Your blogger is attending the AERO Friedrichshafen show in sunny southern Germany. Among the hundreds of exhibits are many new aircraft engines, some with names like Continental and Lycoming most Americans would recognize, but others that are relatively unknown in the U.S. While a full report will have to wait until next week, one thing is very clear: Europeans have already accepted a lead-free aviation future.
The sad news of the death of Harry Zeisloft reached us this week. As reported by the EAA, “Harry Zeisloft, who was one of EAA’s longest-serving board members and an integral part of EAA’s effort to create the auto fuel Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), passed away Sunday, April 1, in Mesa, Arizona. He was 93.”
Last month, Lycoming expanded its support for alternative fuels by announcing that it was seeking EASA approval for operation of many of its engines on the unleaded aviation fuel UL91. The company also announced it was planning to approve its new O-233 LSA engine for autogas, a clear response to engines from Rotax, Jabiru, ULPower, HKS, Hirth, AeroVee and others that have been approved for autogas for years.
In almost every article about the future of leaded avgas, this statement appears, “… only one fuel will be stocked by the FBO system.” This particular quote comes from a reply by Mac McClellen to Todd Petersen in Mac’s latest Left Seat blog on the EAA’s website. You will also find it in almost every article and editorial from any aviation alphabet organization about the modern state of 100LL avgas.
My question is why are FBO’s the sole determinant of fuel sales on an airport? The answer is because of an obsolete view of what an FBO should do.
Does the price we pay for fuel have a direct influence on how much we operate our airplanes, cars, and boats? According to an article that appeared in the EAA’s November 2011 issue of Sport Aviation (“My $.02 on $6 Avgas”), the price of avgas is less important than one might think.
AirBP and EPIC Aviation, the company who has sold BP’s aviation fuel in the past, have parted ways, according to this press release from AirBP. “BP’s global aviation fuelling business, Air BP, announced today that it has entered the U.S. general aviation business as a direct fuel supplier to Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs), [Read more…]