Teledyne Continental, Hawker Beechcraft and Swift Fuels marked Earth Day Wednesday by announcing successful test flights of a Bonanza fueled with the Swift Fuel cellulose-based biofuel that is being touted as a replacement for 100LL. The maker of the fuel claims it can be made for half the cost of avgas and deliver more miles per gallon. Swift is confident the fuel will prove out. “We project that Swift Fuel will extend aircraft range through increased efficiency and could cost up to 50 percent less per gallon than 100LL,” said Swift spokesman Jon Ziulkowski, “This will be a big boost to piston aircraft operators and something we are proud to be involved in.” TCM and HBC seem to be encouraged.
Swift and TCM began talking last year and the flights are the culmination of those discussions. TCM has also been testing high octane motor fuels as an alternative to avgas. “This is another big step in our sustainability initiative and technology leadership at HBC,” said Ed Petkus, HBC vice president, Product Development and Engineering. “It is also something that will delight general aviation pilots.”