Avgas Issue Comes To A Head And It’s About Time


We attend so many different types of events at AirVenture that my colleagues and I have learned to never be surprised at what one might yield. Some of the most seemingly insignificant events have resulted in some of the best stories. Still, some things look like a sure thing and the event held last year by the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) to discuss next steps in the quest for a high-octane unleaded avgas had all the hallmarks of a meaty story in a show that had been light on news.

As we all filed into Theater In The Woods, something seemed odd. There was a crackle in the air that seemed out of place. AirVenture is a happy and laid-back experience, and the atmosphere in that bucolic setting seemed different from that. I thought we might get something interesting out it and we should have. We were just looking in the wrong place.

Looking back on it, I believe the uncomfortable ramblings of the EAGLE representatives and their curiously defensive posture was their anticipation of what happened this weekend. George Braly, the brilliant, enigmatic small-town Oklahoma engineer and lawyer who created what could be a viable unleaded replacement for 100LL, is poised to seriously disrupt EAGLE’s deliberate plan to ease general aviation into a lead-free future and even Braly himself didn’t see this coming I don’t think.

EAGLE, which has representatives from the FAA, alphabet groups and industry, was formed to ensure an orderly transition to an eventual lead-free fuel. The main impetus was to create a credible structure and process so that environmental groups, civic and state governments and aviation organizations would have a place to look for progress on removing the last source of exhaust pipe lead from the planet.

The idea was to prevent those entities from enacting laws or regulations that would prevent pilots from getting the 100LL they needed while the new fuel was being developed. EAGLE said it could be done by 2030. Braly said he’d already done it and he wasn’t going to wait for all the endless meetings, studies and reports to embrace the breakthrough he had already made.

His G100UL had already been approved by the FAA and an STC granted for every spark ignition engine in use in certified aircraft in the U.S. A similar STC for rotorcraft is in the final stages of approval. George told the crowd they didn’t need to wait seven years. The fuel was already available. Remember the last word of that sentence. It gets really important.

So why not just fold up the EAGLE tent and get to work on getting G100UL to the masses? Braly has some theories on that, but the main reason seems to be his unwillingness to work with ASTM International, a nonprofit standards organization that, well, sets standards for just about everything we come in contact with in modern life. Braly has his own reasons for not going near ASTM and he has no intention of letting them anywhere near his fuel.

Meanwhile, G100UL is a finished product ready for general use according to Braly and, apparently, the FAA. Braly says it can be made in existing facilities, handled by existing transportation, storage and dispensing equipment and is better for aircraft engines of all types. He has resolved to get it to market without blessing from ASTM and, if necessary, EAGLE. Those wheels were set in motion with a licensing agreement reached with Vitol Aviation to produce the fuel at facilities in New Orleans and Houston, and G100UL should be produced in commercial quantities in the next few months.

The question that arose over the Presidents’ Day weekend was whether making thousands of gallons of fuel makes it “commercially available.” That’s important because the term is fundamental to a nine-year-old legal settlement in California that has been agreed to by virtually every avgas seller in the state. The resulting consent order with the Center for Environmental Health compels the FBOs and other retailers to replace 100LL with any fuel that has less lead in it as soon as it becomes “commercially available.” CEH’s lawyer says G100UL now fulfills that condition and has sent a letter to every signatory to that consent order to warn them to make the change imminently.

It’s a huge deal for Braly because if the consent order holds it means he has an instant customer base for millions of gallons of fuel. That would give him the economic basis to expand nationwide, and it’s likely that any legal objections to getting the lead out of avgas would be swept aside in the process. About 180 million gallons of 100LL are sold each year. It’s a tiny fraction of the amount of automotive gasoline that is sold, but it’s still a big business by any measure.

But according to Swift Fuels CEO Chris D’Acosta, the lawyer letter is baseless because G100UL doesn’t have the ASTM stamp. Swift and a partnership between Lyondell and VP Racing are the two other contenders to create a 100LL replacement, but both their fuels are still under development. Both will have the ASTM stamp when they’re done, however.

