Mar 28, 2012, 02:25 PM Registered User United States, CA, Garden Grove Joined Oct 2000 12,965 Posts Discussion Fuel Efficiency-Light Plane Vs Small Car I'd like to know in general terms how a modern lightplane like a Cessna 172, compares to a modern smallish car in fuel efficiency both travelling in calm air and level flight at, say 90mph. I have read about specialized composite magterials aircraft getting 50mpg.
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 Mar 29, 2012, 06:30 PM If it flies, I crash it! United States, FL, Mary Esther Joined Nov 2006 960 Posts No comparison! I own a Hyundai Accent, 30 MPG, holds 11 gallons, will get 350 miles per tankful at 65 mph. I fly a 1965 Piper Cherokee 180hp that gets 10 Gallons per hour. It holds 50 gallons total, will go 350 to 400 miles per tankfuls. (two tanks, one in each wing). I flew last week four one hour. It cost \$65.00 to top off the tank. Plane is twice as fast as the car, four-five times more expensive! I won't discuss the other expenses in aircraft ownership except the plane spends most of its time on the ground costing \$!
 Apr 05, 2012, 03:27 PM Registered User Joined Jul 2006 301 Posts Have to look at things a little different. The Airplane saves some time, and may save gas depending on the route. If you can fly for an hour and get to the destination, or drive for 3 in traffic, the plane might well be more efficient. What is the real fuel cost to the destination?
 Apr 13, 2012, 11:05 AM me, right now. United States, NC, Clayton Joined Nov 2009 498 Posts lets say you want to go 300 miles. In a car averaging 60mph and 30mpg = 5 hours and 10 gallons of gas (\$40 of gas) \$4/gal In an aircraft average 120mph and 10gph = 2.5 hours and 25 gallons of gas (\$125 for gas) \$5/gal However all kinds of variables can be thrown into these calculations including weather conditions, wind, maintenance and insurance costs, and even parking or hangar costs. The figures I used are just rough estimates for aircraft fuel burn and speed. If you want to fly, buying a commercial ticket would be cheaper, but the car is the most efficient. Some small light sport aircraft i.e. zenith zodiac, sonex, sonerai, vans aircraft, can average 30mpg at 4 gph, but not all the time. Last edited by hooligan russ; Apr 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM.

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