Global warming debate stifles progress

Posted on December 10th, 2009 by

I’ve received a lot of mail on my recent column on the effects of carbon dioxide on global warming (How are planes affecting the environment?). The replies were both pro and con on global warming and the greenhouse gas thing.... Continue Reading →

Jet A and diesel engines

Posted on November 1st, 2009 by

In a previous column I talked about going to a recent ASTM meeting and the progress being made on unleaded avgas. At this same meeting, there also was a lot of discussions on the qualification of diesel cycle aircraft engines... Continue Reading →

The fuel of the future

Posted on September 21st, 2009 by

As all pilots know, you go to Oshkosh to find out what is new in aviation. But if you want to know what’s new in aviation fuels, you go to an ASTM meeting. ASTM is the organization that is in... Continue Reading →

Oil temperature vs. oil viscosity

Posted on September 14th, 2009 by

Reader David Bennett recently wrote in, asking about oil temperature vs. oil grade. “When oil is rated for a certain temperature range, is that start-up temperature range or the range for most of the intended trip? My Super Cub handbook... Continue Reading →

How are planes affecting the environment?

Posted on September 14th, 2009 by

Lately, I’ve received a lot of e-mails from readers asking about the environment and the effect of internal combustion engine exhaust on our climate. One factor is the effect of CO2 on the environment. My understanding is that CO2 is... Continue Reading →

Getting the lead out

Posted on June 10th, 2009 by

I received an e-mail from a gentleman who is a “small investor” in Swift Fuels, a group associated with Purdue University working to produce an unleaded, high-octane aviation fuel that can be made from almost any sugar-containing plant matter. He... Continue Reading →

What oil should you use?

Posted on March 2nd, 2009 by

Many pilots want to know what oil to use and where to get it. To answer these questions accurately, I sent a questionnaire to the four main oil companies that supply lubricants to the general aviation industry. I received nice... Continue Reading →

Six tips to cut your flying expenses

Posted on January 29th, 2009 by

Frugal flying may be some sort of oxymoron, but there are a number of things pilots can do to minimize expenses. The first and foremost is to maintain your engine and keep it on spec. A fouled spark plug or... Continue Reading →

MythBusters: Does lead have any effect on valve life?

Posted on February 22nd, 2008 by

I received a note, recently, from a gentleman who is completing an experimental aircraft with a Lycoming engine. He’s planning to use auto gas and wonders what precautions he should take. Continue Reading →

Liability raises its ugly head once again

Posted on February 8th, 2008 by

I recently received a number of notes from people who asked the same two questions: Could aircraft engine manufacturers build engines that operate safely on autogas and autogas containing ethanol and, if so, why don’t they? Continue Reading →