This article was published in 2018

We have recently taken delivery of a load of fuel to restock our 40,000 litre tank at Eaglescott. We do this normally about twice a year and purchase it by the tanker load to take advantage of the efficiencies of scale. At Exeter Airbase our fuel is supplied by the Exeter Airport Refuellers under an agreement that was put in place when the Airbase was relocated to the Airport.

Our helicopters use a fuel known as Jet A-1, it’s very similar to paraffin or diesel and is used by gas turbine powered aircraft, from helicopters to large airlines around the world. Jet A-1 fuel is a very safe fuel compared to petrol due to its high flash point of 38 degrees Centigrade compared to minus 45 degrees for petrol (The flash point is the temperature at which the liquid gives off enough vapour to form a combustible concentration of gas).

Our helicopters are quite thirsty when it comes to fuel and use approximately 250 litres per hour, which is in excess of 50 gallons. Multiply that by the 900 hours that our helicopters spent in the air last year and that makes an eye watering 225,000L. Fortunately it isn’t as expensive as petrol and we currently pay 44p per litre but that still means a fuel bill of about £100,000 annually, it’s just a shame they don’t do Nectar card points!

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