Unleaded to Oshkosh

The dust has literally settled in Oshkosh, and there was a good deal of it on the first days of AirVenture 2012 when high temperatures and winds turned the headquarters of U2OSH — Unleaded to Oshkosh — into a blast furnace. A last minute mix-up (EAA had double-booked our space with Beechcraft) forced a move onto Celebration Way, which turned out to be a good location, directly on the main route of travel between the exhibit’s entrance and Phillips66 square. Many members of the Aviation Fuel Club found us and registered for the event, receiving a special decal and T-shirt commemorating the 30th anniversary of the FAA’s approval of the first autogas STC during Oshkosh 1982.

On display at U2OSH headquarters was one of the new turnkey, low-cost fuel stations from U-Fuel of Eau Claire, Wis., the company your blogger represents. Also present was a display from Air Plains of Wellington, Kan., describing its new INPULSE water/methanol injection system that allows any high-compression engine to operate on 91 AKI mogas. American Legend Aircraft, our closest neighbor, showed off their new Super Legend, powered by a mogas-burning Lycoming O-233 engine. Aviation Fuel Club Directors Dean Billing (FlyUnleaded.com) and Todd L. Petersen (Petersen Aviation) were on hand to answer questions on aviation fuel from the many visitors who stopped by during the week. Many enjoyed seeing Dean’s large-scale map of airports offering mogas, available online at this link.

Michael Bennett, AFC SoCal; Dean Billing, director AFC, FlyUnleaded.com;
Dan Johnson, chairman, LAMA, ByDanJohnson.com, GAN contributor;
Roy Beisswenger, publisher, Powered Sport Flying; Ben Visser, Shell Aviation (retired), GAN contributor; Mike Kelly, president, Air Plains; Todd L. Petersen, president, Petersen Aviation, director AFC; Kent Misegades, director AFC.

Our forum on Thursday, July 26, “Autogas at 30 Years” was well-attended and featured a panel of aviation fuel experts never seen before. The history of using automotive fuels in aircraft was discussed from people involved in its initial certification and those who strongly support its expanded use. Several attendees described their recent success in convincing their local airports to supply mogas, greeted with applause by the audience. Notes from this forum may be found at this link.

The aviation media paid attention to U2OSH, as evidenced by this recent article that appeared on AVWeb during AirVenture. Aircraft engine manufacturers too are reacting to the reality that in many parts of the world, the primary aviation fuels are mogas and Jet-A, as described in this recent article from AirportPros.com Both Continental and Lycoming showed their latest “AF” (Alternative Fuel) engines and confirmed that these are being certified to operate on 93 AKI ethanol-free, lead-free mogas with properties needed for aviation, for instance low RVPs (Reid vapor pressure). Continental made additional headlines with its new Jet-A burning diesels.

In another interview, EAA Rod Hightower said making mogas available at the 2013 show would be his “No. 1 priority.”

As a fitting punctuation mark to the grassroots effort to lower the cost of flying through mogas, we learned this week of three more airports that have recently added the fuel: Mifflintown, Pa. (P34), Hendricks County, Ind. (2R2) and Clarke County, Miss (23M). With prices as low as $3.99 a gallon at Quitman Clarke County, it is no wonder that mogas continues to increase in popularity.

Your bloggers and the directors of the Aviation Fuel Club extend their sincere thanks to all who attended and spoke at U2OSH and who continue in their efforts to lower the cost of flying. “A rising tide raises all ships!”

The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., a pilot, homebuilder and expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.

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