D’Acosta claims ASTM approval is fundamental to selling any kind of fuel because the whole industry is set up to rely on it as a quality and performance standard. He says if G100UL doesn’t have it, the industry, particularly the insurance industry, won’t accept it. Therefore, he said, it’s not “commercially available” and the consent agreement doesn’t apply. D’Acosta also said the FAA doesn’t have the final say in all of this, and I’m wondering if the FAA, which is used to having the final say in everything it touches, would agree with that. I’d ask but there’s no way I would get an answer over the long weekend. I’m also curious to see what the FBOs have to say, but that’s going to have to wait until Tuesday as well.

Looking back on the Theater in the Woods event, I remember the main story that media latched onto was that EAGLE member Pete Bunce, of GAMA, said the “market would decide” which fuel(s) would actually get into airplane tanks. Unfortunately, it looks like the courts will decide that and we’ll be hearing a lot about “commercial availability” in the next year.

Meanwhile, all across the country, anti-airport forces are using the perceived threat from leaded avgas as specious justification for converting their local airports into neighborhoods, commercial areas and industrial parks, and it seems to be working. So, the sooner we get this thing sorted out the better. Lead in avgas has historically been a red herring issue in anti-GA movements, but it’s gaining credibility as a reason to close airports and restrict aviation activity. If nothing else, the events of the last couple of days should put some focus on the issue and get some movement on it sooner rather than seven years later.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


      • Basic ingredients are disclosed in GAMI patents and any half twit with a chem lab can figure out the formula. There is no secrecy here. It is about 1/3 xylene and 2/3 unleaded high grade gasoline. Give or take. You can get some and make exact measurements. You can buy the ingredients yourself and make it if you wish.

        This country is overpopulated with conspiracy theorists these days and Russ is fanning the flames by insinuating there is one underway with EAGLE. Having options is GOOD, not BAD. The true cost of G100UL being so far unknown suggests keeping alive other pathways.

        G100UL is not commercially available by the definition in the consent decree and won’t be for a long time. The decree language is:

        “each Settling Defendant shall purchase for resale, distribute, and sell in California Avgas with the lowest concentration of lead approved for aviation use that is commercially available to that Settling Defendant on a consistent and sustained basis at prices and on terms, in quantities and at times sufficient to meet demands of the customers of that Settling Defendant in California (“Commercially Available”)”

        Notice the use of the words price, terms, consistently available, and that it has to “meet the demands of the customers”. GAMI making a few thousand gallons of G100UL doesn’t even begin to reach those definitions. Consistently available means it takes TIME to establish commercial availability. It doesn’t even have its FIRST retail pump ANYWHERE.

        The CEH lawyer letter is meaningless. It has no weight of authority, only the courts can decide if the terms are met. The CEH lawyers will get more billable hours from this stunt, and CEH will get more publicity, but it doesn’t actually change anything legally.

        Mike C.

      • 100LL is not a failure, it’s just not ‘green’ enough for the CA folks & EPA.

        ATSM is concerned with the engineering/chemistry side not with whether thr Sierra Club will approve of the product.

      • Tetraethyl lead (TEL) has been banned for cars around the world for many decades and now airports are banning it. So, that makes American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) approval standards a failure also.

        • Because after many successful decades a product is becoming obsolete, and it’s the standards measurement process that’s bad?

          Good grief.

    • I went to a forum with George Brally at AirVenture. I recall him saying he did go to the ASTM early on, and someone who was there listening to his presentation left that meeting and filed a patent for himself based on Brally’s design. Any one of us would not want ASTM near our designs if that is the kind of reception we would get.

  1. Gotta be mighty suspicious of a bloke and his fuel if he doesn’t want ASTM anywhere near it don’t you? Did he use different formulations for different testing or something like odd this, or worse….? Is there something that he isn’t saying about it that he doesn’t want highly experienced testing by an independent authority finding out? I might be wrong, and I’m not suggesting anything concrete, but what is the big secret? Do we really know what all the different engines will be like once they reach TBO? I can’t recall that i’ve even seen data on engines that have run on this fuel solely from new to TBO in the real world of training or charter operations rather than in a test cell. What changes in lubricants might we need given the loss on high levels of lead in the sump – which is exactly what is happening, and do we really know what this means yet? Will this have an effect and what is it? I haven’t seen this addressed scientifically, and mere opinion wouldn’t see it go in any aircraft engine I owned, especially with the cost of an overhaul in 2024!! Sorry, but leaded avgas is going to be my choice until ALL of these questions have been fully answered in the real world and NOT in test cells. You’re years away from even sparking any interest from me…. period!

  2. I’ve followed this issue and was at Braly’s forum at Airventure last year. He wasn’t there at the start because he was talking to the FAA concerning the last approvals for all engines to use his G100UL. I’ve looked at all the videos and read all the articles, too. In every one, he seems like a genuine no BS kind of guy who had set out to achieve something … and DID it … despite all the roadblocks along his way. I remember hearing him speak after he hurriedly arrived on his golf cart; I remember thinking, “how has he put up with such an uphill battle?” That’s his personality type so maybe that’s why he just isn’t putting up with any additional bureaucratic ASTM entity and the indeterminate time period waiting for THEM to act? Maybe it’s a matter of still more costs?

    Meanwhile, I’m sure the knights in shining armor led by the highly paid Mark Baker will be making an announcement momentarily about how THEY will save the day so … not to worry.

    • 🤣🤣🤣 to Your final paragrafh, Mr. Larry S. But the “knights in shining armor” aren’t gone disappear so soon, once, unfortunately for us, their “Captain” is already working hard in the name of the person that will succeed him.

  3. I for one am glad this is happening. Keep on shaking the tree until all the dead fruit falls out. Let’s get on with it. I want lead out and not because I’m a tree hugger, or, somehow thinks lead falling from the sky is detrimental to anything. I want the lead out of my engines.

    That being said, I’ve dealt with ASTM’s my entire life within the construction industry. Their testing is so broad one has to question why, what’s the point. It’s kind of like testing to see if water is wet. Then testing again to confirm. Then one more test just to make sure.🤷‍♂️

  4. Over 40 years ago the FAA approved STCs for Mogas. All modern aircraft engines from Rotax, ULPower, Viking and others are designed to operate best on Mogas. It is available at nearly 17,000 gas stations in the US (see pure-gas.org). Ethanol may not be pumped through oil pipelines, so ethanol-free fuel is available at all fuel terminals. In Europe, mogas is commonly available alongside 100LL, Jet-A, and diesel, even at small GA airports. We are so backwards in this country.

    • Mogas is not a safe solution because while the engines may accept it, the airframes (specifically anything low-wing that isn’t a Bonanza, or a highly modified (fuel system wise) 4cyl Cherokee) don’t.

      The issue is vapor lock – mogas is more seceptable than avgas – and it will flat out kill you (power loss on takeoff).

      It’s not an issue for high wing planes because their fuel is gravity fed and thus under positive pressure.

      But for anything using a pump to suck fuel out of a tank, it’s a no.

      Which is why there is NO mogas STC for such low wing aircraft – Petersen tried and couldn’t make it work.

      • Beg to differ: I had a 1977 Cherokee with a stock fuel system and a MoGas STC. Flew several hundred hours on it without any problems. From a quick Google search, it appears Petersen Aviation is still selling MoGas STCs for most PA-28 derivatives. Looks like they also have the Grumman Traveller and Cheetah, the Globe Swift and a few other low wings on their list.

      • Peterson has a STC for many low wing aircraft, including 4 cyl Cherokees (I had it on mine). Vapor lock is a concern, as noted in their STC, but they wouldn’t have gotten the STC approved if they were not able to proved to the FAA that it is not a major concern. High compression and turbo equipped engines are the major issue with automotive non-ethanol fuel. Also, it is not available at every gas station, as Kent seems to think.

    • Many aircraft, particularly in the smaller category, use Mogas in Rotax and similar engines here in NZ (in all sorts of craft, both high wing and low wing.
      One of the cost issues we have is a very significant road use tax on Mogas. Agricultural equipment using Mogas can apply for a refund of that tax since the Mogas is not being used on the road. No other ‘mogas’ activities have this. So for flying, a litre of ’95’ is around NZ $3+ (about $11 USD?) and 70c (USD $2.60) of that is government tax that cannot be reclaimed. Would the same issue face US pilots if / when Mogas is used?

      • I’m in the US and have 2 aircraft – one with gravity feed fuel and an auto engine….

        And one where use of mogas is a lethal accident waiting to happen according to Petersen (the mogas STC people)…..

        For the one that can run auto gas, if you buy your own in bulk for aircraft use (either because you have a fuel tank where you keep your plane, or because you’re an FBO selling it) you get a rebate on the difference between the road and aviation fuel tax rates.

        If you are buying it from a filling station in Jerry cans you don’t.

  5. It seems to me a lot of bickering and bartering would become moot if Mr. Braly would simply state his reasons for avoiding ASTM certification. Past results of “brilliant” and “secretive” teaming up throughout history make a lot of people nervous.

  6. Since Mr D’Acosta claims insurance companies won’t cover planes using G100UL, has anyone asked the insurance industry their take on all this? If Mr D’Acosta is correct then we may have no choice but to wait for the EAGLE forum to finish.

    • I call BS. I just posed the question to my insurance broker. I have never heard of a valid STC being declined by insurance. Anyone know of such an example?

  7. Kent says, “All modern aircraft engines from Rotax, ULPower, Viking and others are designed to operate best on Mogas”.

    And all the engine makes you just listed are a fractional percentage of the piston fleet and mostly non-certified. So I don’t think they are germane to the issue at hand. I mean try putting mogas in your Cessna 210 or 421 and see where that gets you. But let’s say for the sake of argument that your “all mogas” premise was in fact correct for the 98 percent of piston aircraft engines currently in the field made by Lycoming, Continental or approved clones including the higher-compression engines, and they could all use mogas (which they all can’t), it is practically impossible to get ethanol-free fuel in most of the US as it is so engrained in the industry you can’t even trust fuel stations that advertise it. More than half the time fuel sold as non-ethanol comes back as having it when checked with a portable test kit. And most of the fuel components like carburetors and throttle bodies I have handled in the last 15 years have a statement to the effect that the use of any automobile fuel of any kind voids the parts warranty, regardless of STC. So if you have low-compression Continental or Lycoming on the nose of your Taylorcraft or Cessna 152 and want to purchase the Peterson or EAA Mogas STC knock yourself out with jerry cans and alcohol testers. But we are talking the big picture high-volume fill it and go every day market.

    • “…And most of the fuel components like carburetors and throttle bodies I have handled in the last 15 years have a statement to the effect that the use of any automobile fuel of any kind voids the parts warranty…”

      A perfect example of how GA has dug its heels in against unleaded avgas. Why have there been ANY fuel components installed in GA engines for the last 30 years that can’t handle a little ethanol, or, for that matter, can’t handle everything that’s in high octane automotive gas? Every car engine handles all that stuff just fine – but NO – GA is SPECIAL! Puh-leeze – it’s way past time to get on with it.

      • Hold on, brother. You need to be more specific than to blame this on “GA”. I owned a plane with a Continental 550 for years. I would have been happy to replace that engine with anything that would burn Jet A and produced the minimum needed HP even if that meant a reduced useful load and speed.

        I don’t think you can remove the FAA and all the other parties making it a bad idea to invest in better solutions for personal aviation from responsibility. Nor is it fair to blame pilots willing to buy new products.

        • Old Eric,

          You’re right, I should have been more specific. (I, too, would have switched to UL a long time ago if I could have.) My finger pointing was intended for Lycoming and Continental, who have made the vast majority of those engines in the past 30 years that still don’t want to run on unleaded, or with ethanol, etc. Were they really not capable of re-engineering their fuel systems, valve seats, etc. like the automotive industry did? Of course they could have. Why didn’t they? I really have no idea, but there are a lot of us now paying for it.

          • It’s not capability, it’s high cost of certification, high risk, and low volume.

            Between the FAA, the tort bar, the airlines, the developers, etc. GA got shut down in the early eighties and was starting to recover in the late 99’s only to be slapped down again by Gulfstream Gate (which predictably ruined the write off structure for PISTON planes), and then the 2008 recession closed it all down. In that period you got the Porsche Mooney which failed, the Continental 550 evolution with better production tolerances, and everything got some a couple bolt ons. You also got rotax and the little Mercedes based diesels and the big French diesel. You also got some some other newer engines based on the same old tech.
            The main reason is all the volume is gone for new planes, so you really need an engine that can fit the older airframes and burn existing fuels. That means Jet A, but diesels are heavier so you really need all new airframes for them which means tiny volumes.
            Also, the auto manufacturers actively try to prevent their engines being used due to liability and low volume.

          • Ethanol compatibility isn’t just an engine thing (though most engines probably are enthanol-tolerant by this point, from a materials standpoint). There’s an airframe component too–rubber fuel bladders and composite fuel tanks really don’t like ethanol, and those are hard-to-impossible to replace. You can’t just saw off an integral composite wing tank (for example) and rebuild one with a different resin…

            There are several folks in the homebuilt world flying on 93E10 from the corner gas station, with a little attention paid to good fuel system design and maybe some variable ignition timing to increase detonation margins at high power levels. I intend to run gas-station premium in my almost-finished RV-7 and have built the fuel system and engine up to handle it. But, I’m not restricted by Part 23 either.

    • I use mogas in my high performance aircraft without difficulty. Most of the low compression engines were designed to use lead free fuel as 80Avgas had a lead spec only because they were shipped in the same facilities as leaded avgas and collected some washout. Brian Smith is right. There is no reason why GA engines and airframe fuel handling lines cannot be modified at reasonable expense to handle a small quantity of ethanol and certainly no reason why new airframe and powerplant components cannot be designed in.

      As for availability, I use ethanol free fuel in my chainsaw, lawnmower, boat and airplane. It is readily available in most states, but you may have to look for it and it can be transported in transfer tanks (DOT approves these), with fuel pumps. I’ve transferred more than 8000 gallons this way without a hitch, in a well mounted, grounded/bonded antistatic system. My only regret? I should have bought a bigger transfer tank when I upgraded to extended range tanks in the plane.

      And Jim, one last note. When unleaded fuel became mandatory in the ’70s, it started auto engines on a revolution that produces the same HP at a fraction of the size and weight of the old iron dukes on lower octane and twice the fuel efficiency. Isn’t it about time we brought more of that to a Continental engine?

      • Unleaded fuel didn’t start a revolution in auto engines; it was mandated MPG numbers.

        [And sadly, changes were more evolutionary than revolutionary.]

      • Mogas can’t be used in low wing planes that have fuel pumps (Mooneys, Comanches, Bellancas, etc)…..

        The Bonanza is an exception to the rule, and Petersen has an STC for the Cherokee that requires fuel system parts replacement.

        It’s about vapor lock & engine failure on takeoff. Any aircraft that was designed for 100LL and uses a pump to suck fuel out of the tank (rather than gravity feed) is seceptable….

        • I had the Peterson STC for my 1966 Cherokee 140. It required no fuel system (or other) modification. The STC noted vapor lock as the primary concern and the use of the boost pump, if it occurred.

      • The problem with ethanol isn’t only materials compatibility – which can be dealt with by retrofitting the fuel system. The real problem is how to deal with moisture being absorbed into the fuel via the vents when on a long trip in humid conditions. Given the right circumstances the fuel can absorb enough moisture to cause problems due to the water/ethanol mix going to the bottom and then giving either reduced power or complete engine failure. There’s also a separate issue with corrosion in the engine due to ethanol. I don’t know how to resolve either of those two issues.

  8. The Apollo program was done in how long?
    The unleaded Avgas problem is still with us?
    All those involved with the lack of progress should be ashamed to show their faces!

    • The Apollo program was created to fight an existential threat (“the Ruskies”) to all Americans, and it consumed 2.5% of the US’s GDP on average over it’s 10 year period.

      Assuming you’re willing to put $583B/yr of tax dollars (2.5% of today’s GDP) into unleaded avgas and are willing to wait 10 years, I’m sure we’ll get a similar result.

  9. Remember Shakespear’s quote about the lawyers? The issue with GAMI’s fuel is that the world of General Aviation is driven in many respects by lawyers looking to sue on behalf of grieving family members whenever there is an accident. The FAA, refiners, fuel distributors, fuel retailers, FBO’s, engine manufacturers and aircraft manufacturers are all rightly “concerned” about the certain litigation that will immediately follow the first engine failure accident using GAMI’s fuel, regardless of actual cause. With a new and innovative fuel that is a form of “secret sauce” is not comforting in our litigious society. And GAMI’s net worth wouldn’t cover a single bad Judgment in today’s personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Every component of every new aircraft sold today is wrapped in a 25 year product liability insurance policy baked into the price. The safe harbor for unleaded aviation fuel is a blanket 3rd party specification and verification of testing that can be relied on to deflect lawsuits. Swift understands that and so does the industry and FAA. (And that is why new airplanes don’t come with efficient liquid-cooled V-6 engines with computer controls, and never will…)

  10. One of the problems that I am wondering about for the planes that really NEED 100LL is the fact that 100LL really is a higher octane than 100. The fuel was mad to replace 130L fuel. It’s 100 rating is at LEAN setting. If you compare it to the old 100 it has a higher octane rating. That is in My opinion why they are looking for STC to say you can use it in your plane.
    There will be some high power piston planes that will NOT be able to use the NEW fuels and they will be left Grounded.
    If that’s the plane you own I am Sorry for you. The only option may be a turbine conversion.

    • From GAMI’s FAQ, does this adequately address the concern about high-powered piston airplanes:

      What was the compression ratio, Manifold Pressure and the highest horsepower achieved during detonation testing that successfully passed a formal FAA 14 CFR Part 33.47 Detonation test?

      At the conclusion of the two days of detonation testing, GAMI elected to complete an optional test item from the FAA approved test matrix.

      That test item was to determine the maximum Brake Horsepower (BHP) at which the 8.7:1 CR IO-550 turbo-charged test engine could be operated and continue to pass a standard Part 33.47 FAA full power detonation test. With redline cylinder and induction air temperatures, the engine easily operated at 41.4″ MP, 380 actual BHP (414 BHP when corrected to Standard Day conditions). We were unable to determine how much more additional HP could be obtained because the pressure relief “pop-off” valve on the induction system was limiting further increases in manifold pressure.


      • I bought Braly’s STC and I am proud to not believe all these crazy conspiracy theories. George is betting his company and reputation on his G100UL. I support him. End all this arguing over nothing and move on down the road to get something valuable done.

  11. Note that section 2.3.1 of the consent judgment provides a definition of “commercially available” that deals with the quantity issue:

    (a) As of the Effective Date, Settling Defendants shall not purchase for
    resale in California, distribute for sale in California, or sell in California Avgas that contains a lead concentration of more than 0.56 grams of lead per liter of fuel. In addition, each Settling Defendant shall purchase for resale, distribute, and sell in California Avgas with the lowest concentration of lead approved for aviation use that is commercially available to that Settling Defendant on a consistent and sustained basis at prices and on terms, in quantities and at times sufficient to meet demands of the customers of that Settling Defendant in California (“Commercially Available”),
    including 100VLL once it becomes Commercially Available to that Settling Defendant for the California market.

  12. Please, please, can we have UL94?

    No mystery additives. No STCs. No ethanol. No lead all over the inside of the engine. Just store it on the truck: no new tankage required. And most of us can burn it tomorrow morning. Sure, the bigger volume will be 100LL from the big tanks; fine. Let the big tanks swap over when the demand for 94 octane is bigger.

    • As I keep saying, you have it. It’s available. Put your money where your mouth is and open an FBO and sell it.

      Otherwise, please, please, change your pleas.

        • And if they don’t want to sell it, go ahead and do it yourself if you think it’s such a great idea.

          Maybe before you do, look up Chesterton’s Fence.

          If they do, for some reason, take you up on it, then good for everyone.

          • Like I said, I’m busy. I have a full-time job, and I probably wouldn’t be able to set it up myself with the limited time I have available.
            But I do have some ideas, so you never know…

    • 94UL is just avgas without the lead. Most airports do not want to support two fuel systems. When I was starting out all the airports had 80 octane and 100 octane fuel. Then they switched to 100LL and the 80 went away.

  13. Both Swift UL94 and GAMI G100UL took the STC route instead of ASTM because it’s a faster and less costly way to obtain approval. Autofuel STC’s also “approve” UL94 because the minimum octane rating for autofuel is less than 94. Therefore any straight gasoline (Avgas or Autofuel) above 87 or 91 octane (depending on the engine) is approved via the nearly 40,000 autofuel STC’s already in circulation. The placards you get with an autofuel STC specifically state that UL91 (minimum) made to D-7547 is approved. Unless something has changed lately with their business model, Swift requires that you have their STC. So when you go to buy fuel, if your N number doesn’t come up in the Swift database, no fuel for you. This is why Swift doesn’t need octane police at airports. If I’m wrong about that perhaps Mr. D’Acosta will correct me. Regardless, Swift fuel and G100UL would not be an option today were it not for the STC process.

    • So Swift will only dispense to N numbers that have obtained an STC?! Makes no sense to me! If Lycoming determines the engine model in my plane will work with UL94 or G100UL – then why would every plane owner with that model engine have to pay for an STC? I’m probably missing somthing but it sure sounds like a money grab (by Swift) to me.

