The devil is in the details with unleaded avgas

In the 1970s, the automotive world switched from leaded to unleaded fuels and the oil companies did a lot of research on knocking and how to prevent it. One of the big projects involved octane requirement increase (ORI).

In this program, cars were rated for octane requirement when new and then every 2,000 miles. The octane requirement increased until it leveled off at about 20,000 miles. [Read more…]

Iconic seaplane to star in Hollywood movie

PBY A&P

“What is that?”

My student and I were on downwind to Runway 16 at Pierce County/Thun Field (KPLU) in Puyallup, Wash., when he uttered this phrase. “It looks like something out of World War II!” he exclaimed as we saw the high-wing boat-hulled aircraft make its final approach.

And he is right. The “that” in question is a 1945 PBY, an amphibious Patrol Bomber (the PB) built by Consolidated Aircraft. During their military service, many of the PBYs were used for patrol and to rescue sailors and aviators from the ocean. Many were kept in the military until the 1980s, then released to become water bombers for fire fighting.

This particular PBY belongs to Bud Rude of Spanaway, Wash., and it’s set to star in a movie with Nicolas Cage about the rescue of sailors from the USS Indianapolis during World War II. [Read more…]