I'll give you my experience of being in the group for 2 years and I wont sugar coat it......
Firstly, someone is telling you porkies on the fuel cost, JP3 burns about 500-600 litres an hour at probably about 90p per litre in todays money for JetA1. When I was flying it 5 or 6 years ago the fuel price was about 40-50p per litre and I was usually £350-£400 an hour inc landing fees which were about £50 per landing at Newcastle, probably more by now. Doing circuits at Carlisle was a bit better but it was something like 3 or 4 landings for £100. At todays fuel prices an hour of circuits (low level + lots of drag = lots of fuel burn) will probably stand you £700+ inc landings depending on how many you do.
Some other things I would add about the group.....
- Constantly moving goalposts with regards hour requirements for being allowed to carry pax, make sure you get this confirmed in a written agreement first so it cant be changed.
- Slim to zero chance of getting your £1k back and legal threats to get you to keep paying your monthly fees even after you have 'donated' your share back to the group, as per the agreement.
- Extremely limited availablity of the aircraft during summer weekends as it does the airshow season.
- Flying cost includes NO maintenance cost or engine fund, if something breaks you all chip in, thats from the moment you join whether you've flown it or not.
- All maintenance costs being split equally regardless of hours flown, tends to suit one member in particular who does more flying than the rest of the group put together.
- Group financial structure that relies on a continual flow of members leaving and 'donating' their £1000 share back to the group.
I've no axe to grind and had fun flying 'blunty' during my time in the group but make sure you do your own research on the costs, the group accounts, the number of members in the group and the throughput of members over the last few years. A happy / stable group generally has a very small turnover of members, a high throughput is a sign that not all is well.
As for flying it, its not a difficult thing to fly at all and not that demanding, a few more systems to consider than your average spam-can but its fun enough if you can handle the fuel costs! Typical speeds are about 180kts econ cruise, 220kts if your not so fussed burning fuel and max chat S&L on the deck is about 270kts.
Last edited by Unusual Attitude; 7th May 2012 at 14:25.
I'd say its fun but not 'thrilling', tis quite a big docile machine with a decent roll rate but doesnt have a lot of spare power, the JP4/5 are far more lively machines.
Personally I get far more of a thril out of my Cassutt for about 1/10th of the cost of the JP!
For example on Sat the circuit was clear so I departed off runway 03, round to beat-up runway 27 low level in knife edge and then out the circuit at 200mph for a practice display which I'm working up....total cost for the 30min flight...£25!
Personally if I was going to spend that sort of dosh again I'd be heading here....
The Jet Provost Mk3 is almost half the cost of the Mk4 and Mk5 Jet Provost per flying hour.
I might query this, you could read it to imply the JP3 is less than half the running cost of a 3/4?
I am unaware of any substantial difference in Fuel Burn, either at a particular IAS, or over a particular range, between the 3/4/5. Yes - at full power a 4/5 will burn the fuel a lot quicker - but so it should at +50% of thrust - and will go a lot faster / further.
As the Chief Pilot of the Newcastle Jet Provost Group & with the highest PPL hours on type in the UK and also a qualified Hawker Hunter pilot i shall answer your questions the best i can. The costs as per our website are pretty much bang on, working out the cost of fuel at Newcastle today it works out at £166 (the website quotes £150) Of course we now have access to the MOD rate of fuel which is 35p per litre cheaper then most civil airports, but like any aircraft and even more so in a Jet it all depends on what height you fly at and where you put the throttle - You only pay for the fuel YOU use on a flight.
It should also be noted that there are no expected "cash calls" etc at any point in the near future, last year we got the aircraft completely repainted and we also replaced the Roll Royce Viper engine with a "0" time one.
We had a 1 hour sortie last weekend around the lake district (low level 250 knots, aeros etc...) cost was £200, Landing fees at Newcastle are currently £42. (you have full fire cover, ATC, Rader etc..)
It should also be noted the group rules are all there in black and white before anyone joins the group & it makes it quite clear how to join and how to leave.
