Swift Enterprises, Ltd. has been developing an unleaded replacement for aviation gasoline for the last five years, called 100SF. One of the milestones in the path to commercialization of the new fuel is the publication of a specification by ASTM International that defines their fuel. That happened in early May when ASTM International approved a new fuel specification, ASTM D7719 Standard Specification for High Octane Unleaded Test Fuel, for Grade UL102 unleaded aviation gasoline. Company officials report that 100SF meets the performance parameters for Grade UL102.
In order to ensure the continued safe operation of every aircraft/engine in the fleet, this specification is modeled after ASTM D910, the current specification for 100LL, officials add.
“The approval of this standard is a major part of the process for getting this fuel to market,” said PJ Catania, the head of fuels certification and member of ASTM International for Swift Enterprises.
Swift officials began development of an unleaded, high-octane replacement for 100LL aviation gasoline because of rumors of the coming demise of the leaded gasoline. In recent months, the issue of leaded fuels being used in general aviation has come to the forefront. This has further opened the industry to searching for a viable replacement for 100LL, such as UL102. In the beginning of 2011, the FAA formed an Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee to focus on the current issues relating to the transition to an unleaded avgas.
ASTM D7719 does not yet allow for UL102 to be sold at airports commercially but does allow Swift to test UL102 in non-Experimental aircraft, eliminating significant time and expenses from each industry testing program, company officials said. Another major advantage of a test fuel specification such as D7719 is that it ensures that test fuel delivered by Swift to individual test agencies meets the same performance parameters every time, guaranteeing consistency in the tests and fuel quality. With the test fuel specification now accomplished, Swift will focus on working with industry partners to gather additional data to transform D7719 into a commercial specification, company officials said.