    • First – Swift UL94 does meet an ASTM Spec.. It is a 94+ Motor-Octane lead-free aviation gasoline that meets the ASTM D7547 Unleaded Avgas specification. And second- Swift sold all of their STC’s for a modest price of $100 (which will also include the UL100R use) mostly as a way to track aircraft users, and eligibility, as protection against those friendly trial lawyers again.. Imagine if some bozo fills the tanks of his Cessna 340 with UL94 and then crashes on hot day due to detonation and engine failures. Swift has an ironclad defense available since the plane would never have been issued the STC in the first place, so was flying in violation of the FAR’s.. I understand it seems dumb, but that is how the legal system works today.. Anyone can first check Swift’s website to see if their plane and engine are STC-eligible, and if not they won’t get the STC and won’t be covered if they put it in the tanks by mistake.

  14. First, I appreciate Russ for including that last paragraph, and I hope everyone here can agree on it.

    I find nothing wrong with GAMI or Swift taking the positions they have. Both companies seem to be behaving fine in my opinion. It’s a competitive market. Just because they might not be doing what we want, it’s incorrect to fault them. Give me more evidence of misbehaving, and I may change my mind.

    ASTM should not be government mandated (though government acceptance seems warranted with some sort of check and balance), and the FAA ought to be actively standing behind their STC approval. I do not know the ins and outs of ASTM, and I suspect opinions among the knowledgeable very well might differ.

  15. For all you folks who are upset about Mr. Braley’s refusal to work with ATSM. Don’t you think he’s already been through enough? ASTM does nothing for a product, so why should Mr. Braley be held hostage by what they think? He’s met every other hurdle and achieved a satisfactory result. How much money and time do you want him to waste? You don’t think it’s already going to cost enough? Maybe he’s just trying to keep his product at a marketable price point.

    Fair play – I’ve hated the idea of the ASTM since before they were an acronym. This is the worst of human weakness. The idea that we need a nameless faceless organization that reports to no one to verify to us that products meet a standard is ridiculous. It also limits the profit margins on and the reason to produce premium product. it has created a world where the only deciding factor is purchase price – and that eliminates our impetus to excel. Once you kill the reason to excel humanity is doomed.

    • I have a different attitude towards organizations like ASTM. They can only be successful if they maintain their reputation. They thus have more incentive than anyone else doing that type of work to maintain their standards. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than government or internal corporate quality control.

  16. Doesn’t seem that complicated to me. If it (G100UL) will work in all existing engines with an STC it will work just as well without one. The FAA should give it a blanket authorization and get out of the way. Anybody else who can meet the same standard is welcome to join the party. The only obstacle I can see is that FAA personnel with PAFI/EAGLE would have to find something useful to do.

  17. The problem with ASTM certification is it’s based more on politics than physics.

    If it were straight-forward physics, G100UL would be a shoe-in.

    But ASTM “standards” are set by its members. And the existing members have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. George Braly can join the ASTM and propose a new unleaded avgas fuel standard, but the members currently making a profit selling leaded gas will simply out-vote it.

    Unless, of course, they invent their own flavor. Or wait out Bradly’s patent. Hence EAGLE’s 2030 deadline, just one year shy of G100UL’s patent expiration.

    Like the guy who invented the intermittent windshield-wiper, George Braly is a “little guy” being squeezed by the established players.

    • Perhaps they identify that he needs squeezing – right out of the industry, for reasons that they have identified…. who knows..?! Maybe they know something that you and I don’t 😉

  18. GA aircraft production went into a state of suspended animation in the 1980s over product liability. How much liability insurance can GAMI carry to sell only a boutique type of AVGAS which itself is a very thin market? If the world switches to GAMI are we one lunched Lycoming away from losing the only producer of AVGAS?

    • GAMI isn’t producing the fuel, another company – Vitol – will initially be producing it under license. Others are expected to follow as demand increases.

    • I hate to tell you, but we are all one accident or fire away from losing 100LL as well. All of our TEL is made at a single chemical plant in England and shipped to the US in special containers by boat. Due to the low amount of lead required in each gallon of 100LL, the actual volume of TEL being shipped is not that large. If there is a fire or major accident at the plant, or if the British government decides they don’t want the nasty stuff being made on their soil, we are stuck. At least the GAMI fuel will be made here at home by any company qualified to blend the ingredients and who wants to enter the business. No highly toxic materials that are on the EPA’s bad list and multiple sources for each chemical. One way or the other, 100LL’s days are numbered. Get used to it.

