How much thrust is involved, and how much fuel is burned, to get an aircraft like a Boeing 767 - or something similar - moving from a complete stop?

Recently, I was on a 767 that took the "scenic route" around the DFW airport trying to get to a gate. We were on the tarmac for an unusually long time, and had multiple stops and starts. I was curious how that might have affected fuel costs as opposed to a shorter time on the tarmac and a more direct path to our gate.

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    $\begingroup$ Your definition of "average size airplane" and mine are very different. $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2016 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ If you have any insight into what it takes for any particular plane, that would be a start...I'm not necessarily looking for the specifics of getting a 767 moving. I just gave that as a reference for why I'm asking the question. $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2016 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ @RyanMortensen: It seems expensive to release a plane from the gate, and then have it to stop moving and restart multiple times before reaching the runway, because of the congested taxiway. I think the question is a good one (+1), and actually the answer may confirm other methods, like delaying engine start and taxi, would be better. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ @mins Yeah, it's a good question. I just thought it wasn't clear at first. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ It depends on what the aircraft is doing. If you literally just want to "get the aircraft moving", then all you need to do is supply enough thrust to overcome the static friction in the wheels (bearings and contact with the ground) and any headwind. So what are you actually asking? For example, how much extra fuel is burnt when an aircraft taxiing at V miles per hour stops, waits for T seconds and then accelerates back to Vmph, compared to when it just taxis? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 9:03

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This research paper may be of interest for you. According to their data the 777 burns about 250Kg of fuel on taxi on average with a few data points showing burns well over 700Kg of fuel. This paper which quotes the previously linked paper talks a bit about different fuel saving methods and their impacts, like single engine taxi and what not. In short taxi distance will always burn a bit more fuel, the primary concern is taxing for takeoff (since you don't want to cut into your estimates). Once the plane is back on the ground it becomes less of a safety concern as running out of fuel becomes an inconvenience (that a tug can solve) and less of flight risk.

Here is an interesting paper on fuel burn rates if you were to extend a runway by 500Ft. They provide data/estimates for many air frames.


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