Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

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:


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


F-15C Eagle Fighter — $41,921

F-16C Viper Fighter — $22,514

F-22A Raptor Fighter — $68,362


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

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2 thoughts on “Operating costs per hour for USAF planes

  1. Pingback: How soon will Saudi Arabia blink? (dropping oil prices #14) | Outrun Change

  2. Pingback: Operating costs of military aircraft using reimbursement rates as an approximation | Outrun Change

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