What type of fuel is used in helicopters?

Do they use Aviation Turbine Fuel (jet fuel), which is used widely in commercial airlines?

Also, where would be the fuel tank located in a helicopter?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Commercial airlines typically use Jet-A/1 $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 3:42

1 Answer 1


It depends on the engine. A piston engine will use avgas (aviation gasoline) or diesel (or Jet-A for availability reasons) depending on whether the engine is a diesel engine (which can burn jet fuel), while a turbine engine will use jet fuel. Essentially whatever the engine is rated to burn.

The fuel tank is somewhere in the fuselage near the center of the rotor. This to avoid the center of gravity shifting with the fuel level.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A Diesel helicopter? I've never heard of such a thing. $\endgroup$
    – Gabe
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Gabe: Looks like some work has been done in that area, though: wired.com/2010/02/… $\endgroup$ Commented May 27, 2014 at 16:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ How long before we have helicopters parked on off-ramps overnight... (couldn't resist. :) $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 12:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ wired is hardly a credible source for helicopters! there aren't any certificated diesel helis $\endgroup$
    – rbp
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ Besides, aviation diesels burn Jet-A anyway. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 1:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .