With aviation fuel (avgas or 100LL as we like to call it) climbing over $5.50/gallon in many areas (see 100LL.com for current prices), it's clear that the famed $100 Hamburger is rapidly vanishing from aviation.
If you're not familiar with the concept, Wikipedia explains it well:
A $100 Hamburger is aviation slang for a private general aviation flight for the sole purpose of dining at a non-local airport. Most often used by pilots who are looking for any excuse to fly, a $100 hamburger trip usually involves flying a short distance (less than two hours), eating at an airport restaurant, and flying home. "$100" originally referred to the approximate cost of renting or operating a light general aviation aircraft, such as a Cessna 172, for the time it took to fly round-trip to a nearby airport. Increasing fuel prices have since caused an increase in hourly operating costs for most airplanes, whether rented or owned.
The last time we flew for a $100 hamburger was back in January when a group of group of us (two Citabrias, one Cub, and one Cessna 150) headed out to Merced for lunch.
I actually did have a burger that day. :-)
But when your airplane burns 6.5 gallons/hour (leaned) and fuel is $5.50/gallon, you can't fly much more than an hour each way and keep it to $100 (not including food, maintenance, or insurance!).
The only I hope I see is that many of the new Light Sport Airplanes are using engines that burn anywhere from 3.5 to 5.0 gallons of fuel per hour. That's an improvement.
In The $200 hamburger, Nate Ferguson at AOPA Pilot suggests that we need to increase that number. He's definitely right, but something about calling it a $200 Hamburger really spoils it for me.
Posted by jzawodn at May 29, 2008 05:59 PM
Speaking of.. I think it's time for another Burger soon! What'ya say?
I really don't know about that... It could just become the emphasis that changes:
Let's go out for a couple of hundred dollar hamburgers. -> 2 or more people going for $100 burgers
Let's go out for a couple of hundred dollar burgers. -> Someone (or a group) going out for $200+ burgers.
Well wait a year and it will be the $1000 Hamburger.
Seriously though, increases in fossil fuel costs are going to change the way we do (or just don't do) things. Just remember, change is good and creates opportunities.
Do you get fries with that?
(Sorry I couldn't resist)
As I recall, the fries were really quite good. :-)
If you start paying $200 for a $100 burger, then it better be Kobe!
Well how much would cost to get a tow plane, a glider, and some good wind? Or would that still cost $200? :-Þ
I read your blog often. Never thought I'd see a mention of my home town of Merced!
This made me laugh, and that means this is really unique.
Really it all depends on how many miles per gallon your burger gets. ;-)
Funny you should think of that on my birthday (5/29).
I would expect your accountant to tell you the burger really cost you *way* more than $100 or $200. Amortize depreciation, insurance, tie-down/hangar costs, property taxes, insurance, fuel costs, maintenance, pilot training (the total amortized cost to get your license, all endorsements, etc. - what is that instrument rating costing :-) ), cost of travel to the airport, ...
But the more burgers you go get, you are actually helping lower the per-burger costs... so just do it.
wow... one expensive burger.. but exciting..!
The burger looks awesome!! isnt it :)
This is ironic, here's a pseudo news story on Burger King serving an actual $200 hamburger at a London chain.
Don't ask me what I was doing on Foxnews.com. It was a fluke I saw this.