A couple of years ago I created a website to sell aviation-related items that publicize flying on unleaded auto fuel, or mogas as we call it. One bumper sticker that I created has proven to be prescient, “What You Going To Do When the TEL Runs Out?” That date may be rapidly approaching.
After I wrote about my visit to Swift Fuels, I received several notes asking why it would be so difficult to determine a price for the finished product. I have a good friend who runs an auction company and when I ask him what something is worth, he usually replies, “Whatever someone is willing to pay for it.”
U-Fuel, a supplier of fuel stations to the aviation industry, has completed installation of its first “Box” fuel station at the Atlantic Aviation FBO at the Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), in Charleston, S.C.
“Things are really popping with autogas,” said Kent Misegades, one member of a group, the Aviation Fuel Club, trying to assure more LSA-friendly fuels (like zero ethanol or E0). Though the new Rotax 912 iS can handle ethanol, it truly loves E0 and many experts say it runs more powerfully and cleaner with such fuel, plus wear and tear is reportedly reduced. Another big plus is that such fuel is significantly cheaper than avgas like 100LL.
Your blogger briefly mentioned the engines on display at AERO Friedrichshafen 2012 in a previous report on April 22. With Europe’s largest general aviation show now two weeks past, I thought it was time to provide a few more details. With the previous two shows having focused great attention on electric propulsion, AERO organizers wisely chose 2012 to showcase advances in piston and turbine engines, and there was a great deal to see indeed.
One of the most picturesque flying routes down the eastern U.S. coast is over North Carolina’s spectacular Outer Banks. Pilots making the trip now have an even greater reason to overfly the northern end of the Banks since the Currituck County Regional Airport added lead-free, ethanol free autogas last month.
Recently an airport commissioner in North Carolina contacted us regarding his commission’s plans to add autogas as a means to lower the cost of flying and increase overall activity at his airport. A large Shell-branded avgas supplier based in his state refused to provide autogas, but he was able to find a local fuel jobber owned by a fellow pilot who was happy to bring 93 AKI ethanol-free fuel to this small airport, even in small quantities of a few thousand gallons.
At this time, the airport’s avgas supplier provided the commissioner with Shell Aviation Bulletin SAB Q109, which originated in the company’s U.K. office in 2009. An article authored by Shell’s Technology Manager for Aviation Fuel, Rob Midgley, starts with the bold headline “Motor Gasoline — The Dangers in Aviation Use.” The airport commissioner recently sent us SAB Q109 and asked us to comment on its accuracy.
U.S. Representatives Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) recently put together a letter to Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, requesting his support in repealing a provision known as “fuel fraud” that is part of the final highway reauthorization bill. The letter was signed by 32 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
A report at EAA.org is asking all pilots to urge their congressional representatives to support a letter from the House General Aviation Caucus that supports closing a loophole in federal regulations that is moving aviation fuel tax revenue to highway trust funds. The problem arose when some trucking firms allegedly began purchasing jet fuel for use in their fleets, as that fuel is taxed at a lower rate than highway diesel fuel, according to the EAA report.
Your blogger is attending the AERO Friedrichshafen show in sunny southern Germany. Among the hundreds of exhibits are many new aircraft engines, some with names like Continental and Lycoming most Americans would recognize, but others that are relatively unknown in the U.S. While a full report will have to wait until next week, one thing is very clear: Europeans have already accepted a lead-free aviation future.