Armed & Thirsty

US Military Gas Guzzlers fire off fueling research

If you thought filling up the tank of your Denali was painful, consider the cost to fuel an empty B-52 bomber… roughly $100 grand per flight. With engines first designed in the 1950′s, the dated B-52 burns through roughly 3,334 gallons per hour. Stats like these have sparked a huge push for the US military to become more fuel-efficient, detailed in a recent article published in USA Today.

With so much pressure on automakers to clean up their act, it begs the question why the military isn’t following suit… especially given their past reasoning shown in an exerpt from the article:

“Although the B-52 remains the Air Force’s main big bomber, the service has rejected proposals over the past decade to replace the plane’s eight engines with four new, efficient jets. The Air Force said spending $4 billion on new engines would only save a net $400 million and then only if the plane kept flying for another 40 years.

The Science Board study, however, said the Air Force incorrectly calculated fuel costs. Each gallon of jet fuel was priced as if the airplanes were filled up by tanker trucks at the B-52s’ main home at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. However, about 10% of the fuel is delivered by aerial tanker, which costs about 10 times more than regular fueling.”

And the waste isn’t just limited to the air. The heavily-used Abrams tank burns fuel faster than any military vehicle on land, air or sea- at a rating of less than 1 MPG. Feeling better about your ride’s guzzling? Think again… that’s your tax money burning away!

Source: USA Today