A jumbo jet uses around 5,000 gallons (almost 19,000 liters) of fuel to take off and climb to cruising altitude. This is about a tenth of its entire fuel capacity. Once airborne, most jumbo jets use about five gallons (19 liters) of fuel per mile. It gets more miles per gallon (or liter) the longer the airplane is in the air, since it gets lighter as it burns fuel.
More facts about jets::
- Approximately 40% of a typical airline's operating budget goes to buying fuel.
- The fleet of 747s has flown over 3.5 billion people — the equivalent of over half of the world's population as of 2010.
- The flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk lasted about 150 feet (45 m). This is less than the length of many economy class cabins in jumbo jet airplanes.