Avgas at AirVenture: Low Key?

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As EAA Air Venture comes to life today, one of the topics on the agenda later in the week is fuels, specifically a replacement for leaded avgas. At last year's show, there was a flurry of activity on this subject, with meetings and briefing galore. This year, not so much. It's not that the topic has cooled so much as it has gone underground. On Wednesday, the FAA and industry groups are supposed to give a briefing on progress made by the Unleaded Avgas Transition rulemaking committee. I'd caution against expecting too much detailed information from this briefing, but I'm willing to be surprised.

Last week, out of the blue, we were copied on a letter sent to the FAA by Friends of Earth declining the agency's initiation to participate in the ARC committee. FOE's ostensible reason for passing was because the ARC committee's deliberations aren't open to the public and press. I don't think that's the real reason. I suspect there are things in the background that we don't know about or that FOE prefers to simply remain in an adversarial role without getting co-opted by the very agencies it may someday choose to sue. Recall that Friends has filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency to enjoin it to enforce clean air standards with regard to lead emissions. The next step for FOE might very well be to force the emissions issue into the courts, but it hasn't said as much yet.

Whatever the case, I agree with FOE on one point: This entire fuels review process should be open to the public and the press, just as most things the government does should be open to the public and press. The standard argument for keeping it closed is that private enterprise—mainly the oil companies—might be reticent to express opinions and reveal data for proprietary reasons. And if things are kept behind closed doors, it will better serve to jolly things along. But I just don't buy that argument. If the oil companies—or whomever—are revealing trade secrets to each other, why shouldn't the flying public have an open view of decisions being made that will impact it directly?

In government bureaucracies, secrecy begets more secrecy unless we the regulated push back against continuing it. Although the ARC committee seems to be making some progress, the rumor that it would have substantive announcements to make at AirVenture is apparently just that, a rumor. We can only hope the briefing will bring things more or less up to date, and that's a good thing.

But what I don't think the regulators understand is that the most important thing they can do is to instill confidence in the market. I think most owners believe there will be some kind of solution to replace avgas, but they're less sure about when, how and how much it will cost. This is causing a drag on sales of new and used airplanes and on equipment, although I honestly believe the erosion is just one factor of several stunting sales. Craig Fuller and Randy Babbitt simply saying don't worry, everything will be fine isn't quite enough. The better way would be to have full visibility into the process.

Comments (68)

Is there even an FAA left to discuss the issue?

It seems if its in the best interest of GA to have some decision over no decision, the less parties involved the sooner we will arrive.

The sane and logical way forward is to keep lead and forever ink its existance into federal law. Only to be questioned again after an unlikely major technological breakthrough. Otherwise we are dealing ourselves another higher cost nail in our flying coffin.

Posted by: Brad Vaught | July 24, 2011 9:28 PM    Report this comment

From the Avweb podcast, FOE seems to view leaded avgas as akin to lead balance weights on automobile wheels. Sadly, FOE doesn’t fully understand the total picture and yet they are moved to take dramatic steps, and our culture responds to squeaky wheels, no matter the real and comprehensive facts of the situation.

Not all negotiations should be conducted in the spotlight of the Press and the public eye. This setting is usually debilitating because folks feel obliged to grandstand, and “playing to the audience” overwhelms genuine constructive dialog. It’s not about “trade secrets” but it is about “jollying things along”. In an era when every single word uttered in a public forum will be scrutinized and even ridiculed, how can anyone with goodwill feel other than “guarded”. This can only impede progress on what is a complex, convoluted, and sensitive topic with a vast array of perceived self-interests and potential unintended consequences. The correct solution is a balance of private and public dialog.

But the larger problem with the ARC is its structure and procedures. And the members representing G.A. consumers are simply not fully reflecting our views and concerns.

“Full visibility into the process” will certainly not instill confidence. It would simply add to the confusion and discontent. What would instill some level of confidence is a very clearly stated phased timeline that shows that a new engine or aircraft bought today will be a good investment.

Posted by: JIM HERD | July 25, 2011 10:40 AM    Report this comment

The FOE do not want us to fly, That is all there is to it. There are many organisations I like to call "envirotaliban" out there that just dont want us to fly, and they will keep coming up with new "reasons" all the time. After the fuel it will be Noise etc.- I have seen it all before in Europe! Pilots need TO BE MORE POLITICAL! It is a political-class-warfare kinda thing and not so much a real logic environmemtal issue. IF it would be THAT, the EPA would provide Car-Fuel-alcohol free and thus the ammount of AVgas 100LL used would be very significantly reduced. AS one can see THEY dont care about that. We need to elect people like Kent Misegades into the EAA, need to elect people that REALLY care. I can only say about the good previous Comment: "The sane and logical way forward is to keep lead and forever ink its existance into federal law. Only to be questioned again after an unlikely major technological breakthrough. Otherwise we are dealing ourselves another higher cost nail in our flying coffin." was RIGHT ON !!! This is exacly how I see it and that is all there is to it. I doubt the recent day replacement fuels will work, and even if they would they would be to costly to be viable! The ARC is a joke to me, because it has nobody from Alaska and Canada on it, these are the places where the fuel is used for essential services! 1/3rd of the 100LL production is used here and 82% of AK's villages are off the national road system. Regards, Lars

Posted by: Lars Gleitsmann | July 25, 2011 1:34 PM    Report this comment

Further I have to say, considering Alaska and Canada are the places where the fuel is used for essential services and 1/3rd of the 100LL production is used here, one third of the ARC members should be from those regions! -It would only be fair! Yet Nobody from AK is on the ARC, which I think is purely a political decision because we want to keep the 100LL !!! The Letters from the Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA), Everts AirCargo (biggest single user of 100LL) and others from AK trying to get membership of the ARC have been either never respondet to, or a polite "NO You are not getting on there" has been issued. Here we are, where that fuel really Counts, and turmoil started in California is affecting all of us! If anybody care to read more, please see: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/blogs/bush-pilot/6028-an-alaska-pilot-speaks-out-against-the-epa-avgas-ban or: http://avgasforak.blogspot.com/2010/04/alaskan-aviation-industry-against-epa.html

Posted by: Lars Gleitsmann | July 25, 2011 1:59 PM    Report this comment

"But what I don't think the regulators understand is that the most important thing they can do is to instill confidence in the market.'

The FAA has done nothing for private owner GA in 20 years and now we have zero 80/87 and zero 91/93 at airports. We're stuck with unneeded and expensive 100 octane and alternatives that will be equally unneeded yet more expensive. We're being regulated out of existence....

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 26, 2011 7:43 AM    Report this comment

Mark,

80/87 and 91/93 would not be less expensive than 100LL. New tanks and pumps would be needed, along with seperate deliveries, etc. And a further divided boutique market?

Let's keep 100LL and a drop-in equivalent as the target.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | July 26, 2011 2:49 PM    Report this comment

Lars, FOE doesn't even like modern farming, so it's no surprise they don't like aeroplanes. Then again, the "rich" plicks near my friend's land nimby'd his use plan with lawyers too. That "Olive Farmer" compound sued hot air balloonists. Don't think FOE has exclusive rights to denying us the joy of flight.

Laws can easily be changed too, so inking it isn't a guarantee. We NEED more pilots. We NEED pilots to be better ambassadors. We NEED to ensure we don't engage in NIMBYism ourselves.

Posted by: Jesse Derks | July 26, 2011 7:41 PM    Report this comment

"80/87 and 91/93 would not be less expensive than 100LL"

Excuse me, but lower octane is cheaper everywhere at the pump in the USA than 100 octane. Tanks are dirt cheap and multi-octane pumps are equally cheap. Drive to Stop-N-Go if you disbelieve me....

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 26, 2011 9:41 PM    Report this comment

Jesse, I never claimed FOE as exclusively bad, there are very many groups and purposefully created offspring of them (one for each lawsuit!) that Think and Propagandize like that ! There are too many of us pilots that think we have to be un-political or can or should be un-political. I Think that is a plain unreasonable failure to think logic: We have to be more politically active if GA in the USA wants any chance to survive, certain. The ARC is full of people who want to promote their new fuels, their new engines, their NEW airplanes etc!!! We need a stronger defense! GA today still exists because people like me fly old planes that are still great and can be had for less than $50K ,- These old planes and engines make it do-able for many! The new planes that cost 350K + may be nice, but who can afford them??? VERY FEW ! A plane we can get for 50K can use 3 times as much fuel and we be still ok for life because we only fly 100 hours a year... I have flown in 9 countries and have seen GA go down before all over the place, because of Government tax greed, envy and class-warfare indoctrination under the guise of environmetalism! Its the sad truth.

Posted by: Lars Gleitsmann | July 27, 2011 4:30 AM    Report this comment

"The path from Freedom to Slavery is paved with regulations.." - Unknown

Posted by: A Richie | July 27, 2011 9:26 AM    Report this comment

I have to agree with Mark on this. The 100LL replacement WILL be more expensive than 100LL and simply isn't needed for the majority of the GA piston fleet.

The AOPA/EAA position that the ONLY solution is a one-size-fits-all (very expensive) 100LL replacement is based on the lie that selling 2 Avgas grades will be too expensive. That lie has been repeated so often that many consider it to be fact.

We could cut lead emissions significantly (and head off people like FOE) if we simply make the already certified 80/87, or better yet, 91/96UL Avgas available at our local airports. This makes allot more sense than selling MOGAS which can be used in only a few aircraft.

Then again since EAA sells the STC to use MOGAS in airplanes, how much support would you expect from them for a solution where they stand to make no money? Much better for them to push for the most expensive 100LL replacement, and then offer to sell you the cheaper "solution" in the form of an STC to use Mogas. Mogas that will be dispensed from equipment that could be better used to dispense 80/87 or 91/96UL Avgas...

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 27, 2011 2:33 PM    Report this comment

We as a whole aviation group need a better reputation, everywhere I go and talk about aircraft I hear "how could you ever get near a death trap like that" the public thinks aircraft just fall out the sky for no reason it seems....we need more programs like the young eagles.

Posted by: Royce Blankenship | July 27, 2011 10:36 PM    Report this comment

>> The AOPA/EAA position that the ONLY solution is a one-size-fits-all (very expensive) 100LL replacement is based on the lie that selling 2 Avgas grades will be too expensive. That lie has been repeated so often that many consider it to be fact.

>> We could cut lead emissions significantly (and head off people like FOE) if we simply make the already certified 80/87, or better yet, 91/96UL Avgas available at our local airports. This makes allot more sense than selling MOGAS which can be used in only a few aircraft.

Hmmm. As you point out, 80/87 and 92 UL are already certified (I think the 91/96 Cert has been removed). So the only thing that keeps them from being made and sold today is that it's more expensive for the industry to have two fuels instead of one for the same small volume. But, you're asking us to believe all the other players have been too foolish to understand that, only you see the truth? Perhaps you should start blending and selling 80/87... Keep us updated on your progress!

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 28, 2011 6:22 AM    Report this comment

>> The AOPA/EAA position that the ONLY solution is a one-size-fits-all (very expensive) 100LL replacement is based on the lie that selling 2 Avgas grades will be too expensive. That lie has been repeated so often that many consider it to be fact.

>> We could cut lead emissions significantly (and head off people like FOE) if we simply make the already certified 80/87, or better yet, 91/96UL Avgas available at our local airports. This makes allot more sense than selling MOGAS which can be used in only a few aircraft.

Hmmm. As you point out, 80/87 and 92 UL are already certified (I think the 91/96 Cert has been removed). So the only thing that keeps them from being made and sold today is that it's more expensive for the industry to have two fuels instead of one for the same small volume. But, you're asking us to believe all the other players have been too foolish to understand that, only you see the truth? Perhaps you should start blending and selling 80/87... Keep us updated on your progress!

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 28, 2011 6:22 AM    Report this comment

Paul -- the 91/96UL is a registered trade name of an unleaded AVGAS invented, produced and sold by Hjelmco Oil. It carries the approval of the European "FAA", the EASA and aircraft engine manufacturers such as Lycoming, Continental, Rotax etc and effectively covers >90 % of todays entire world piston powered fleet. This year it has been in uninterupted production for 2 decades, flown by thousand of aircraft for millions of flight hours under practically any condition. The Hjelmco 91/96UL exceeds US Standard D910 for AVGAS grade 91/98 but does not contain any leed. Hjelmco 91/96 UL with approved amounts of lead, scavenger dyes etc gives an ASTM D910 AVGAS 100 LL with octane rating of 110-115/140-145. As such it can effectively be distributed unleaded in pipe-lines etc and the tiny amount of lead be added at remote terminals. The total cost for the end user is a lower price. In Sweden Hjelmco 91/96 UL for 2 decades has been sold at about 5 % lower in price than 100 LL. It is a REAL Avgas.

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | July 28, 2011 8:06 AM    Report this comment

"is based on the lie that selling 2 Avgas grades will be too expensive.'

Actually, the truth is that selling 2 grades would make the 100LL replacements TOO EXPENSIVE. Their volume would be much lower and (given a choice)lower cost 96/91/87 would further encourage owners to move away from 100+ fuel.

Effectively the one-grade-or-the-highway approach continues to force low-end GA subsidize high-end GA. Think about that as you fill up on $6/gal 100LL in your Cherokee, Tiger, or 172.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 28, 2011 10:25 AM    Report this comment

Mark is absolutely correct - 90% of us are subsidizing the other 10% who feel they cannot use less than 100 octane. There are relatively inexpensive fueling stations that are available that can dispense lower octane fuel (eg - autogas without ethanol added) alongside the existing systems (UFuel Sport Fuel systems). Like it or not, those folks who insist their aircraft need lead will probably have to modify their engines eventually anyway.

Regardless of what anyone in the aviation community thinks, lead is going away, regardless of what FOE does or does not do. My engine runs better without it and I would just as soon have access to fuel that does not have it. No lead would make the fuel cheaper just because it has one less ingredient as well as not needing special handling in the pipelines, regardless of volume of fuel produced. My engine would run better as well (no lead fouling). The environmental aspect is almost a side issue, although there is ample evidence that environmental lead exposure is harmful to human health, especially regarding brain development of children. I really can't speak for the rest of you, but I am sufficiently concerned about my health and the health of my kids and grandkids to push for doing away with as much lead in the environment as possible. Including aerofuel.

Posted by: Chris McClure | July 28, 2011 11:26 AM    Report this comment

“”Hmmm. As you point out, 80/87 and 92 UL are already certified (I think the 91/96 Cert has been removed). So the only thing that keeps them from being made and sold today is that it's more expensive for the industry to have two fuels instead of one for the same small volume. But, you're asking us to believe all the other players have been too foolish to understand that, only you see the truth? Perhaps you should start blending and selling 80/87... Keep us updated on your progress!”” – Paul Millner

Paul (Millner, not Pertorelli), My point is that many of the “other players” could have ulterior motives driven by self interest and many in the flying public may indeed be “too foolish” (your words not mine) to realize they are being manipulated.

I think this illustrated by well by EAA selling Mogas STCs that would also require additional infrastructure to blend, distribute sell and dispense the Mogas. Infrastructure that could be better used to distribute an unleaded Avgas like 91/96UL that could be used by most piston aircraft without modification or even an STC.

What I don’t understand is why 91/96UL, which is already certified and available TODAY, has not been included in the discussion. It’s just as unleaded as Mogas, Certified and approved by the OEMs for most aircraft engines and could its use could be implemented immediately. And as Lars pointed out, a small amount of additives can be added so that the remaining <10% of piston aircraft can use it as well.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 28, 2011 11:51 AM    Report this comment

Lars,

You answered a nagging question I've had for some time; Could something be added to Unleaded Avgas to make it compatible for use in engines that absolutely must have 100+ octane (like war birds or unmodified TSIO and GTSIO engines)?

Your comments seem to indicate that an additive could make 91/96UL usable in high compression and supercharged engines. Could that additive be introduced at the pump, much the way that soda syrup is mixed at the soda fountain? This is very similar to what was done in the 50s/60s with automobiles with the Ethel additive (although a modern version would be far more precise and safe).

This would place the economic burden of high-octane solely on the shoulders of only those who require it. Not on the 90%+ of us who do no. This would also encourage engine OEMs to make engines that do not need higher than 91/96 octane. There is no technological reason why we can’t have 350HP turbo-charged engines that run on 91/96 unleaded.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 28, 2011 12:12 PM    Report this comment

I've said in other threads too but to me the fate of 100ll is tied to it being used commercially. We've always been riding on the coat-tails of commercial aviation. They are leaving us for jet-a. The last new piston working planes rolled off the line ~30 years ago. The writing is on the wall. We can fight the good fight with FOE but it's not going to change whats going to happen over the next 10, 20, 30 years.

So to me recreational flyers hitching our wagon to any boutique fuel is a mistake. There aren't enough of us & the price will be high no matter what it is. We need to find some new coat-tails to grab and mo-gas or jet A are basically the choices.

I also believe the cost of modding engines for lower octane is greatly exagerated, *if* it's done at overhaul time vs wake up tomorrow and 100 LL is banned. But there won't be any incentive to mod at overhaul time, or even for new planes to be sold that don't need 100 LL until it means cheaper fuel. This is why we need some real leadership.

Posted by: BYRON WARD | July 28, 2011 12:44 PM    Report this comment

Also the argument about two fuels being more expensive seems to be based on the idea that every 100 LL pump must have a twin with new fuel along side. I don't think that's realistic. A city near me has one small, short airstrip with self serve gas. It's all recreational and ultralights. Nearby is a big airport with long runways, instrument approaches, and fbos, biz jets etc. They're so close the patterns about overlap. Why do they both have to sell 100 LL? They don't, there just isn't anything else to sell. While maybe not every pair is that close it's not an uncommon arrangement.

I think in the end recreational airports will sell recreational gas, and commercial airports will sell commercial gas. Which probably will drive the cost of 100 LL up further.

Posted by: BYRON WARD | July 28, 2011 12:45 PM    Report this comment

“…Excuse me, but lower octane is cheaper everywhere at the pump in the USA than 100 octane. Tanks are dirt cheap and multi-octane pumps are equally cheap. Drive to Stop-N-Go if you disbelieve me...”.

Mark,

I have to deliver a hard truth. We’re talking avgas. Lower octane fuel, without lead or ethanol as an octane enhancer is more expensive to refine. Lead is a few cents/gal. Delivery costs for a lower octane avgas would probably be more expensive, as the quantities would be low. That is why no refiners or business oriented FBO’s do this.

Fueling systems acceptable at airports are not cheap. A friend of mine just completed an installation in Tennessee which cost about $100K (including the first fuel filling, cash on delivery). Note, he could not pump the fuel until a few weeks of ‘settling’ was done and sent-off samples approved.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | July 28, 2011 2:02 PM    Report this comment

“…Actually, the truth is that selling 2 grades would make the 100LL replacements TOO EXPENSIVE. Their volume would be much lower and (given a choice)lower cost 96/91/87 would further encourage owners to move away from 100+ fuel….”

Another factoid: Most of the 100LL burned now (about 70% of 226 million gallons in 2010-GAMA Databook 2011) is burned in aircraft that do really require it and do not have a lower octane allowed. GAMA also reports that 4.93 million gallons of mogas was used in 2010. So, people that do have a choice do so, but it doesn’t seem to me to be much of a national market.

Yup, lead is going away. Let’s get a 100LL drop-in replacement for those who buy the most avgas. If Lars can deliver it to SoCal, I’ll use it.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | July 28, 2011 2:04 PM    Report this comment

"We’re talking avgas. Lower octane fuel, without lead or ethanol as an octane enhancer is more expensive..."

Avgas = $6/Gal pump price 93MoGas =$4/Gal pump price What we don't want is yet another $6-$10 solution just because it has an AvGas label. If you need 100otane, buy it for that price. The rest of us don't need/want it...

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 28, 2011 4:41 PM    Report this comment

Mogas is not a viable option and it never will be. While most don’t need 100 octane, we all need the quality control and qualities that only Avgas provides. Octane isn’t the only issue.

Avgas needs to meet standards (like vapor pressure and gel point) much different than Mogas which is only used in the bottom 1/3 of the atmosphere. Avgas also needs to be compatible with all of the materials used in aircraft fuel systems. Mogas is not. Besides, no Mogas currently meets the zero ethanol standards required per the STCs.

The completely unverified statistic that 70% of 100L usage is from the 30% of planes that must run on 100+ octane neglects to mention that most of those planes are located in Alaska and provide essential services. Mogas will never be an option in that extreme environment even if they switch to aircraft that can use it. However, Alaska has no direct connection to the lower 48 fuel supplies. They make their own. This is never mentioned by those pushing for the 100 octane “drop-in” solution.

At my home airport, only 4 airplanes have to run on 100 octane (and I own one), the rest would be happier on 91/96UL as it would keep their sparkplugs and oil cleaner.

Alaska will likely have only one Avgas (100LL or 91/96UL with additive) but the rest of the country can get by just fine on 91/96UL Avgas with selected locations selling 100 octane.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 28, 2011 7:57 PM    Report this comment

Kris even lycoming blesses mogas now. Officially in writing. Perfect is the enemy of good

Posted by: BYRON WARD | July 28, 2011 9:35 PM    Report this comment

Kris even lycoming blesses mogas now. Officially in writing. Perfect is the enemy of good

Posted by: BYRON WARD | July 28, 2011 9:35 PM    Report this comment

>> Alaska has no direct connection to the lower 48 fuel supplies. They make their own. This is never mentioned by those pushing for the 100 octane “drop-in” solution.

There is no avgas blended in Alaska. It comes from Richmond California and the US Gulf Coast by barge.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 28, 2011 9:40 PM    Report this comment

Lars, I see your banner towing (self-serving) posting… but I’m not really sure what point you were trying to make relative to this discussion? >> [my] 91/96UL covers >90 % of today’s entire world piston powered fleet Perhaps; but it only meets about 20% to 30% of the US avgas demand; the remainder is for 100 octane. >> it can effectively be distributed unleaded in pipelines No, it can’t, as the volumes are too small; the transmix (transportation mix) would be larger than the cargo size. The infrastructure doesn’t exist for breakout tanks at pipeline terminals, and the volumes required wouldn’t justify such an investment. >> the tiny amount of lead be added at remote terminals No, it can’t, as lead facilities carry huge environmental liability, and no one is going to undertake that on a terminal by terminal basis. But, please note that the driver here is NOT to make leaded gasoline in more places, but rather to come up with an unleaded fuel that meets the 400,000 gallon/day 100 octane avgas demand in the US.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 28, 2011 9:48 PM    Report this comment

Lycoming only "blesses" it for use in certian O and IO-360 engines.

But that is completely irrelevant since:

1. Lyc only allows Mogas meeting a standard that is unavailable anywhere in the USA.

2. The OEM airframe manufactures also need to "bless" Mogas use (and none have).

Octane issues aside, Mogas is not and never will be a truely viable option for aircraft.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 28, 2011 9:55 PM    Report this comment

So Paul... Lars is self serving but Swift Fuel, GAMI, EAA, are acting only in best interest of General Aviation and the environment with no profit motive what so ever(now who's being foolish?)

In the interest of full disclosure, just where is your horse in this race Paul (Millner)? Is it that you fly one of the few turbo-charged airplanes that can't run on 91/96UL?

I've already mentioned that I own a 100 octane dependant airplane yet I'm not expecting the other 90% of aircraft owners to subsidize my flying.

The ultimate solution is a lower cost, conventionally refined lower octane unleaded Avgas (91/96UL is already available) and a higher priced 100+ octane specialty Avgas for those who can't (or won't) modify their engines to use the lower octane fuel. Once there is a set standard for unleaded Avgas, the engine OEMs will quickly develop high performance engines to use it. Lycoming already has their TEIO-540 but who will buy it if they can run cheaper TSIO-540s on 100 octane that’s subsidized.

90% of you should not be subsidizing the 10% of us that need 100 octane. When each pays his/her own way, the market will quickly develop the most cost effective solution.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 28, 2011 11:12 PM    Report this comment

Hi Kris, find your acrimony control and dial it back a few clicks, OK?  There's no conspiracy here to force anyone to subsidize anyone else.  If you can explain how constructing lead additive facilities in gasoline terminals moves us forward toward an unleaded solution, then I'll join you in declaring Lars an avgas god.  Otherwise, I maintain he's entered this discussion with the solution firmly in mind, his 91 octane fuel that's he named after himself, and all that he sees remains to do is force the problem to match his solution. As many here know, I work for the largest producer of avgas in the US, all leaded for now.  But I'm not here representing them, but just myself as a pilot.  If there is an unleaded solution we can make, and that makes economic sense, we'll make it.  Making TWO grades of avgas makes no sense... The infrastructure costs would be significant, with no reasonable payback.  Also, a less than 100 octane solution, when 70% to 80% of the demand is customer aircraft that require 100 octane, doesn't make any sense to my management either.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 29, 2011 6:03 AM    Report this comment

Kris, Incidentally, how do you derive your 90% number?  There have been two independent assessments of FAA registration records that I'm aware of... Noting the sometimes erroneous engine installed data, then assigning each engine to the appropriate octane required category... Somewhat subjective work, admittedly.  One came up with 70% of the fleet is lower octane capable, the other 80%.  I suspect the difference may lie in addressing the IO360A, for instance, which was certified on 91/96.  If there's a basis for a 90% number, kindly share the weblink.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 29, 2011 6:05 AM    Report this comment

"Mogas is not and never will be a truly viable option for aircraft."

