Aircraft Thrust/Power Management Can Save Defense Fuel, Reduce Engine Maintenance Costs, and Improve Readiness

PLRD-82-74: Published: Jul 29, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Department of Defense's (DOD) effort to save fuel and reduce maintenance costs on aircraft engines through thrust/power management.

DOD does not have a comprehensive, effective aircraft thrust/power management program to save fuel consumption and reduce engine maintenance costs. It has not issued specific policies or guidelines for the services to follow. Likewise, the services themselves do not have effective thrust/power management programs. As a result, effective practices and procedures followed by one service, command, or base may not necessarily be implemented or considered by other activities. Variances within DOD and the services are not being investigated, and the potential exists for incurring greater fuel and maintenance costs. Most ongoing thrust/power management efforts in DOD are related to bomber, tanker, and transport aircraft with little attention being placed on fighter type aircraft.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should maintain oversight of the services' programs to: (1) implement aircraft thrust/power management; (2) ensure effective coordination of information; and (3) implement operating and maintenance procedures where possible.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to more effectively monitor existing fuel consumption data to identify trends, variances, and potential problems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should issue policy and guidelines identifying the importance of thrust/power management and the positive effects on fuel use and improved engine life which have been achieved by bomber, tanker, and transport aircraft. The Secretary should direct the services to give greater attention to the possible benefits of thrust/power management as a means of saving tactical aircraft fuel and reducing engine maintenance costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to more effectively monitor efforts by subordinate commands and units, through such methods as review and comparison of local procedures and followup to efficiency studies and suggestions, to identify and implement fuel efficient operating and maintenance procedures where possible.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to ensure fuel efficient operating and maintenance procedures followed by one service are implemented by the other where applicable.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to require that all appropriate aircraft, including tactical fighters, use reduced power when cost effective and consistent with safety and mission considerations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to report how they plan to analyze and evaluate the use of reduced power by tactical fighter aircraft. These plans should identify the aircraft to be evaluated, the methods to be used in the evaluations, and target dates for completion. The plans should be provided to and monitored by the Secretary of Defense.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to more effectively establish criteria, such as gallons or training accomplishments per flight hour, against which to evaluate progress in improving aircraft fuel efficiency. These criteria should be standardized by aircraft type and command, wherever possible, so that effective and meaningful evaluations can be made.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to conduct engineering analyses and flight tests to determine the extent to which fighter aircraft can use reduced power safely and economically.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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