Factors Affecting Fuel Burn and Fuel Flow Rate in Aircraft Departures and Arrivals

Fuel cost and availability remain two of the most important issues in aviation today. Regulatory issues regarding gaseous pollutants and greenhouse gases from aircraft engines are also fuel related. Consequently, it is important to understand what factors are significant determinants of total fuel burn and fuel flow rates in aircraft operations at airports. This paper presents the results of a sensitivity analysis using aircraft flight data recorder information from aircraft movements at airports. The factors analyzed were aircraft-specific (time-in-mode, takeoff/landing weight, transition height from takeoff to climbout), airport-specific (elevation, latitude, runway length), and meteorological (temperature, pressure, headwind, crosswind). The relationships between all variables were determined to be linear. Forward stepwise multiple regressions were run for each aircraft in each segment of arrival and departure. Time-in-mode and weight of aircraft are overwhelmingly the most significant factors in taxi/idle/queue and takeoff/climbout, while time and headwind are most important in the approach segment. The results of this study confirm the primary importance of time-in-mode and weight in determining total fuel burn and fuel flow rates during takeoff operations at airports. The finding of the influence of headwinds on arrival fuel consumption is noteworthy for analysts evaluating the fuel burn implications of Optimized Profile Descents.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 21p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01151152
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2540
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:13AM