I welcome anyone who may be interested in flying a Jet to come along and have a test flight a "try before you buy" which we have full CAA approval for, we also work with the Hunter Flight Academy and any group member now gets the chance to fly in the Hunter should they wish to.
As for Hunter costs these days work on £3500 for a trip, however the costs in the JP and Hunter are much reduced for group members by taking the aircraft to and from events in the UK most of which offer free fuel to attend, all group members get the chance to attend and take advantage of the "free fuel"
To join the Newcastle Jet Provost Group, you should have 100 hours SEP time. (less maybe acceptable - this is down to the insurance company) Buy a £1 share in the group. Pay a £999 non refundable joining fee. Pay £130 per month to cover all the fixed costs of operating the aircraft
All you pay for on a flight is the fuel YOU use and any landing fee's and that's it no hidden extras.
A few months ago I emailed the group about the possibility of a trial flight. At the time Neil, you suggested that joining as a 'social member' for £250 would be the way forward, and splitting the cost of a trip because (from your email to me):
once joined you only pay for half the fuel on a flight which is circa £350.
Perhaps it's poor phrasing, and I'm mistaken; to me though that read as if the cost of the trip to me would be £350 (which tallies with UA's figure for today's fuel useage + landing fees).
I'm assuming the Lakes sortie mentioned was £200 per pilot for fuel + £42 landing fee (£442). Even so, I'm not sure how my side for an hour would have been £350?
I'm only now nearing the end of my PPL, but in a year or two hope to be looking around for a share in a JP. Newcastle is my closest at the moment, but the difference between the figures quoted on the website, to me, and on here, make me feel a little uneasy.
Feel free to "quote me happy" always happy to admit I've made a mistake.
It sounds like the cost of fuel is around £400 per hour, which is split between the 2 pilots, and can vary considerably depending on the type of activity, and the cost of fuel (potentially at military rate) at the time, which would explain the variations.
£400 as a guide price per hour for a jet aircraft seems an excellent rate to me. Hopefully Neil can confirm....
It sounds like the cost of fuel is around £400 per hour, which is split between the 2 pilots
When I do the bi-annual dual checks with the owners in a JP3 group, if we fly "wings only" we are pushing to get 35-40mins airborne. That is for takeoff, steep turns, a couple of stalls, a few aeros, a PFL, and say ~3 circuits, all interlinked with ~180K transits. I tend to ask the owners to "half tip" it (another ~700lb / 200L), which means we can comfortably do ~50mins-1hr airborne.
The "wings only" means starting with ~1450lbs and landing with 600lbs = 485L. I'll let you do the rest of the maths...
MoD rate fuel sounds great, if you can get to/from there to uplift it.
Splitting the fuel cost is great, but think carefully how much time you will actually achieve that? By the time you have done your training, and recurrent checks, that is a fair number of hours paying all the fuel.
In practice, given the JP speed, a typical flight need not be an hour. A lot of 20-25mins airborne trips in the logs.
I am not trying to discourage JP flying - it is a different sort of flying well worth experiencing while you can. But it is a real shame the % of people who buy in, and never progress to FHT and beyond for finance / time etc.
Clunk I can confirm the £200 on the Lakes trip was the cost per person so £400 total.
Timmy44 regarding your comment i have looked back on my emails to over 6 months ago and you enquired about a 1 hour flight (most sorties are 40 - 45 mins) and at the time Newcastle fuel prices were high at 98p per litre + the landing making £330 each on a flight give or take for any holding times or for low level flying it was nothing more then a guide at the time and not the actual cost which may have been a lot cheaper.
Hope this helps a bit. Just to confirm the cost of a JP flight is down to the pilot and the size of his wallet!
if its not for you fine, but you should at least try it once
Just to further confirm NoD's comments I dug out my old Aircrew manual for the JP3, I'll give you the stated fuel cons figs:-
Firstly, conversions I've used (I know its a bit backward but I'm trying to keep it simple for working out costs!)