  19. The only issue I have with Mr. Braley is he is abrasive, nasty and probably his own worse enemy. Also the cost of the STC is ridiculous.

    • Let’s see… it took the FAA 10+ years to approve his STC. I wonder how much money Mr. Braley spent during that time frame to move the ball so little. If you want to blame someone for the STC cost, blame the FAA and others that didn’t want it to get approved.

  20. we can find the date when the GAMMI FUEL WILL BE ALLOWED. it will be 20 years from when the Patent was filed and then the information becomes open to use by anyone. when was the patent filing date?

    then all the people in the game can use it without needing to pay anything.

  21. Since I Only run Mogas even with Ethanol in my planes the only time this will affect me is when I travel and am forced to buy gas at an Airport. The price is the crazy part. I would rather take a gas can and go to a car gas station than pump any avgas into my plane. I feel sorry for those of you that have to us any of the fuel at an Airport.

  22. I fly a Cherokee 235 with the Petersen auto fuel STC. To the comments that Cherokees with low wing fuel tanks and thus fuel pumps (engine & boost pumps) are ineligible for the STC is incorrect. Most/all of the Cherokee models with low compression engines are eligible for the STC. I follow the STC stipulations and only use non-ethanol fuel and I test for ethanol as well; so far I have not found any contaminated fuel. I have not noticed any performance differences which makes sense since the O-540 engine was originally spec’d to run on lower octane fuel. Non-ethanol fuel is harder to find. Fortunately, it is available at a station near my airport here in NV. When we travel to WA or to family in ID, I can find it near those airports as well and keep fuel jugs at those locations. I have not found it available when traveling in CA; the last time I looked it was available at 1 Bay Area airport on the field. Since the 235 can carry 84 gallons, I can tanker fuel if necessary to avoid having to fill up with 100LL avgas depending on how far I’m flying. Using auto fuel may not be for everyone and it is more inconvenient than getting fuel on the field, but it works well for my purposes. We might be interested in moving up to a Cherokee 6 but one of the reasons we hesitate is that the higher compression of the O-540 used in the 260/300 hp versions in the 6 are not eligible to use auto fuel.

    • According tp the pure-gas website, there are currently 20 ethanol free locations in CA – including two airports. Most of the other sources serve racing, agricultural, or other non road driving markets.

  23. My memory from precious discussions is that it doesn’t meet ATSM standards as the specific gravity is different and he doesn’t add enough colour to it. He should swallow his pride and sort out the colour but the standard might have to be widened to sort the specific gravity. That would change every manual of every aircraft as fuel calculations become slightly different.

    MoGas has ethanol issues (there is a requirement now in Europe including UK for a percentage of Ethanol in all MoGas, albeit with some exceptions), storage issues ( must be used in 30(?) days from refinement), some engines need a higher MON value ( higher compression engines such as many turbo charged and the 200hp IO360), and has vapour lock issues meaning it can only be used in a small temperature window.

  24. Regarding UL94: If your aircraft make model serial number per the TCDS was originally approved for 91/96 or lower octane, you can use UL94, with NO STC. AOPA refuses to acknowledge this, after numerous contacts. They state that they disagree. Here is the basis for a Cherokee 160 with an O-320-D2A.
    Ready To Fly!

    “Congratulations! This aircraft is FAA-APPROVED TO FLY on UL94 Unleaded Avgas!

    This aircraft can use UL94 Unleaded Avgas based upon any of the following criteria:

    UL94 Unleaded Avgas meets or exceeds the FAA’s type-certificated fuel requirements of both this engine and airframe. The TCDS fuel requirement for both engine and airframe states one of the following: Grade UL91, Grade 80, Grade 80/87, or a minimum octane requirement of 80 or lower.

    UL94 Unleaded Avgas complies with the requirements for Grade 80 unleaded avgas (as originally specified in ASTM D910). Grade 80 was last approved as an unleaded grade of avgas in 1995, per D910-95A.

    UL94 Unleaded Avgas also complies with the requirements for Grade UL91 unleaded avgas as specified in ASTM D7547.”

    No STC needed…