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…]
One year after four fuels were selected for testing as potential replacements for leaded avgas, progress remains steady, according to a report at AOPA.org, which notes that the first phase of testing should be completed later this year. Testing now is concentrated on material compatibility and rig testing, with the second phase of testing — in engines and aircraft — slated to begin in early 2016, according to the report.
“The FAA has said it hopes to have an unleaded replacement for avgas certified by 2018, and the program is on target to reach that goal,” the report concludes.
Perhaps you noticed the announcement that Swift Fuels made at AirVenture 2015, which was also carried by General Aviation News. Swift Fuels has begun distributing 94 MON, unleaded aviation fuel to several airports and has begun a program to distribute it throughout the U.S.
Airports currently carrying the new 94 MON unleaded aviation fuel are KAID, 05C and 7I2 in Indiana and KRMY in Michigan. Each airport replaced a mogas distribution except 05C, which added it as a new fuel service.
I’m not going to delve into the cosmic political and business implications of introducing a “low octane” unleaded avgas while the industry is working diligently on trying to find a 100 octane unleaded “drop-in” replacement for 100LL. Rather, I’m going to try to clarify who can use this fuel at the current time, because it is not everyone you might assume. [Read more…]
Working with avgas producers and distributors, Swift Fuels is making plans to supply unleaded 94 MON avgas to select regions in the United States and Canada. The premium quality unleaded fuel, tailored for lower-octane piston-engines, is already FAA certified and meets ASTM standards for aviation gasoline, according to company officials.
The fuel will not replace 100LL now sold at airports for high performance aircraft. [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…]