# Thrust-specific fuel consumption

**Thrust-specific fuel consumption** (**TSFC**) is the fuel efficiency of an engine design with respect to thrust output.
TSFC may also be thought of as fuel consumption (grams/second) per unit of thrust (kilonewtons, or kN). It is thus thrust-specific, meaning that the fuel consumption is divided by the thrust.

TSFC or SFC for thrust engines (e.g. turbojets, turbofans, ramjets, rocket engines, etc.) is the mass of fuel needed to provide the net thrust for a given period e.g. lb/(h·lbf) (pounds of fuel per hour-pound of thrust) or g/(s·kN) (grams of fuel per second-kilonewton). Mass of fuel is used, rather than volume (gallons or litres) for the fuel measure, since it is independent of temperature.[1]

Specific fuel consumption of air-breathing jet engines at their maximum efficiency is more or less proportional to speed. The fuel consumption *per mile* or *per kilometre* is a more appropriate comparison for aircraft that travel at very different speeds. There also exists power–specific fuel consumption, which equals the thrust-specific fuel consumption divided by speed. It can have units of pounds per hour per horsepower.

This figure is inversely proportional to specific impulse.

## Significance of SFC

SFC is dependent on engine design, but differences in the SFC between different engines using the same underlying technology tend to be quite small. Increasing overall pressure ratio on jet engines tends to decrease SFC.

In practical applications, other factors are usually highly significant in determining the fuel efficiency of a particular engine design in that particular application. For instance, in aircraft, turbine (jet and turboprop) engines are typically much smaller and lighter than equivalently powerful piston engine designs, both properties reducing the levels of drag on the plane and reducing the amount of power needed to move the aircraft. Therefore, turbines are more efficient for aircraft propulsion than might be indicated by a simplistic look at the table below.

SFC varies with throttle setting,altitude and climate. For jet engines, flight speed also has a significant effect upon SFC; SFC is roughly proportional to air speed (actually exhaust velocity), but speed along the ground is also proportional to air speed. Since work done is force times distance, mechanical power is force times speed. Thus, although the nominal SFC is a useful measure of fuel efficiency, it should be divided by speed to get a way to compare engines that fly at different speeds.

For example, Concorde cruised at 1354 mph, or 7.15 million feet per hour, with its engines giving an SFC of 1.195 lb/(lbf·h) (see below); this means the engines transferred 5.98 million foot pounds per pound of fuel (17.9 MJ/kg), equivalent to an SFC of 0.50 lb/(lbf·h) for a subsonic aircraft flying at 570 mph, which would be better than even modern engines; the Olympus 593 used in the Concorde was the world's most efficient jet engine.[2][3] However, Concorde ultimately has a heavier airframe and, due to being supersonic, is less aerodynamically efficient, i.e., the lift to drag ratio is far lower. In general, the total fuel burn of a complete aircraft is of far more importance to the customer.

## Units

Specific Impulse (by weight) | Specific Impulse (by mass) | Effective exhaust velocity | Specific Fuel Consumption | |
---|---|---|---|---|

SI | =X seconds | =9.8066 X N·s/kg | =9.8066 X m/s | =101,972 (1/X) g/(kN·s) / {g/(kN·s)=s/m} |

Imperial units | =X seconds | =X lbf·s/lb | =32.16 X ft/s | =3,600 (1/X) lb/(lbf·h) |

## Typical values of SFC for thrust engines

Engine type | Scenario | Spec. fuel cons. | Specific impulse (s) |
Effective exhaust velocity (m/s) | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

(lb/lbf·h) | (g/kN·s) | ||||

NK-33 rocket engine | Vacuum | 10.9 | 308 | 331[4] | 3250 |

SSME rocket engine | Space shuttle vacuum | 7.95 | 225 | 453[5] | 4440 |

Ramjet | Mach 1 | 4.5 | 130 | 800 | 7800 |

J-58 turbojet | SR-71 at Mach 3.2 (Wet) | 1.9[6] | 54 | 1900 | 19000 |

Eurojet EJ200 | Reheat | 1.66–1.73 | 47–49[7] | 2080–2170 | 20400–21300 |

Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 turbojet | Concorde Mach 2 cruise (Dry) | 1.195[8] | 33.8 | 3010 | 29500 |

Eurojet EJ200 | Dry | 0.74–0.81 | 21–23[7] | 4400–4900 | 44000–48000 |

CF6-80C2B1F turbofan | Boeing 747-400 cruise | 0.605[8] | 17.1 | 5950 | 58400 |

General Electric CF6 turbofan | Sea level | 0.307[8] | 8.7 | 11700 | 115000 |

Model | SL thrust | BPR | OPR | SL SFC | cruise SFC | Weight | Layout | cost ($M) | Entry In Service |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

