Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose — This study aims to explore the viability of using C-17 reduced-engine taxi procedures from a cost savings and capability perspective. Design/methodology/approach — This study model expected engine fuel flow based on the number of operational engines, aircraft gross weight (GW) and average aircraft groundspeed. Using this model, the research executes a cost savings simulation estimating the expected annual savings produced by the proposed taxi methodology. Operational and safety risks are also considered. Findings — The results indicate that significant fuel and costs savings are available via the employment of reduced-engine taxi procedures. On an annual basis, the mobility air force has the capacity to save approximately 1.18 million gallons of jet fuel per year ($2.66m in annual fuel costs at current rates) without significant risk to operations. The two-engine taxi methodology has the ability to generate capable taxi thrust for a maximum GW C-17 with nearly zero risks. Research limitations/implications — This research was limited to C-17 procedures and efficiency improvements specifically, although it suggests that other military aircraft could benefit from these findings as is evident in the commercial airline industry. Practical implications — This research recommends coordination with the original equipment manufacturer to rework checklists and flight manuals, development of a fleet-wide training program and evaluation of future aircraft recapitalization requirements intended to exploit and maximize aircraft surface operation savings. Originality/value — If implemented, the proposed changes would benefit the society as government resources could be spent elsewhere and the impact on the environment would be reduced. This research conducted a rigorous analysis of the suitability of implementing a civilian airline’s best practice into US Air Force operations.


All articles published in JDAL are published Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. CC BY 4.0

Sourced from the publisher version of record at Emerald. The citation and DOI link are noted below.



Source Publication

Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics

Included in

Aviation Commons