How Much Fuel Does A Boeing 747 Hold? Capacity In Gallons

Ken Hyde

By Ken Hyde

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Boeing 747 – the “Queen of the skies”- is an ideal choice for long routes, thanks to its large capacity and long range. This also means it has a large fuel capacity to cover such long distances. How many gallons of fuel does a 747 hold? Scroll down to learn about the outstanding technical features of this plane!

How Much Fuel Does A 747 Carry?

The 747 fuel capacity is not set in stone, varying among models and configurations. On average, it can carry from 48,400 to 63,034 gallons, equivalent to 183,214 – 238,610 liters

Boeing 747
Boeing 747

The first plane, the 747-100, launched in 1969, holds 48,400 gallons of jet fuel. The next two versions, the 747-200 and 300, debuted with significant improvements, including a fuel capacity of 52,410 gallons.

Those who came later benefited from developments in aviation technology. The 747-400 has become a popular choice among airlines thanks to its 9% increased fuel capacity compared to its predecessors (57,285 gallons). 

The latest version – the 747-8 – using 787 Dreamliner technology achieves a more impressive capacity than ever before (63,034 gallons for passenger models (747-8i) and 59,734 gallons for cargo ones (747-8f).

Below is the quick rundown of Boeing 747 fuel capacity:

Engine ModelFuel Capacity
747-200 and 30052,410199,158
747-8i Intercontinental63,034238,610
747-8f Freighter59,734226,095

Fuel Capacity Of Boeing 747 In Comparison With Others

Below are the top 10 airplanes’ fuel tank capacity from Boeing and Airbus:

RankAircraft ModelFuel Capacity (gallon)
1Airbus A38084,535
2Boeing 747-8i Intercontinental63,034
3Boeing 747-8f Freighter59,734
4Boeing 747-40057,285
5Airbus A340- 50056,750
6Boeing 747-200/30052,410
7Airbus A340- 60051,750
8Boeing 747-10048,400
9Boeing 777 Freighter47,890
10Boeing 737-300/400/50045,160

Fuel Consumption Of 747

How much a Boeing 747 burns per mile also varies among models. Take the 747-400F, for instance. The Boeing company has reported that the 747-400F consumes approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile. At maximum seat capacity, fuel consumption is 0.01 gallons per passenger per mile.

The plane burns 3,600 gallons of fuel per hour, equivalent to 60 gallons per minute. Meanwhile, it consumes 5,000 gallons from takeoff until reaching cruise altitude. During the 15 minutes between the gate and the runway, the fuel consumption increases significantly, approximately 1 ton of fuel.

The Fuel Efficiency Of Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 is not considered a fuel-efficient vehicle compared to other aircraft. However, experts have proved the opposite based on the analysis of the maximum load per flight (around 568 people).

Let’s say a flight seats 200 people at a time. The route from New York to Los Angeles used 5,325 gallons in 6 hours. This translates to an estimated fuel consumption of approximately 27 gallons per person.

Now, let’s compare this to a car with the same route. It travels 2,797 miles and consumes 112 gallons. Given an average mileage of 25 miles/gallon and a capacity for two people, the fuel consumption is 56 gallons/person, more than twice compared to the Boeing 747!

Where Is The Fuel Stored?

Similar to other aircraft, the Boeing 747 stores fuel in both wings. This design frees up space in the body for carrying goods and passengers. Another goal is to maintain symmetry throughout the fuel delivery to the engine.

Each wing includes two fuel tanks: the reserve tank stays on the outer part, while the main one is in the center. When refueling, aeronautical engineers generally prioritize the reserve tank for safety reasons. The main fuel tank, on the other hand, is filled with the amount of fuel required for the specific route.


What Type Of Fuel Does A 747 Use?

Boeing 747 works on jet fuels, including Jet A, Jet A-1, and Jet B, which are a kind of refined kerosene.

How Far Can A 747 Fly On A Full Tank?

A full tank can get a Boeing 747-8i to fly 8,000 miles or more. However, the distance varies depending on speed, aircraft weight, etc.

How Much Does A Full Tank Of Fuel For A 747?

It costs around $140,000 to $170,000 to refuel a Boeing 747, but the exact price hinges on the fuel market price, the flying route, the aircraft model, fuel type, taxes, etc.


To sum up, the exact 747 fuel tank varies by model, but they all have a large capacity. Though filling up may cost an arm and a leg, its remarkable fuel efficiency has been proven. If you want to know more about other aircraft, check out our blogs!

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Ken W Hyde

Ken W Hyde

Ken W Hyde is the founder of The Wright Experience™. He is passionate about antique airplanes and has restored many of the Wright brothers' planes, including the 1918 Curtiss Jenny and the 1903 Wright Flyer. He is also a pilot and mechanic who has worked for Capital Airlines, Bendix Corporation, and American Airlines.

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