CFM56 | 20,600–31,200 lbf 92–139 kN | 4.80-6.40 | 25.70-31.50 | 0.32–0.36 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.1–10.2 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.545–0.667 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.4–18.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 4,301–5,700 lb 1,951–2,585 kg |
1+3/4LP 9HP 1HP 4/5LP | 3.20-4.55 | 1986-1997 |

IAE V2500 | 22,000–33,000 lbf 98–147 kN | 4.60-5.40 | 24.9-33.40 | 0.34–0.37 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.6–10.5 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.574–0.581 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16.3–16.5 g/(kN⋅s) | 5,210–5,252 lb 2,363–2,382 kg |
1+4LP 10HP 2HP 5LP | 1989-1994 | |

GE CF34 | 9,220 lbf 41.0 kN | 21 | 0.35 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 1,670 lb 760 kg |
1F 14HP 2HP 4LP | 1996 | |||

GE CF6 | 52,500–67,500 lbf 234–300 kN | 4.66-5.31 | 27.1-32.4 | 0.32–0.35 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.1–9.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.562–0.623 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.9–17.6 g/(kN⋅s) | 8,496–10,726 lb 3,854–4,865 kg |
1+3/4LP 14HP 2HP 4/5LP | 5.9-7 | 1981-1987 |

GE GE90 | 90,000 lbf 400 kN | 8.4 | 39.3 | 0.545 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.4 g/(kN⋅s) | 16,644 lb 7,550 kg |
1+3LP 10HP 2HP 6LP | 11 | 1995 | |

JT8D | 21,700 lbf 97 kN | 1.77 | 19.2 | 0.519 lb/(lbf⋅h) 14.7 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.737 lb/(lbf⋅h) 20.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 4,515 lb 2,048 kg |
1+6LP 7HP 1HP 3LP | 2.99 | 1986 |

PW2000 | 38,250 lbf 170.1 kN | 6 | 31.8 | 0.33 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.3 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.582 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16.5 g/(kN⋅s) | 7,160 lb 3,250 kg |
1+4LP 11HP 2HP 5LP | 4 | 1983 |

PW4000 | 52,000–84,000 lbf 230–370 kN | 4.85-6.41 | 27.5-34.2 | 0.348–0.359 lb/(lbf⋅h) 9.9–10.2 g/(kN⋅s) | 9,400–14,350 lb 4,260–6,510 kg |
1+4-6LP 11HP 2HP 4-7LP | 6.15-9.44 | 1986-1994 | |

RR Spey | 9,900–11,400 lbf 44–51 kN | 0.64-0.71 | 15.5-18.4 | 0.56 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.800 lb/(lbf⋅h) 22.7 g/(kN⋅s) | 2,287–2,483 lb 1,037–1,126 kg |
4/5LP 12HP 2HP 2LP | 1968-1969 | |

RB211 | 43,100–60,600 lbf 192–270 kN | 4.30 | 25.8-33 | 0.563–0.607 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.9–17.2 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.570–0.598 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16.1–16.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 7,264–9,670 lb 3,295–4,386 kg |
1LP 6/7IP 6HP 1HP 1IP 3LP | 5.3-6.8 | 1984-1989 |

RR Trent | 71,100–91,300 lbf 316–406 kN | 4.89-5.74 | 36.84-42.7 | 0.557–0.565 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.8–16.0 g/(kN⋅s) | 10,550–13,133 lb 4,785–5,957 kg |
1LP 8IP 6HP 1HP 1IP 4/5LP | 11-11.7 | 1995 | |

RR Tay | 13,850–15,400 lbf 61.6–68.5 kN | 3.04-3.07 | 15.8-16.6 | 0.43–0.45 lb/(lbf⋅h) 12–13 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.690 lb/(lbf⋅h) 19.5 g/(kN⋅s) | 2,951–3,380 lb 1,339–1,533 kg |
1+3LP 12HP 2HP 3LP | 2.6 | 1988-1992 |

ALF502/LF507 | 6,970–7,000 lbf 31.0–31.1 kN | 5.60-5.70 | 12.2-13.8 | 0.406–0.408 lb/(lbf⋅h) 11.5–11.6 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.414–0.720 lb/(lbf⋅h) 11.7–20.4 g/(kN⋅s) | 1,336–1,385 lb 606–628 kg |
1+2L 7+1HP 2HP 2LP | 1.66 | 1982-1991 |