Your opinion seems to differ from the reality of the Petersen STC for older aircraft and all the new LSA power plants being MoGas capable. It has been viable in the past and will be viable on brand new GA aircraft.

And yes, there is a conspiracy of sorts; a conspiracy between lawyers and bureaucrats. Lawyers attacking anything aviation while bureaucrats dally around (for decades) with neither the guts to move forward nor the guts to stand up for 100LL.

What is increasingly obvious is that GA is no longer seen in the USA as a vital interest or even cool. It's now labeled as an annoyance at best and dangerous at worst. Either way it's a target for both lawyers and constituencies alike. We're pretty much on our own at this point...

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 29, 2011 7:50 AM    Report this comment

All-a lot of questions to answer: First the 91/96UL is a trade name not saying anything about its octane numbers. (They are higher). Hjelmco estimates that the 90+ % of the pistonfleet that where engines are certified to use the 91/96 UL fuel or lower use > 50 % of the entire AVGAS volume if available. Note EASA has removed the requirement to have the airframe approved for our fuel -- only the engine manufacturers approval are required. Secondly tests with engine manufacturers et al has shown that our fuel also safely can cater engines today only certified for 100 LL incl. turbocharged. For example a TIO 540 350HP engine needed a 6 % HP reduction and was then fine on our fuel. A greater bore to 580 would compensate for thoose that needed the extra 21 HP. (at next top-overhaul?) An IO360 with 200 HP would need an 390 bore etc. For thoose few that really need the 100 LL well lead can be distributed in various ways also already diluted into 91/96 fuel and then blended in a factor 1/5, leaded blend and unleaded blend at a pump. This will make such leaded blends OK for normal handling at airports - the max lead content would be less than used in the 2nd WW for 115-145 fuels by normal service-men. Regarding pipeline -well soon there are so few AVGAS producers in the US so this will be a good option to move fuel from south Texas into various states. So we are not talking about making 2 AVGAS we are talking about the unleaded 91/96UL as a "semifinished" product used in various ways.

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | July 29, 2011 10:55 AM    Report this comment

Paul -- you ask for a single fuel for all piston aircraft. None of the ones you have learnt about and read about for the last years incl today will serve the entire fleet as one fuel at the pump. So when people start to know and understand this fact -- what are your options if you have to reduce lead in the air? Remember a fuel as heavy or heavier than jet-fuel cannot be vapourized in a standard carburettor and the majority of the fleet is carburred. There is simply not enough heat in the air! So where are the options today 1 minute before 12?

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | July 29, 2011 11:04 AM    Report this comment

>> None of the ones you have learnt about and read about for the last years incl today will serve the entire fleet as one fuel at the pump

Why do you think that, Lars? Neither GAMI or Swift propose anything as heavy or heavier than jet... Closer, instead, in density to conventional Mogas.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 29, 2011 9:46 PM    Report this comment

Paul- your information you have about density of these fuels are just not correct.Some of these fuels are 60-85 % aromatics and more heavy than jetfuel. (source: FAA test reports) The entire AVGAS distribution chain, i.e. tank-lining, epoxi coatings, paints, hoses, gaskets etc relies on aromatic contents not above 30 %. (source API) Which oil company is prepared to take the cost to redo that and how should a transition take place?

Some of these fuels may satisfy certain piston aircraft engines under certain operational conditions -- but the single fuel the US oil industry is asking for - where is it? Further high aromatic fuels burn very slow - actually parts of the fuel burn in the exhaust pipes, mufflers etc. Turbos mounted too close to the exhaust valves are unprotected. (source: experience from Eastern Hemisphere when US made aircraft started to fly on Russian AVGAS with 30 % aromatics). How will such problems be solved and by whom? So Where are the options?

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | July 30, 2011 3:59 AM    Report this comment

I think you are misinterpreting something, Lars... fwiw, some existing 100LL is >30% aromatics... No reports of burned turbos AFAIK.

I think you need to start sharing sources of your remarkable claims... The materials compatibility work to address the concern you highlight is well underway, and reportedly results are benign.

Posted by: Paul Millner | July 30, 2011 6:51 AM    Report this comment

Paul I have seen chemical break downs of the 30 % US AVGAS (available in Olkahoms among other places) and based on D910 and comments therein I question if that fuel is not out of spec so that fuel should be considered not legal!!! US Standard D910 for AVGAS states it is "EXTREMELY UNLIKELY" that a D910 AVGAS can have > 25 % aromatics! (reference D910 § X1.8.1 Aromatics Content "Total aromatic levels above 25 % in aviation gasoline are, therefore, extremely unlikely".) How much above 30 % aromatic level does the fuel go that you are referring to? How have they calculated the energy content for example in the 30 % US AVGAS and are they using the correct method ? The 30 % aromatic limit for the distribution chain was further reported by an international oil company at a recent CRC AVGAS meeting spring 2011. The other data are easy to researh. (the 85% aromatic content etc.) From where is the heat coming to vapourize a gasoline with a density of 830 gr/litre in a standard aircraft engine carburettor for the entire US weather area?? JET-kerosine has a density around 800 gram/litre. AVGAS typichally 700-720 gram/litre at + 15 degr C. How will the floating gear in the carburettor act if you go from 700 in density to 830 in density???

Please start to ask questions..... The reason why GA is where it is today in the AVGAS situation is that no-one started to ask questions..

Understand you are speaking for a large US oil company. Pls indicate for whom you are speaking.

