FAA Selects Fuels For Testing

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Taking another step forward in the ongoing effort to find a replacement for 100LL, the FAA said on Monday it has selected four unleaded fuels that will undergo testing. The FAA has chosen two formulas from Swift Fuels, one from Shell, and one from Total. The fuels will enter a yearlong Phase 1 test regime starting this fall at FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. "We're committed to removing harmful lead from general aviation fuel," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This work will benefit the environment and provide a safe and available fuel for our general aviation community."

The FAA said it expects to select two or three fuels after Phase 1 that will go on to Phase 2 testing in engines and aircraft. By the end of 2018 at least one new unleaded fuel should be approved that will be suitable for much of the general aviation piston aircraft fleet. EAA and AOPA released statements on Monday applauding the progress. "This is another important milestone in the collaborative effort between the aviation community, fuel producers, and the FAA to find future replacements for 100 low-lead fuel for GA aircraft," said EAA chairman Jack Pelton. AOPA President Mark Baker concurred. "We appreciate the collaborative efforts of everyone involved to keep the process moving forward," Baker said, "while ensuring the needs of the aviation community are considered at every step along the way." 

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a look at the candidate fuels and the FAA process in July. Shell's Rob Midgley spoke about his company's plans for a new fuel recently, at EAA AirVenture.