Exploring the Boundless Skies: The Empowering Range of Aircraft

We explore the empowering range of aircraft, celebrating innovation & passion in the skies. Join E3 Aviation's vibrant community of aviators!

Exploring the
Boundless Skies:
The Empowering
Range of Aircraft


Everyone cherishes an aircraft with an impressive range, and we’re here to celebrate some of the most extraordinary ones that have graced the skies. Taking a closer look, aircraft range might initially seem straightforward—it’s essentially the total distance an aircraft can cover from takeoff to landing.

Yet, for many of us, the concept of range often doesn’t extend beyond preflight planning, where we ensure we have ample fuel to reach the next destination or make a pit stop for a meal. However, when we delve into the world of aviation, we discover that range holds varying significance for pilots of different aircraft.

In the realm of aviation enthusiasts, the range of a powerful B-52 is a different spectacle compared to the more modest 152. Throughout the rich tapestry of aviation history, visionary designers and dedicated tinkerers have consistently devised innovative ways to enhance an aircraft’s range. This is done with a keen understanding of the weight implications associated with additional fuel, all while maintaining a vigilant focus on the safety and utility benefits of pushing the boundaries of flight.

E3 Aviation invites you to join our vibrant community of passionate aviators. In this shared space, we celebrate the empowering essence of extended range as a testament to the spirit of exploration that unites us all. Our community doesn’t just fly—it soars, fueled by the collective passion for aviation. Join us on this exhilarating journey where education, entertainment, and a strong sense of community converge. Embrace the confidence and inspiration that aviation brings, and become a part of a community that shares your deep-seated passion for the boundless skies.

  • Maximum range speed: Usually slightly more than best glide (L/Dmax )
  • Range extenders: Reduced power setting/fuel burn, drop tanks, in-flight refueling, tailwinds
  • Airliner with longest range: Airbus A350-900ULR, range 9,700 nm
  • Business jet with longest range: Boeing Business Jet 777X, range 11,645 nm
  • World War II range champ: North American P-51D Mustang, 1,434 nm with external tanks
  • P-51 mission: World War II fighter escort
  • P-51 game-changing range: Made strategic bombing of Germany possible
  • Lockheed P-38L Lightning: 1,100 nm; ferry range, 2,900 nm
  • P-38 mission: World War II fighter, bomber and reconnaissance
  • Reconnaissance queen: Lockheed U2 Dragon Lady, 6,090 nm
  • U2 mission: Cold War reconnaissance
  • Fastest long-range aircraft: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, 2,000 nm (without refueling); ferry range: 2,824 nm
  • SR-71 mission: Reconnaissance and research platform
  • Longest-range World War II bomber: Convair B-32 Dominator, range 3,300 nm
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress range: 2,820 nm
  • Electric aircraft range: Limited by current battery technology, approximately 1/15 of fossil fuel aircraft
  • Advantage: No weight change to consider
  • Emerging electric business jet: Eviation Alice, range of 440 nm
  • Certificated Pipistrel (Textron) Alpha Electro, trainer: 75 nm
  • Longest helicopter range: Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne, range 1,063 nm
  • Lightweight champ: Robinson R22, 250 nm
  • Spirit of St. Louis range: 3,600 nm
  • Range of 1903 Wright Flyer: 852 feet
  • The 1904 Wright Flyer II: 4.3 nm
  • Unrefueled distance record: Scaled Composites Model 311 Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, 19,000 nm
  • Most-produced typical range: Cessna 172, 640 nm
  • Early flyer range: J3C-65 Cub, 191 nm

Join the exhilarating journey of aircraft ownership. Discover the challenges, triumphs, and the vibrant community that awaits.


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