Central Maine Regional Airport in Norridgewock, Maine, has had another successful summer supplying ethanol-free 91 Octane autogas to the regional fleet. Although our supply has been tenuous, it looks like it is settling into a pattern where we will be able to get the fuel from April to September.
ExxonMobil quietly announced its departure from general aviation sales of 100LL and Jet-A in July. According to this AIN Online article, the company will end sales of the fuels to general aviation and dissolve its Avitat FBO network. As documented in this GAfuels article, 100LL sales have been dropping by some 4% annually for years, leading to increasing competitive pressures on the dwindling number of producers remaining in the business. ExxonMobil plans to continue sales of its aviation fuels for commercial carriers, however.
The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., an expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.
When Tom Hall, a member of our EAA chapter, called me this spring with the news that his friend wanted to donate a Stits Skycoupe project, my first reaction was “Sure!” My second reaction was “what’s a Stits Skycoupe?”
Many people misunderstand what the country in general — and their state in particular — is required to do about ethanol in auto gasoline. First, let’s look at the BIG picture: There is no federal mandatory E10 law. Many people believe that there is, but it is not true.
In a clear sign of the continued erosion of support nationally for the ethanol mandates contained in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007), Texas Governor Rick Perry (a former USAF C-130 pilot) has called on the EPA to issue waivers to states, according to this recent article in AGWEEK.
With the release of its Service Instruction 1070Q on July 16, 2010, Lycoming quietly approved autogas as a fuel for some of its engines — or did they? As news of the company’s about-face after years of advising against the fuel became public, company officials have attempted to explain their confusing stance against a backdrop of thousands of pilots who have happily used autogas in Lycoming engines under STCs from the EAA and Petersen Aviation since 1982 when the fuel first gained approval from the FAA.
GAfuels co-author Kent Misegades, just back from AirVenture, summarizes below some of the aviation fuel-related news gleaned from among the hundreds of forums, workshops, press releases, and countless conversations with exhibitors and attendees:
Amidst a stream of reports on aircraft on display at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh powered by batteries, sunlight, hydrogen, ethanol, bio-Jet-A, cooking oil, algae, etc., hundreds of planes will once again arrive in Oshkosh — with little fanfare — burning a low-cost, lead-free aviation fuel approved by the FAA in 1982 and available in vast quantities. [Read more...]