In my last column, I did an update on the status of the 100 motor octane unleaded fuel programs by the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) steering group members, as presented at Oshkosh. In this column I would like to talk about my visit with George Braly from General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) about the company’s unleaded avgas development, which is not part of the PAFI program. [Read more…]
In my last column, Tracking down answers at Oshkosh, I wrote about the disappearance of the diesel cycle engine in the Cessna 182. From that article, people might think that diesel cycle engines in general aviation aircraft are dead. Well, maybe not dead, just on life support.
The reason for the continued interest is more from third world countries than from the U.S., but there is still significant market pressure to continue work on new diesel models. [Read more…]
In the good old days, Oshkosh was a technical information exchange and social gathering. The primary purpose of the event was for homebuilders and aircraft owners to learn about their aircraft. It has now become a major sales event with some social and technical information mixed in.
For example, the major exhibitors are such general aviation stalwarts as John Deere, Ford, Honda and Boeing. Consequently, even the GA companies now send sales personnel to man the booths. This makes finding answers to technical questions challenging at best. [Read more…]
I have received numerous questions from farm and ranch pilots about using #1 diesel fuel in aircraft with diesel cycle piston engines. The reasoning behind these questions concerns the availability and price of Jet A in rural agricultural areas. #1 diesel is cheaper and more readily available. [Read more…]
Regular readers will remember that my last few columns have been on concerns with the proposed new unleaded avgas. Well I am done venting on that subject for now, so I am getting off that bully pulpit until the alphabet groups and the federal agencies produce some more column fodder.
And I am getting on my soap box: Recently I was driving across the state and was listening to talk radio. The subject of the discussion was David McCullough’s new book on the Wright brothers.
The thing that got to me was not that the book described the Wrights as geniuses, but that the announcers seemed surprised at this assessment. [Read more…]
My last several columns have been on the relationship between knock and unleaded fuels in aircraft engines. I have received several questions from people who have experienced knock in their car engines, especially in the 1970s and 1980s. They note that knock didn’t harm their auto engines, so why am I worried about a little knock in an aircraft engine?
There are a number of significant differences between auto and aircraft engines. The biggest is liquid vs. air cooling. [Read more…]
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…]
A wise man once said, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then you have evidently not grasped the gravity of the situation.”