AE3007 | 7,150 lbf 31.8 kN | 24.0 | 0.390 lb/(lbf⋅h) 11.0 g/(kN⋅s) | 1,581 lb 717 kg |
|||||

CFE738 | 5,918 lbf 26.32 kN | 5.30 | 23.0 | 0.369 lb/(lbf⋅h) 10.5 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.645 lb/(lbf⋅h) 18.3 g/(kN⋅s) | 1,325 lb 601 kg |
1+5LP+1CF 2HP 3LP | 1992 | |

JT15D | 3,045 lbf 13.54 kN | 3.30 | 13.1 | 0.560 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.541 lb/(lbf⋅h) 15.3 g/(kN⋅s) | 632 lb 287 kg |
1+1LP+1CF 1HP 2LP | 1983 | |

PW300 | 5,266 lbf 23.42 kN | 4.50 | 23.0 | 0.391 lb/(lbf⋅h) 11.1 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.675 lb/(lbf⋅h) 19.1 g/(kN⋅s) | 993 lb 450 kg |
1+4LP+1HP 2HP 3LP | 1990 | |

BR700 | 14,845–19,883 lbf 66.03–88.44 kN | 4.00-4.70 | 25.7-32.1 | 0.370–0.390 lb/(lbf⋅h) 10.5–11.0 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.620–0.640 lb/(lbf⋅h) 17.6–18.1 g/(kN⋅s) | 3,520–4,545 lb 1,597–2,062 kg |
1+1/2LP 10HP 2HP 2/3LP | 1996 | |

FJ44 | 1,900 lbf 8.5 kN | 3.28 | 12.8 | 0.456 lb/(lbf⋅h) 12.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 0.750 lb/(lbf⋅h) 21.2 g/(kN⋅s) | 445 lb 202 kg |
1+1L 1C 1H 1HP 2LP | 1992 | |

D-30 | 23,850 lbf 106.1 kN | 2.42 | 0.700 lb/(lbf⋅h) 19.8 g/(kN⋅s) | 5,110 lb 2,320 kg |
1+3LP 11HP 2HP 4LP | 1982 | |||

PS-90 | 35,275 lbf 156.91 kN | 4.60 | 35.5 | 0.595 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16.9 g/(kN⋅s) | 6,503 lb 2,950 kg |
1+2LP 13HP 2 HP 4LP | 1992 | ||

D-18 | 51,660 lbf 229.8 kN | 5.60 | 25.0 | 0.570 lb/(lbf⋅h) 16.1 g/(kN⋅s) | 9,039 lb 4,100 kg |
1LP 7IP 7HP 1HP 1IP 4LP | 1982 | ||

D-436 | 16,865 lbf 75.02 kN | 4.95 | 25.2 | 0.610 lb/(lbf⋅h) 17.3 g/(kN⋅s) | 3,197 lb 1,450 kg |
1+1L 6I 7HP 1HP 1IP 3LP | 1996 |

The following table gives the efficiency for several engines when running at 80% throttle, which is approximately what is used in cruising, giving a minimum SFC. The efficiency is the amount of power propelling the plane divided by the rate of energy consumption. Since the power equals thrust times speed, the efficiency is given by

where V is speed and h is the energy content per unit mass of fuel (probably the lower heating value is used here).

Turbofan | efficiency |
---|---|

GE90 | 36.1% |

PW4000 | 34.8% |

PW2037 | 35.1% (M.87 40K) |

PW2037 | 33.5% (M.80 35K) |

CFM56-2 | 30.5% |

TFE731-2 | 23.4% |

## References

- Specific Fuel Consumption
- Supersonic Dream
- "The turbofan engine", page 5.
*SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Department of aerospace engineering* - "NK33". Encyclopedia Astronautica.
- "SSME". Encyclopedia Astronautica.
- Nathan Meier (21 Mar 2005). "Military Turbojet/Turbofan Specifications".
- "EJ200 turbofan engine" (PDF). MTU Aero Engines. April 2016.
- Ilan Kroo. "Data on Large Turbofan Engines".
*Aircraft Design: Synthesis and Analysis*. Stanford University. - Lloyd R. Jenkinson; et al. (30 Jul 1999). "Civil Jet Aircraft Design: Engine Data File". Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Ilan Kroo. "Specific Fuel Consumption and Overall Efficiency".
*Aircraft Design: Synthesis and Analysis*. Stanford University. Archived from the original on November 24, 2016.