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Key Takeaways

  • The Cessna 182 burns 13.8 gallons of fuel per hour at a cruising speed of 167 MPH and a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet.
  • Factors like speed, weight, weather, drag, and altitude can impact the fuel economy of a plane like the Cessna 182.
  • The Cessna 182 has a 55-gallon fuel tank, which provides a maximum range of 1,200 miles.

Cessna planes are known well, and one of the most popular models is the Cessna 182. But how efficient is this plane, and how much fuel does it burn per hour?

The Cessna 182 burns 13.8 gallons of fuel per hour while traveling at recommended altitude and a cruising speed of 167 miles per hour. This is the standard fuel burn for single Lycoming IO-540-AB1A5 piston engine models assuming they do not exceed weight capacity.

We have gathered fuel economy data about the 182 directly from Cessna technical data sheets. They have built dozens of different 182 models, all with similar fuel burn and engine designs, making it easy to track how well these planes manage long-distance flying.

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How Much Fuel Does A Cessna 182 Burn Per Hour?

It’s estimated that the Cessna 182 burns about 13.8 gallons of fuel per hour. This plane uses a single Lycoming IO-540-AB1A5 piston engine, and with dozens of model variations, some have different engine configurations.

Overall, the Cessna 182 is a four-seat, single-engine airplane that is used for training and personal use. It can fly at a speed of about 167 miles per hour and has a range of about 1,200 miles.

The amount of fuel the Cessna 182 burns per hour changes based on various factors. For example, when it has an empty weight and weighs less, it’s known to be more fuel efficient.

However, things have changed for newer Cessna 182 models. In 2013, a new design, known as the 182T, included a larger SMA SR305-230 diesel engine with 227 horsepower.

This new model also weighed much more, causing the fuel burn rate to drop to 11 gallons per hour, assuming a cruise speed of 178.3 MPH. However, since its introduction, this model has been placed on hold with production paused.

Most Cessna 182 models maintain an average fuel burn between 13-14 gallons per hour. This is standard and has been for over 50 years, other than a few experimental production runs.

What Impacts How Much Fuel A Cessna 182 Burns Per Hour?

The amount of fuel required for the flight depends on several factors, such as the weight of the plane, its speed, and altitude. The fuel cost is also a factor in how much it costs to operate an aircraft.


The Cessna 182 is one of the most popular aircraft in the world, but it can be hard to estimate how much fuel it will burn when flying at different speeds.

A plane’s fuel estimate is based on its cruise speed, not its max speed. This means that a plane flying slower than its cruise speed will use less fuel than one that flies faster than its cruise speed for the same distance.


Fuel consumption is important to consider when flying an airplane. The amount of fuel a plane uses is directly related to the aircraft's weight. The heavier the plane, the more fuel it will burn per hour or per mile flown.

If flying the Cessna 182 with its maximum weight capacity reached, it’s possible to see even more fuel burn than 13.8. The added weight causes the plane to work harder to reach cruising speeds.


Weather conditions such as wind speed, humidity, and temperature affect how much fuel a plane burns per hour, like the Cessna 182 burns per hour.

For example, warm air is thinner than cool air, so cooler temperatures can cause the plane to work harder and use more power to get in the air or increase speeds. This leads to more fuel burn and less fuel economy.


Drag is impacted by many factors like speed, weight, weather, and altitude. When drag is present, it greatly impacts fuel efficiency because it acts as a force against the plane, increasing the power output.

When power output increases, fuel burn also increases, and this causes more than 13.8 gallons per hour to burn when flying a Cessna 182. Drag is reduced by plane designers by making narrower wings and leaner plane designs.


Aircraft fuel consumption decreases with altitude. This is because the air pressure decreases with altitude and the density of the air is less than that of sea level.

When altitude increases, it causes less drag on the aircraft resulting in decreased fuel consumption. The air is also much thinner at higher altitude levels, which is why all planes have a recommended maximum altitude.

How Far Can A Cessna 182 Fly On A Full Tank Of Fuel?

The fuel tank of a Cessna 182 holds approximately 55 gallons, meaning it has a maximum range of around 1,200 miles. This is based on a cruising speed of 167 MPH at 18,100 feet during the flight.

As altitude and speed change, the fuel burn and Cessna 182 range will also change. For example, reaching maximum speeds will reduce the total range of the Cessna 182 by about 15-20%.

The same is true for flying extended time at lower altitudes rather than reaching thinner air when less power is required for the plane to maintain a cruising speed. All of these factors will change the plane range.

However, expect an average range of 1,200 miles at 167 MPH on one full fuel tank.

Is The Cessna 182 The Most Fuel Efficient Cessna Plane?

The Cessna 182 is one of the most fuel-efficient Cessna planes. But how does it compare to other models? Let’s take a look at some other famous Cessnas known for their impressive fuel burn stats.

Cessna 152

The Cessna 152 is a much smaller plane and only burns 6.2 gallons of fuel per hour at cruising speeds. It also has a smaller fuel tank at only 26 or 39 gallons, depending on the model type.

This makes it an excellent choice for people who are looking for a low-cost way to travel, but it also means that the aircraft has few features that larger planes have, like the Cessna 182.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a popular Cessna model slightly smaller in size compared to the 182 that burns 8.0 gallons of fuel per hour. The aircraft has been in production since 1955 and is still being manufactured today.

It has a 43-gallon fuel tank with a cruising speed of 140 MPH. This fuel burn estimate assumes a cruising speed and power usage rate of 75%.

Cessna Citation II

The Citation II is a jet with multiple engines that burns 193 gallons per hour. This is a much larger plane than the 182 and has a 544-gallon or 744-gallon fuel tank.

Despite what seems like a huge fuel burn, this is considered one of the most fuel-efficient jets in its class. Cessna is one of the top brands for fuel efficiency too.