Autogas Support System For Pilots
The Aviation Fuel Club celebrated at AirVenture 2012 the 30th anniversary of the first autogas STC by presenting a network of support options for pilots concerned about the future of leaded avgas, or interested in crossing over. Established in January 2011, the Wisconsin-based non-profit answers questions from pilots about running aircraft engines on automotive fuel, but also does more. Its support system includes autogas STC experts; flyunleaded.com, which "maintains the most accurate list of autogas supplied airports" and a list of ethanol-free gas stations; InPulse, a company that provides an anti-detonation water-injection option for operators of high-compression engines interested in using autogas; and U-Fuel , a supplier of small low-cost self-serve fuel stations.
The group's research says that 80 percent of the 159,007 piston aircraft they found in U.S. databases are capable of running mogas right now, and continued production of leaded avgas is precarious, at best. InPulse's process enables installation via STC of a water-injection anti-detonation system that is FAA-approved on Cessna's 188 and 210 models and Beech Barons (IO-470 and IO-520 engines). According to the founders of flyunleaded.com, avgas comprises 0.15 percent of the fuel produced in the U.S., and that percentage is getting smaller. Avgas costs roughly $1.40 more than auto fuel per gallon and environmental concerns along with cost benefit analysis puts continued pressure on the manufacturers of TEL, the leaded octane enhancing additive in 100LL.