Operating costs per hour for USAF planes

To support a side comment in previous article, I did a quick search on operating costs of fighters. For future reference in other articles, I’ll list some of the info here.

4/2/13 – Time magazine – Costly Flight Hours – This is the longest list I could quickly find. Author cites a researcher who volunteered the info he had gathered from official sources, so take it for what its worth. Cool official pictures for the planes, too. A few highlights:

Bombers:

B-1B Lancer Bomber — $57,807

B-2A Spirit Stealth Bomber — $169,313

B-52H Stratofortress Bomber — $69,708

I’m not quite sure why a B-1 has lower hourly operating costs than a B-52.

VIP transport:

C-20B VIP Plane (Senior Pentagon Officials) — $32,212

C-32A VIP Plane (Vice President, Cabinet Officers) — $42,936

VC-25A Air Force One — $161,591

E-4B Flying Headquarters — $163,485

Fighters:

F-15C Eagle Fighter — $41,921

F-16C Viper Fighter — $22,514

F-22A Raptor Fighter — $68,362

Drones:

MQ-1B Predator Drone — $3,679

MQ-9A Reaper Drone — $4,762

RQ-4B Global Hawk Drone — $49,089

At one-tenth the hourly cost of an F-15, you can see why the military likes the small drones.

12/30/14 – Business InsiderThis Chart Shows the Staggering Hourly Cost of Operating US Military Aircraft – Info from this article for hourly operating costs:

  • $1,500 – Predator drone
  • $11,500 – A-10
  • $70,000 – V-22
  • $32,000 – F-35
  • $44,000 – F22
  • $135,000 – B-2

10/16/09 – Key Publishing forum – Only looked at one post on the forum which has a long discussion. One person mentioned these hourly operating costs from 2009:

  • $5,000 – F-16
  • $17,000-$30,000 – F-15C
  • $19,000-$30,000 – F-22

2 thoughts on “Operating costs per hour for USAF planes”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.