The world governing body for air sports and aeronautical world records has confirmed Richard “Smokey” Young set an official international airspeed record Sept. 11 using SwiftFuel, an unleaded general aviation biofuel.
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, validated that the flight established a new 100-kilometer closed-course speed record for a piston engine aircraft weighing between 300 and 500 kilograms.
Young flew from the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, Calif., to the Salton Sea and back at an average speed of 242.7 mph using SwiftFuel developed by Swift Enterprises Ltd., a firm based at the Purdue Research Park in Indiana. He broke the record of 233 mph set in 2004 with leaded aviation gasoline.
“I chose SwiftFuel because it is the only credible renewable, unleaded fuel I have seen,” Young said. “As I researched SwiftFuel, I became more convinced that ‘green’ fuel is the direction general aviation needs to move.”
Young, who is an instructor in the Aviation Pilot Training Program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., explained how the record flight will impact his race team’s future.
“This record flight helped verify the performance characteristics of clean-burning Swift 100SF and signals our race team’s commitment to exploring eco-friendly alternatives to the current blends of aviation gasoline,” Young said. “We hope to continue this program by establishing other speed records and through the exclusive use of biofuel in air show performances.”
The record flight was sponsored by Tradition Aviation, which also hosted flight testing and provided hangar space in their facility at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport. Engine work was performed by Pacific Continental Engines based in Pacoima, Calif.