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Miles Per Gallon

Everybody's Business, edited by Milton Moskowitz, Michael Katz and Robert Levering (Harper & Row), in Reader's Digest, October, 1981

From Moped to Staurn V

This is how far the following conveyances will go on a gallon of fuel: Moped (motorized bicycle), 120 miles. Harley-Davidson 1200 (motorcycle), 50 miles. Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel (automobile), 42 miles. Model A Ford (automobile), 25 miles. Piper Cherokee (light plane), 15 miles (at 144 miles an hour). Maserati Quattroporte (automobile), 8 miles. GMC Astro (tractor-semitrailer combination), 5.4 miles. GM (diesel locomotive), 632 yards (at 70 miles an hour, pulling 40 to 50 fully loaded freight cars). Boeing 747 (jumbo jet), 280 yards (carrying 385 people at 39,000 feet). Ultra-large crude-oil carrier (supertanker), 31 feet. (At 17 miles an hour and fully loaded, this ship needs 41 gallons of fuel to travel its own length.) Saturn V (rocket), 10 inches to infinity. (While the Saturn consumes enormous quantities of fuel in its early stages, once it escapes the earth's gravitational field no more fuel is consumed.)