Continental Ready But Not Enthusiastic About Mogas
With Continental Motors tilting strongly toward aerodiesels as a growth strategy, CEO Rhett Ross says he’s less convinced that mogas will play a major role in the aviation fuels market. In this podcast recorded this week at AirVenture 2013, Ross said Continental will remain committed to gasoline engines, especially its successful line of large displacement powerplants for aircraft such as the Cirrus and Beechcraft lines.
And although the company is aggressively pursuing mogas approvals for many of its engines, Ross is less convinced that mogas will make major market inroads, at least in the U.S. “Number one is convenience. As neat as it sounds to say price, when you have to go start filling Jerry cans and trundling them to the airport, you’re going to do that once and the convenience factor changes your mind,” Ross told AVweb this week.
“Number two, it’s just the reality of the economics. For the average airfield to sit there and have two fueling systems is expensive enough, but during the transition to suddenly require three or even four, you just can’t justify it. We have to make sure the customer gets something that is convenient and economic, not just panically delivered,” he added.
Nonetheless, Continental says it will be ready if demand for mogas in any market materializes from grassroots demand. “We are aggressively pursuing the certifications on our unleaded fuel line of engines,” Ross said, including a variant of the six-cylinder IO-360 that will be used in Flight Design’s new four-place C4.