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | July 30, 2011 12:21 PM    Report this comment

>>>"Mogas is not and never will be a truly viable option for aircraft." Your opinion seems to differ from the reality of the Petersen STC for older aircraft and all the new LSA power plants being MoGas capable. It has been viable in the past and will be viable on brand new GA aircraft.<<<

Oh the Petersen STC! You mean the one that’s all but worthless since it is just about impossible to get ethanol-free Mogas?

And LSA’s?! The fuel requirements of day VFR aircraft that fly at <10,000’, land at <45Kts, and have typically <100hp are far different than the rest of the piston GA fleet.

LSAs would be very happy running on 91/96UL Avgas as would every single aircraft eligible for the Petersen (or EAA) STC. But the vast majority of other aircraft cannot, under any circumstances, use Mogas.

Mogas isn’t even part of the solution. Those that continue to push for its use as an aviation fuel are only further fragmenting the market and are adding to the regulatory gridlock.

Just as 100LL was not the single fuel solution it was supposed to be, 100UL will not be either. We need 2 grades of Avgas. (And Mogas isn’t Avgas).

For 30 years we had 2 grades of Avgas, 115/145 and 80/87. Now all the sudden it’s “too expensive” to have 2 grades. I don’t buy it.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | July 31, 2011 11:35 AM    Report this comment

"You mean the one that’s all but worthless since it is just about impossible to get ethanol-free Mogas? "

What's easier? Developing an entirely new synthetic aviation fuel(like Swift) OR making a deal with current producers to have E-0 mogas available?

YES, fragment the market. I'm tired of buying 100 octane leaded gas when I don't it. Let the people who WANT 100 octane to pay the full price on 100 octane. Why make all the low end people subsidize the high end? That's like taxing poor people just so rich people don't have to worry.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | July 31, 2011 3:30 PM    Report this comment

Kris,

"Lycoming only "blesses" it for use in certian O and IO-360 engines. But that is completely irrelevant since: 1. Lyc only allows Mogas meeting a standard that is unavailable anywhere in the USA."

Not sure where you are getting your information - Lycoming's SI 1070Q approves D4814 93 AKI with no ethanol for many models of O-360 and IO-360 engines, perhaps the most common in GA pistons today. Petersen STCs cover even more, and for 91 AKI D4814 fuel. 91 or 93 AKI is available at more retail sellers of gasoline than there are FBOs selling Avgas. Lycoming is clearly - and wisely - preparing itself for a future environment in many parts of the world where only Jet-A and 91 AKI are available. Tecnam, the world's largest maker of light aircraft (including 4/11 place twins) already has an all-autogas fleet. Let free markets determine the best mix of fuels, the more the better, including 94UL as you appear to prefer. Autogas is not "avgas" but it has been an FAA-approved aviation fuel since 1982.

Posted by: Kent Misegades | August 1, 2011 10:44 AM    Report this comment

Mark,

How much avgas do you burn per year and where do you buy it? I'm curious as to how much you're subsidizing me.

I've reduced my consumption 50% to about 2,400 gal/year in the last year, as I've retired and do not need to connect to various business enterprises or commute between homes as frequently.

I do need 100LL to generate 670 Hp to get me out of a 3,500' strip with a density altitude frequently exceeding 9'500'.

I buy fuel at a variety of places, at a wide variety of prices, but I don't see any subsidies. Please let me know how to apply.

Thx,

Posted by: Edd Weninger | August 1, 2011 1:14 PM    Report this comment

Kent is doing an admimirable job of trying to make E-0 available to those who want, and can use it.

In SoCal, there is a huge impediment with regard to our major GA airports. No FBOs have it, and it is illegal to bring fuel through the gates.

There are planes that share my ramp that could use E-0 but I suggest no-one will violate TSA requirements.

For those who don't know, we need a TSA clearance to access our planes. An FBI background check is required prior to a TSA interview. When blessed, it is followed by a lecture of their requirements.

It is not a good idea to lug jerry cans of gas about.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | August 1, 2011 1:29 PM    Report this comment

Here is the problem with Mogas.

Mogas formulation is allowed to regulated at pretty much every level of government from the Federal, State and even local level. As a result, it currently is all but impossible to obtain ethanol free Mogas. To assure availability of “aviation” Mogas, every single government regulator at every level will need to agree. That’s never going to happen.

All things aviation are regulated solely at the Federal level. This includes Avgas. The FAA has no authority to stipulate the formulation of automobile fuel, only aviation fuel.

The “specialness” of Avgas goes far beyond the octane rating. We will never be able to force Mogas to be produced to Avgas standards. Look how hard (almost impossible) it has turned out to simply get ethanol-free Mogas. And ethanol-free is just one of many standards needed to make a viable aviation-grade fuel.

91/96UL is already a certified aviation-grade fuel (Avgas) that can be produced today. 94UL is likely to be easily certified and can be in production in very short time. Either of these fuels can be used by 70-90% (depending on who you quote) of piston engine aircraft. At best, less than 20% could ever use Mogas and many of those require expensive modifications.

So long as Mogas formulation can be dictated at the State level or lower, it will never be viable as an aviation fuel.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | August 1, 2011 1:50 PM    Report this comment

"How much avgas do you burn per year"

Thanks for illustrating the attitude that small engine GA does not count. Therefore, I sincerely hope that FOE kills 100LL completely this year. Let the ax fall. Personally I'm tired of the attitude that big owners are the only segment who matter.

I'll make a donation to FOE and put their emblem on my little plane. At this point I may even start a petition in my state to ban leaded AvGas. That seems the only way for small GA might get a chance.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 1, 2011 2:35 PM    Report this comment

Mark,

I was following through on your point that I'm being 'subsidized' by you. Not true apparently.

I'm subsidizing you because some of us buy enough avgas to keep FBOs in business. Where would you get fuel otherwise?

I was also (perhaps poorly) trying to suggest that future avgas vendors will address 'market requirements'. Everyone knows where the profits come from. We pay most of the cost, you pay less. Sorry, but that is just the way it is.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | August 1, 2011 2:58 PM    Report this comment

"Sorry, but that is just the way it is."

Which is WHY I'm left to join FOE and write petitions to eradicate 100LL. You present no other option for small GA. Speeding the extinction of 670 Hp AvGas burning dinosaurs is the only path to changing the pump.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 1, 2011 3:41 PM    Report this comment

It is not up to me to offer another option. The producers and refiners will do that based on business decisions.

