Swift Fuels announced that it has suspended its work activities with the FAA’s Piston Alternative Fuels Initiative (PAFI) unleaded 100LL replacement fuels program on Wednesday. The company says that it is now focusing on testing a high-octane unleaded avgas replacement that is not part of PAFI and working privately with the FAA and OEMs to get that fuel certified. According to Swift, it has already begun engine and flight testing of the new unleaded fuel.
“The company wants to maintain the momentum that we’ve started,” said Swift Fuels CEO Chris D’Acosta. “We’re hopeful our new fuel will be accepted by pilots as the ‘best’ fleetwide unleaded avgas alternative to replace 100LL.” D’Acosta also said that Swift expects their high-octane unleaded fuels to be priced competitively with 100LL.
The FAA announced in June that it was temporarily halting all PAFI flight testing and some engine testing while issues related to the differences between the two PAFI fuels and 100LL were assessed. Along with a formula from Shell, Swift’s unleaded 100LL replacement fuel was selected for PAFI Phase Two testing in March 2016. Since the June announcement, no further PAFI updates have been published and the FAA has not yet said if it plans to continue the program without Swift’s participation.