Aircraft Range Map Calculator - How far will my jet fly?

By Michael Dwyer

August 1, 2022

There are several aircraft range map tools designed to calculate how far a jet will fly. They can help you determine which make and model is best suited for your travel needs.

At Guardian Jet, we call our tool a “Range Rings” map. In essence, it helps you determine how far you can travel from your nearest departure airport.  

Keep in mind, however, that Range Rings are not designed to replace flight planning. But they are a great tool to complement more comprehensive studies. 


What is an Aircraft Range Map?

By definition, an aircraft range map is an online tool to help you visualize how far an airplane model can travel. It calculates the maximum distance radiuses and flight durations from any airport. 

It’s also a great tool to compare aircraft and their flight capabilities. At Guardian Jet, our “Range Rings” map tool offers a variety of features. It enables you to quickly:

  • Create an overlay comparison of up to three airplane models to determine which aircraft is most suitable for your mission profile.
  • View maximum distances (under ideal conditions) for up to 130 airplane makes and models, including legacy models.
  • Access further information on comparison aircraft, such as aircraft specifications, brochures, etc. It also helps you to begin estimating operational costs (fuel, crew labor, etc.).


How ‘Range Rings’ Works

Our “Range Rings” map tool is very easy to use. It just takes a few simple steps, so you don’t have to perform complex calculations. To use it, you:

  1. Pick an airport that you frequent (e.g., Teterboro) 
  2. Choose from one to three airplane models to compare.
  3. Compare the circle diagrams that highlight nautical miles (nm).

As illustrated in Figure 1 below, let’s compare the aircraft range for three midsize business jets:

  •  Gulfstream G280 – light brown line
  •  Challenger 350 – light blue line
  •  Praetor 600 – dark blue line

Figure 1. 

Figure 1: Aircraft Range Map - Range Rings Map by Guardian Jet

This aircraft range map comparison tells us that the Praetor 600 is able to travel the furthest of the three models. But, as you can see, the Challenger 350 and G280 are not far behind the Embraer. Departing from Teterboro, New Jersey, the P600 can make a nonstop trip to London, England, whereas the G280 and Challenger 350 will likely require a stop for fuel.

Care to go further? Let’s look at ultra-long-range jets. Per Figure 2 below, the aircraft range map compares similar ultra-long-range jet models:

  • Gulfstream G700 – light brown line
  • Gulfstream G650 – light blue line
  • Bombardier 7500 – dark blue line


Figure 2.

Figure 2: Aircraft Range Map - Range Rings Map by Guardian Jet


Simply input the airport of origin and the makes and models of three aircraft. The Range Rings tool will automatically provide a range map for their global distance capabilities. 

Limits of Range Rings

Now let’s discuss what Range Rings don’t do. This aircraft range map cannot calculate:

  • Headwinds and tailwinds.
  • Fuel loads based on passenger count. (Note: Aircraft typically cannot fill both the seats and tanks to capacity).
  • Fuel reserves are based on the weather at the destination and/or a suitable alternate landing airport.

This all leads to using Range Rings as a comparative tool for one model vs. another vs. trip planning. 

As you view Range Rings, look for a fairly wide margin of distance from the ring line. If a line shows that it’s very near a destination, don’t count on it to be 100% reachable.   


Comparing Aircraft Specs

Once you find aircraft models that meet general range requirements, you’ll likely want to learn more about them. To do that, let’s head over to Guardian Jet’s Aircraft Comparison Tool

Figure 3.

As an example, in Figure 3, you can see the nautical mile range for the G650 (7,000 nm), the 7500 (7,700 nm), and the G700 (7,500 nm). Keep in mind that you can use this tool to learn even more about how much it costs to operate the aircraft. 

Of course, as a “do-it-yourself” for any and all of these comparisons, you’ll need to input a variety of data. In the following section, we’ll show you exactly what you need to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your aircraft range map tool.  


Take it for a Drive!

Interested in a certain make and model? Want to compare it with some others for overall range performance? Then we invite you to test-drive our Range Rings tool, free of charge. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check our Aircraft Comparison Tool and use it to Create a Budget

We’ve worked hard to develop this comprehensive aircraft range mapping tool. And we’ve tried to make it as easy to use as it is comprehensive. We think you’ll agree that it's a boon for comparing aircraft performance across an array of categories.

Or, if you’d prefer a more detailed mission analysis, please contact our Consulting team. We’ll be happy to help you answer any questions you might have about our tool and its variety of uses.

Of course, creating the equation takes time and energy. Thankfully, Guardian Jet’s aircraft range map calculator does all of the work for you. 


P.S. Want to know the math behind calculating an airplane’s range. Check out how an academic approach to setting up your equation, per the Glenn Research Center at NASA.

Contact Guardian Jet

Posted in: Vault

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