Fueled by an unleaded, high-octane biofuel developed by Swift Enterprises, Richard “Smokey” Young set a preliminary 100-kilometer closed course speed record Sept. 11 in a piston-engine aircraft between 660 and 1,320 pounds.
Powered by a Continental O-200 engine, Young flew his #3 Western Air Racing Special, burning SwiftFuel. He maintained an average speed of 242.7 mph, reaching peak speeds of 260 mph, over a 100-kilometer (62 miles) course over the Salton Sea near Thermal, Calif. Young broke the existing record of 233 mph, established in 2004 by astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson. Saturday’s event was sponsored by Tradition Aviation. Information about the flight has been sent to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in Switzerland for official certification.
Young was interested in SwiftFuel initially because of the higher energy content than the traditional aviation gasoline.
“I had been thinking about setting this record for some time,” Young said.
Using SwiftFuel was an additional incentive. “Green is the new performance word,” he said.
Swift has developed a fuel that can use a wide variety of feedstocks, including conventional and biological sources. The company hopes to have the fuel certified by both ASTM International and the FAA within the next two years. SwiftFuel does not contain lead.
Young is a 13-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, president of International Formula 1 Air Racing and runs the Aviation Pilot Training Program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He began his racing career in 2003 and was named “Rookie of the Year” at the U.S National Air Racing Championships.
According to a technical report issued by the FAA, SwiftFuel demonstrated more energy per gallon than 100 low-lead (100LL). Young confirmed this finding. “Not only did I break the record, but I used 20 percent less fuel to do it.”
For more information: SwiftEnterprises.com.