And, I endorse Kent's efforts to make something else available. E0 make some inroads. Infrastructure is a big issue there. Someone has to pay for it. I don't think FOE will do that.

I'm beginning to feel sorry for you, not sure why.

Do you think you will be able to fly inexpensively if I don't have avgas to use?

Posted by: Edd Weninger | August 1, 2011 4:07 PM    Report this comment

Well Mark here's what you do.

1. Get gun 2. Aim at your foot 3. Shoot gun

Those who hare hanging their hat on Mogas as an alterative for the comparatively inexpensive 100LL are in for sticker shock when their only option becomes the very expensive 100UL as ethanol-free will have gone the way of the Dodo.

If you want unleaded and cheap(er), from what Lars said, 91/96UL costs less to produce than 100LL.

The solution is to provide, at least for the time being, two Avgas grades. From what Lars said (and I have no reason to doubt him), this can be accomplished quite easily by refining one fuel and then mixing additives to bring it to 100 octane as needed. For the time being, that will mean some lead will be needed but the result in an immediate and meaningful reduction in lead emissions. Take that FOE!

Since the 100 octane would be, by design, more expensive, many will look to find ways to use the less expensive lower octane Avgas. Once an alternative exists, users will switch over to the unleaded version or pay for 100 octane.

I do I know this? Because Europe has already done it and it works.

But until an unleaded Avgas becomes available, all we will have is gridlock because there is no viable single fuel option. This gridlock allows fringe groups with their own agendas, like FOE, to further complicate the issue.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | August 1, 2011 4:55 PM    Report this comment

"1. Get gun 2. Aim at your foot 3. Shoot gun "

Pulling the trigger on $7-10/gal synthetic 100 octane is equally moronic for the health of GA. Low octane gasoline(of any kind) will never make it to the pump in the USA UNLESS something big changes "the market". Waiting 10+ years for the FAA to help has proven to be pointless...

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 1, 2011 6:00 PM    Report this comment

Umm...Mark...That's exactly my point.

Conventionally refined unleaded Avgas is available NOW. And:

It is cheap (at least cheaper than 100LL) to make

Can be used by 70-90% of the fleet and 100% of the LSAs without an STC

Can be modified inexpensively with additives to increase octane to 100+

Synthetic 100 octane doesn't exist, and may never exist. When/if it is created, it will be EXPENSIVE!

If the refiners won't give us unleaded Avgas now, even when it's needed to "save the planet", why would they give us a cheaper, lower octane Avgas when they can force us to buy EXPENSIVE synthetic 100 octane? (just like we’re forced to buy 100LL).

And you can forget about ethanol-free Mogas. We can't even get it now even though it would "save the planet" by reducing lead emissions. Once synthetic 100UL becomes available, there is no compelling reason to make E-0 for aviation use.

There is a short window of opportunity for us to push for the acceptance of a cheaper conventional unleaded Avgas. If we don't do it now, all that will be available will be the ultra-expensive synthetic 100UL.

Mark my words...

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | August 1, 2011 6:42 PM    Report this comment

I don't see that anyone has pushed "cheaper and effective" grade fuels for the aviation industry(not the FAA, FBO's, EPA, refiners or people like Edd). History demonstrates that they won't.

That is why I'm joining the fight against current AvGas. Nothing else is making sense for the future of low end GA than to show that 100+ is not the future of high-end GA (Jet A is).

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 1, 2011 8:25 PM    Report this comment

Any now you’re throwing in the towel just as victory is within reach?

Because nothing has been done by the FAA, EPA, FBOs, EAA, and AOPA (even though they have had decades to come up with a solution), 91/96UL Avgas availability should be mandated as it's the ONLY unleaded Avgas option available. How many more thousands of tons of lead must we pump into the atmosphere while they develop the "perfect" solution?

It's their own fault. They should be embarrassed that the Swedes found a solution that they couldn't.

Oh, and don't forget we're doing this to save the planet, (not to get cheaper Avgas).

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | August 1, 2011 9:55 PM    Report this comment

Victory? Yes, I'm throwing in the towel because I'm so old that I remember when such organizations actually supported "general" aviation. The only victory these days is being able to fly DESPITE these roadblocks.

Solutions? The truth is that we only need to look for "solutions" because of political pressures, not reality. The solutions they offer will be equally political (ethanol, renewable, synthetic, etc).

Embarrassment? The embarrassment is that GA is moving to Communist China because it's more supported there than in the USA. Q.E.D.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 2, 2011 7:12 AM    Report this comment

Here is what is wrong with America on so many fronts – apathy of the masses! This ubiquitous and destructive phenomenon has insidiously engulfed America over the past few decades while extremists of all types have seized the opportunity to command the agenda and direction of the country. Perhaps it all started with the protests over Vietnam, or maybe the “Flower Power”. I suspect it fed on itself as extremists discovered they could overwhelm the masses if they just got loud enough – because the masses may oppose them but they will remain in the recliners with the TV remote in their hand and a beer in the other hand.

The avgas issue is no different than so many others, and the good news is that if the masses are mobilized we can still easily overwhelm the extremists. This scenario is just as valid inside the aviation community as it is all across our society. For example, up till now AOPA & EAA have been ignoring the one single issue that we are all addressing here – consumer cost! Instead, AOPA & EAA have been pandering to the loud voices. However, at EAA Airventure last week I personally heard Rod Hightower talk about cost as being the primary issue for aviation consumers and EAA members. I also heard Randy Babbitt talk about “no timeline for a transition” and “it is a very small quantity of lead”.

There is hope, but only if a huge number of aviators get very vocal and very active! I urge you all to heavily lobby AOPA and EAA as a good starting point.

Posted by: JIM HERD | August 2, 2011 11:39 AM    Report this comment

Mark Frazer's entries here make me very sad. It looks to me like the understanding of reality is missing. GA today is only still alive because of the cheap old planes we all can afford. Those need at least some AVgas, they all need some lead. True they usually do not need the pure 100LL diet, but they need a tank of 100LL every 50 hours or they need blended fuel, being a mixture of 1/4 or 1/3rd 100LL with the rest being E0 carfuel with no alcohol. There are too many pilots out there that think their O-320 or O-200 will run forever on E0, which it WILL NOT. Talking Aviation Fuels there is sso much lack of education out there, its unbelievable! Here in AK we take these things very serious, and I think we know more because we have to. Many hobby pilots in the "lower48" fly so little per year, that they can run straight Mogas /E0 and it will take years for their engine to die because it only dies in 300hours, while they only fly 20 per year! The most modern Valveguides and Seats MAY be ok for quite a while after initial run in with AVgas, but the old used engines and cylinders out there we all use and can pay for will not make do with just Un-leaded. Most of us fly 1970-vintage 4 seater birds for less than 50K and we could not care less about new 200K plus little two seaters that can run on MOgas 4ever. Mark, also: keep in mind the FOE dont want us to fly ANYTHING! If they get done killing my GO480 and TSIO470 than they will go after Your Rotax !!! Regards, Lars From Alaska!

