and 30% kerosene. Jet B has a low freezing point of -60OC, making it suitable for extremely cold countries such as Alaska and Canada. However, it’s extremely flammable and dangerous to handle.
This type of jet fuel is common in Russia, and it’s modified with a freezing point of -50OC, which makes it ideal for flying in cold areas. Additionally, since TS-1’s flashpoint is 28OC, it has high volatility.
This type of jet fuel mainly operates military airplanes such as US military and NATO air forces. JP-8 contains anti-corrosion additives and is designed for aircraft without heaters.
Looking for Jet Fuel Testing and Inspection?
AmSpec laboratories are equipped to provide full jet fuel testing for JET-A, JP5, JP8, and other aviation fuels. The testing conforms to government, ASTM, IP, IATA and other recognized industry standards. Contact us to learn more today.