As Christmas approaches, we wondered what fuel Santa Claus will be using this year? With the average price of avgas having risen from $1.81 in December 2008 to nearly $6 in December 2012, the nice folks up on the North Pole must be thinking about alternatives, just as many pilots are these days.
The image here from a Christmas card in 1909 hints, though, why Santa is smiling. He is flying what appears to be a Curtiss pusher, whose powerplant was typically a 20-hp Curtiss E-4 water-cooled engine that ran on < 64 octane gasoline, since that’s all there was over a century ago.
Mogas has for the past year remained $1.40-$1.50 per gallon cheaper than avgas, making Santa’s job of budgeting for his long flight easier.
If he is, however, still relying on his trusty team of eight strong reindeer — make that nine with Rudolph out front — he’s probably burning pure bio-fuel.
According to Santa himself: “Most of the time they eat a variety of plants and moss but during the winter the Reindeer Master (She’s the head elf who takes care of the reindeer) begins feeding them a specialized diet of fairy dust, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. This allows the reindeer to begin gearing up for Christmas Eve by helping them gain the much needed energy and muscle to accomplish the flight. The fairy dust also assists them in their flying skills which they practice year round anyway.”
We can only assume that the nine powerplants for Santa’s sleigh get their fuel from a self-service system up on the North Pole, saving Mr. and Mrs. Claus further money. Ho-Ho-Ho from your bloggers, Dean Billing and Kent Misegades.