Posted by: Lars Gleitsmann | August 3, 2011 3:14 PM    Report this comment

And isnt it that Lars Hjelmberg's fuel contains lots of MBTE,- I think which is already outlawed in the USA because its a killer that does poison4ever. There have been too many issues with MBTE in the past. (Correct me if I am wrong). I think the Hjelberg fuel only works with or due to the MBTE. (MethylButhylEsther-stuff). MBTE's fame in the USA is wiping out Groundwater resources...if I remember right. regards, Lars from Alaska

Posted by: Lars Gleitsmann | August 3, 2011 3:19 PM    Report this comment

Lars Hjelmberg's fuel does not contain the bad stuff banned in California, but something with similar initials, claimed to be safe and approved in the EU. However, I'd guess the similarity of the initials is probably close enough to prevent FoE and others from even listening to a reasonable analysis.

Posted by: Edd Weninger | August 3, 2011 6:25 PM    Report this comment

Lars in Alaska and Edd: The Hjelmco fuel is 100 % unleaded and works fine now in 3 decades. It is an AVGAS meeting US Standard for AVGAS D910 grade 91/98 (same standard as 100LL) but is without lead and dyes. As AVGAS as per D910 may not contain ethers or ethanol etc it is a pure AVGAS. It has the approvals from Continental and Lycoming. So when my namie? (Lars) says he knows what he is talking about -- that is not correct. He does not know what he is talking about. The Hjelmco unleaded AVGAS was not invented in the US -- perhaps that is the problem?? By the way when we make 100 LL we make it from Hjelmco unleaded 91/96 UL -- we just add the lead, scavenger and dyes and obtain an ASTM D910 100 LL BUT with octane numbers 110+/140+ compared to the minimum in the standard 100/130. The Lycoming O320 and Conti O-200 typically get their 50% ABOVE TBO in hours on our fuel before going for overhaul. Regarding the valvesystems: engine manufacturers already solved that problem in the mid 1970:ies for aircraft engines. So a Conti or LYC engine factory overhauled after about 1978 (>30 decades ago) are fine with unleaded fuel. However some overhaulers did not introduce the Rockwell quality in their material until later.

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | August 4, 2011 4:37 AM    Report this comment

Lars in Alaska and Edd: The Hjelmco fuel is 100 % unleaded and works fine now in 3 decades. It is an AVGAS meeting US Standard for AVGAS D910 grade 91/98 (same standard as 100LL) but is without lead and dyes. As AVGAS as per D910 may not contain ethers or ethanol etc it is a pure AVGAS. It has the approvals from Continental and Lycoming. So when my namie? (Lars) says he knows what he is talking about -- that is not correct. He does not know what he is talking about. The Hjelmco unleaded AVGAS was not invented in the US -- perhaps that is the problem?? By the way when we make 100 LL we make it from Hjelmco unleaded 91/96 UL -- we just add the lead, scavenger and dyes and obtain an ASTM D910 100 LL BUT with octane numbers 110+/140+ compared to the minimum in the standard 100/130. The Lycoming O320 and Conti O-200 typically get their 50% ABOVE TBO in hours on our fuel before going for overhaul. Regarding the valvesystems: engine manufacturers already solved that problem in the mid 1970:ies for aircraft engines. So a Conti or LYC engine factory overhauled after about 1978 (>30 decades ago) are fine with unleaded fuel. However some overhaulers did not introduce the Rockwell quality in their material until later.

Posted by: Lars Hjelmberg Hjelmco Oil Sweden | August 4, 2011 4:37 AM    Report this comment

"There are too many pilots out there that think their O-320 or O-200 will run forever on E0, which it WILL NOT."

Lycoming thinks that non-Aviation non-leaded gasoline can run their engines to TBO. That's good enough for me. As far as old valve guides, most fail for other reasons than not enough lead!

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 4, 2011 1:41 PM    Report this comment

"Lycoming thinks that non-Aviation non-leaded gasoline can run their engines to TBO. That's good enough for me. As far as old valve guides, most fail for other reasons than not enough lead!"

Not true. As was stated previously, ONLY certain model O and IO-360s are permitted to run a specific (currently un-available) specification Mogas.

The lead "needs" of older valve guides and valve seats is a non-issue as it can be addressed quite inexpensively either by changing them or with fuel additives like TCP. There is no need for everyone to burn leaded gas just so a few (very few) with older engines can save a few bucks.

I suspect that no matter what happens in the lower 48, Alaska will continue to do whatever it needs/wants. I would really like to see the percentage of have-to-have-100 octane usage comes from Alaska.

Posted by: KRIS LARSON | August 5, 2011 11:05 AM    Report this comment

"ONLY certain model O and IO-360s are permitted to run a specific (currently un-available)specification Mogas. "

Not true. You're thinking warranty, not reality. UNLESS you buy a brand new $40,000 engine from Lycoming, you can run whatever legal gasoline you want. I have STC's for MoGas and I am "permitted" to use them.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 5, 2011 12:39 PM    Report this comment

Lycoming is QUITE specific in S.B. 398 http://www.lycoming.textron.com/support/publications/service-bulletins/pdfs/SB398B.pdf

If you run any of their engine on anything other than the fuels they specify in S.I. 1070 http://www.lycoming.textron.com/support/publications/service-instructions/pdfs/SI1070Q.pdf ,i.e.; "Incorrect Fuel” (meaing 100% AVGAS except for a few O/IO-360s that can run on a specific MOGAS specification), you MUST tear the engine down to inspect for damage... Period.

Given a choice of following the instructions of the people who designed and built the engine or the guys who sell you a piece of paper, I'll take the former rather than the later.

But you're right about one thing Mark, it will void your warrenty too.

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