Tom Horne

Jet-A and Sales

June 7, 2008 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

The buzz on the turbine airplane static display sites is all about fuel prices. Are skyrocketing fuel prices affecting sales? You bet, says a Socata official standing by a TBM 850. “This burns 60 gph in cruise,” he said. “We’ve heard about a lot of Cessna Mustang buyers selling their delivery positions. We don’t have that problem … yes, the customer for a $3 million airplane isn’t as affected by fuel price escalations, but that may be changing. We’re seeing more prospects coming from light jets that burn 110 or more gallons per hour.”

At the Eclipse static display, representatives were also singing their product’s praises. “The Eclipse burns a lot less fuel than a Citation II, for example. A lot of people seriously interested in the Eclipse are downsizing. They’re retired, maybe have second homes, and don’t have to carry their kids and a lot of baggage around. So they don’t want a bigger cabin. They figure, ‘why should I pay for the hefty fuel burn when I fly a big, empty airplane around?’

Speaking of fuel issues, another one is beginning to crop up as the temperatures now reach the mid-nineties. Fuel is expanding in the tanks, causing fuel vents to drip raw gas on the ramp. Ah, summer in the mid-Atlantic.

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One Response to “Jet-A and Sales”

  1. Blain Smipy Says:

    We certainly need something in GA to beat the rising fuel cost. And speaking of such, I’ve seen nothing from AOPA about the dramatic drop in GA air traffic due directly to the current fuel crisis. My airport (FTG) is reporting an over 50% drop in T/O and Landings since last summer. The FBO’s and flight schools are going under and the airport its self is in jeopardy of defaulting on many of its loans. Is this a wake up call for GA? How about a wake up call for AOPA to start concentrating on the economy of flight, rather than gadget rich $500,000.00 speedsters. We all like to dream, but reality is what we need now. If I see another article on the Garmin G1000 or any other EFIS thing I’ll never own or use, I think I’m going to puke. Enough! Here’s an idea, how about an article on how to actually afford to continue to fly with $6.00 a gallon fuel? Things like, using max economy power settings, proper leaning, running over square, Mogas STC’s, airline flight profiling, flying weather patterns, flying light, and highlighting those aircraft that are fuel efficient.

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