1 litre Jet A1 = 0.81kg (I know it changes with SG but I've taken an avg fig) 1 litre Jet A1 = 1.78574lbs
So, at Max Intermediate power (not full chat)
Sea Level = TAS 259kts (IAS 256kts) 30.8 lbs/min or 1035 litres per hr 10,000' = TAS 267kts (IAS 228kts) 23.6 lbs/min or 793 litres per hr
Using Max Cont power
Sea Level = TAS 244kts (IAS 241kts) 27.4 lbs/min or 921 litres per hr 10,000' = TAS 251kts (IAS 214kts) 20.6 lbs/min or 692 litres per hr
As you can see, she's no stranger to a fuel bowser if your nipping on.
Using Econ cruise figs you get the following:-
Sea level IAS 177kts 17.7lbs/min or 595 litres per hr 10,000' = IAS 159kts 13.8 lbs/min or 464 litres per hr
Also you'd want to add 60lbs for start, taxi & takeoff so thats another 34litres.
I really cant be assed using the climb / descent tables to work it out fully but a climb to 10k with full tips at 165kts IAS reducing by 5kts per 5000' gives a time to climb ot 8.6mins and a fuel burn for the climb of 260lbs, you can work the rest out yourself....
I've not included figs above 10,000' as XM479 has the Oxy system de-activated and is placarded as below 10k only.
So I'll leave it to you to figure out how realistic £400 per hr is unless you want to sit at 10,000' doing 159kts IAS, thats also excluding the £42 landing fee of course. I'm assuming your taking fuel from Newcastle at 90p per litre or whatever it is as thats where the aircraft is based and most of the training will be done from.
Now also bear in mind that when your doing your Turbojet Exemption you will be paying THE FULL COST of the trip and in my case also £100 per day for the chap to sit next to me though thats probably no longer the case. I got through mine in absolute minimum time but I was a fresh faced CPL with about 350hrs and had totally studied all the systems, checks and drills (I was no stranger to a CFS check ride! ) Even so I seem to remember I wasnt allowed to solo until 5hrs on type (6 or 7 trips in total) As I said before, you will easily be racking up trips at circa £700+ per time in the circuit as your low level with lots of drag. As Nigel also states you can cost share with other group members but only one of you can log the time so thats no use to get the 20hrs needed to carry pax.
I'd therefore expect that to get to the point of carrying passengers to share your costs your probably looking at a minimum of £15k with landing fees and monthlies etc. Of course if you can take advantage of the free airshow trips and get to log the time then that will save you something and also uplifting cheaper fuel from MOD airfields would help assuming they are happy to let you in without charging a crazy landing fee!
As NoD says its good to try while you get the chance but you really do need to be aware of the costs, and thats without having to put your hand in your pocket for any unforseen Tech issues. I seem to remember during my time a new set of tyres as a cash call, an LP fuel pump problem which kept occuring and that pesky U/C retraction issue which casued me to be chased down the runway by half the airport fire crew (i think they were bored!)....still, better stuck down than up!
UA, not sure about your figures to be honest as your guessing at the cost of fuel per litre.
Fuel at Newcastle is at this time is 82p per litre but only 55p at RAF Leeming and the rest of the MOD sites.
The insurance company as you well know dictate the hours required on type to fly the aircraft not the group and at this time (as it has been for the last 4 years) a PPL will need at least 5 hours on type before going solo and a further 5 hours (10 hours in total) before taking passengers which i think is quite fair and of course in our group the the last 5 hours to get up to the 10 can be flown with other group members and each halving the cost.
So by my calculations it could be quite possible to get converted onto a JP3 for circa under £4400, maybe even less if the pilot isnt in a hurry and wanted to use the airshow's (with their free fuel) as training flights.
Which ever way you look at it the JP3 at Newcastle is the cheapest Jet in the UK to buy into and the cheapest Jet in the UK to fly.
All we can say is come along one day what a flight look at the books and go from there, if you dont like it well at least know you know
It sounds like great fun, but I'd hate to be up there learning to fly the jet if I was at all worried about the huge cash burn rate. It would be enough to think about the actual flying without having £10/minute on your mind as well!
Good job I'm not close enough to Newcastle to be tempted