The maximal total range is the distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing, as limited by fuel capacity in powered aircraft, or cross-country speed and environmental conditions in unpowered aircraft.

Ferry range means the maximum range the aircraft can fly. This usually means maximum fuel load, optionally with extra fuel tanks and minimum equipment. It refers to transport of aircraft for use on remote location.

Combat range is the maximum range the aircraft can fly when carrying ordnance.

Combat radius is a related measure based on the maximum distance a warplane can travel from its base of operations, accomplish some objective, and return to its original airfield with minimal reserves.

The fuel time limit for powered aircraft is fixed by the fuel load and rate of consumption. When all fuel is consumed, the engines stop and the aircraft will lose its propulsion. For unpowered aircraft, the maximum flight time is variable, limited by available daylight hours, aircraft design (performance), weather conditions, aircraft potential energy, and pilot endurance.

The range can be seen as the cross-country ground speed multiplied by the maximum time in the air. The range equation will be derived in this article for propeller and jet aircraft.

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