Aviation jet fuel is petroleum based fuel, or petroleum and synthetic fuel blend, used to power aircraft. They have more stringent requirements than fuels used for ground use, such as heating and road transport, and contain additives to enhance or maintain properties important to fuel performance or handling. It is designed for use in aircraft powered by gasturbine engines. It is colorless to straw-colored in appearance. The most commonly used fuels for commercial aviation are Jet A and Jet A1, which are produced to a standardized international specification. The only other jet fuel commonly used in civilian turbine engine powered aviation is Jet B, which is used for its enhanced cold weather performance.


Jet fuel is a mixture of a variety of hydrocarbons. Because the exact composition of jet fuel varies widely based on petroleum source, it is impossible to define jet fuel as a ratio of specific hydrocarbons. Jet fuel is therefore defined as a performance specification rather than a chemical compound. Furthermore, the range of molecular mass between hydrocarbons (or different carbon numbers) is defined by the requirements for the product, such as the freezing point or smoke point. Kerosenetype jet fuel (including Jet A and Jet A1, JP5, and JP8) has a carbon number distribution between about 8 and 16 (carbon atoms per molecule); widecut or Naphtha type jet fuel (including Jet B and JP4), between about 5 and 15.


Aviation jet fuel is commonly referred to as JP54. However, this is the wrong terminology as there is no such grade of Jet Fuel. Jet A and Jet A–1 are what refineries offer. Aviation Jet fuel Gas is what powers turbine aircraft engines. Worldwide, Jet Fuel is the most used low Sulphur content Kerosene. For instance, Colonial JP54 is similar to Jet A except the energy is 18.4 mj/Kg compared to the 42.8 MJ/kg of Jet A. Most importantly there is also a slight difference in additives.


Aviation Jet Fuel


Aviation Jet Fuel B is used for its extremely cold weather performance.  However, aviation Jet fuel B’s lighter composition makes it more dangerous to handle. For this reason, it is rarely used except in very cold climates. A blend of approximately 30% Kerosene and 70% Gasoline. Because of its very low freezing point (60 °C (76 °F), it is known as a widecut fuel and has a low flash point as well. Aviation Jet Fuel B is primarily used in some military aircraft. In  Canada, it is also used because of its freezing point. Aviation Kerosene standards are published as GOST1022786. The standard consists of different properties. It separates paraffin and gasoline in the refinery.


Military organizations around the world use a different classification system of JP (for “Jet Propellant”) numbers. Some are almost identical to their civilian counterparts and differ only by the amounts of a few additives. For instance, Jet A1 is similar to JP8, Jet B is similar to JP4.  Military fuels are highly specialized products and are developed for very specific applications. Jet fuels are sometimes classified as kerosene or naphthatype. Kerosenetype fuels include Jet A, Jet A1, JP5 and JP8. Naphtha type jet fuels, sometimes referred to as “widecut” Jet Fuel, including Jet B and JP4.


Jet A specification fuel has been used in the United States since the 1950s.  However, it is usually not available outside the United States and a few Canadian airports such as Toronto and Vancouver. JetA1 is the standard specification fuel used by the rest of the world other than the former Soviet states where TS1 is the most common standard. Both Jet A and Jet A1 have a flashpoint higher than 38 °C (100 °F), with an auto ignition temperature of 210 °C (410 °F).


Aviation Jet Fuel


Differences between Jet A and Jet A–1:


The primary difference is the lower freezing point of A1:


  • Jet A’s is 40 °C (40 °F)
  • Jet A1’s is 47 °C (53 °F)


The other difference is the mandatory addition of an anti-static additive to Jet A1. Jet A trucks, storage tanks, and plumbing that carry Jet A are marked with a black sticker with “Jet A” in white printed on it, adjacent to another black stripe.


Typical physical properties for Jet A and Jet A–1:


Jet A1 fuel must meet:


  • DEF STAN 9191 (Jet A–1),
  • ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A1), and
  • IATA Guidance Material (Kerosene Type), NATO Code F35.


Jet A fuel must reach ASTM specification D1655 (Jet A).


Aviation Kerosene Colonial Grade JP54:


It is an abbreviation for “Jet Propulsion, A1 and Kerosene Colonial Grade 54”.  For instance, during the refining process only 15% of the crude oil makes up of JP54 but the rest of the grades used for different types of plastic.


JP54 powers gas turbine aircraft engines. Jet A and A1 have specifications that it uses in fuel worldwide. Jet B uses in cold weather elements. Commonly a number of different mixtures make up jet fuel. This relates to flashpoints and how the carbon numbers distribute.


Identification Of Jet Fuels
Identification of Jet Fuels


Jet Fuel exported from Russia etc. is “JP54” or “Colonial JP54”. It is similar to “Jet A” except the specific energy is 18.4 mj/kg. compares to that of 42.8 mj/kg. of “Jet A” but there is a slight difference in additives. The Jet Fuels come in a number of flavors. There is a 100+ page handbook to specify them all. However, all the Jet Fuels relate to additives to A1, which allows the plane not to leave a whitetail in the sky showing where a plane has been.


Jet Fuel is Kerosene and not a distillate like Gasoil/Diesel. In the refinery, it separates above gasoline and paraffines. There is no special temperature consideration to consider. Remember that at 40,000 feet it is 46 ºC more or less regardless of where you are and the season. The only problem relates to temperature is when you fill in a wet, hot climate, the air you take along in the same tanks contains a lot of water. It condenses and forms spiking ice crystals that will destroy the jet turbine. The airlines have fixed this with additives, usually fatty acids. Military Grade Jet Fuel produced by the refineries and delivers directly since they require special additives.




Standard Specifications For Aviation Jet Fuel A1 & Kerosene Colonial Grade 54:


Standard Specification Of Russian Aviation Kerosene Colonial Grade 54


Standard Specification of Aviation Jet Fuel Grade A–1