When I attend Oshkosh, I spend most of my time trying to find what is new or changed in fuels, lubricants, and engines.
For the last several years, the big story in fuels was the proposed 100 octane unleaded avgas.
The development and testing of new fuels has gone on for well over 25 years and was supposed to be completed many times over.
Well, it is still not ready for the real world and may not be for the foreseeable future.
There have been many candidates and a proposed development process.
Unfortunately, people concentrated primarily on developing the octane value, but other little problems kept biting them.
For example, one of the earlier candidates resulted in excessive amounts of red deposits in the combustion area. This was from a manganese additive known as MMT. It is a very good anti-knock additive and has been used in the past in mogas and avgas. But it can only be used to gain about one octane number. Any amount above that will leave excessive deposits.
Another candidate failed the airborne restart test once they started running it in real aircraft.
And the latest candidate supposedly acts like a paint stripper, especially on cloth covered aircraft.
So, where does that leave the 100UL project?
Trying to find out the answer while at Oshkosh, I went to the Shell tent to ask about the status of the company’s 100UL candidate. I asked about six people and no one had any information about the project.
I then looked for Swift Fuels and could not find them. I did find the General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI) booth and talked to them. They are continuing to work on another candidate 100UL fuel with new additive technology that they feel will work in almost all applications.
We will have to wait and see what happens, but with a lack of interest within the present administration, I do not look for any change for either a couple of years or maybe six years.
With general aviation piston engine oils, there has not been any significant changes for more than 60 years — and that continued through AirVenture.
When I stopped at the Phillips 66 Aviation tent, I learned the company has introduced products that contain the Lycoming LW 16702 additive. This additive is mandatory for the Lycoming O-320H model engines and recommended for Lycoming’s other engines.
I then went over to the Shell tents. Shell’s big news was that it now packages Aeroshell oils in six-pack containers.
The containers are cute, but I wonder about the utility of them. Most engines take eight to 10 quarts, with some taking 12. Outside of O-200 and O-235 owners, the six-pack will just mean more cardboard in the trash.
The other news is that I finally found a person who could talk about the technical part of the business. He informed me that Shell no longer has its preservative oil Aeroshell 2F in the lineup. He claimed they still had the additive Aeroshell 2XN available, but that a component of 2F was no longer available, and the sales of 2F were very low.
The interesting part of this discussion is that 2F is a mixture of 2XN and Aeroshell 100. I have no idea what component is not available if they market both components. In addition, 2F was not supposed to be a huge profit generator, but rather offered as a service for customers.
Phillips still offers a preservative oil that meets the Mil-C-6529C Type II requirements in its line.
The bottom line is not much has changed in GA fuels and lubricants.