FAA launches full-scale test­ing of un­leaded avi­a­tion fu­els

Pilot - - NOTES -

The US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion has se­lected two un­leaded avi­a­tion fu­els, de­vel­oped by Shell and Swift Fu­els, for Phase 2 full-scale test­ing in aero en­gines and air­craft. ‘The se­lec­tion is based on the least im­pact to the ex­ist­ing fleet fol­low­ing the re­sults of rig­or­ous Phase 1 lab­o­ra­tory and rig test­ing of fuel prop­er­ties and com­pat­i­bil­ity with air­craft ma­te­ri­als and com­po­nents, as well as an as­sess­ment of pre­dicted costs and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors,’ says the FAA.

Test­ing will be­gin this sum­mer at the FAA’S Wil­liam J Hughes Tech­ni­cal Cen­ter in At­lantic City, New Jer­sey, sup­ported by engine and air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ers and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors, and is ex­pected to con­clude in 2018. Test re­sults will be the ba­sis for the FAA to is­sue a fleet-wide au­tho­ri­sa­tion for GA air­craft that can use the fu­els.

“The se­lec­tion of these two fu­els shows the FAA is mak­ing con­tin­ued progress to­ward the goal of iden­ti­fy­ing a vi­able un­leaded avi­a­tion gaso­line op­tion for gen­eral avi­a­tion op­er­a­tors by 2018,” says GAMA Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Pete Bunce. “This is crit­i­cal to the fu­ture of gen­eral avi­a­tion. A suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion from leaded to un­leaded av­gas will mean the con­tin­ued safety and util­ity of the fleet, a re­duced en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, and lower eco­nomic tran­si­tion costs for our in­dus­try.”

Some 167,000 air­craft in the US and around 230,000 air­craft world­wide rely pri­mar­ily on 100LL (low-lead) av­gas, which is the only re­main­ing trans­porta­tion fuel in the US that con­tains tetraethyl lead, added to cre­ate the high oc­tane lev­els re­quired by high-per­for­mance air­craft en­gines. More than 100 ac­tiv­i­ties, twice as many as in 2015, un­folded in Africa, Amer­ica, Europe and Ocea­nia dur­ing the sixth an­nual Women of Avi­a­tion World­wide Week in March. Aimed at ‘en­cour­ag­ing avi­a­tion vo­ca­tions within the fe­male pop­u­la­tion and im­prov­ing gen­der bal­ance in the air and space in­dus­try’ it of­fers girls and women who are not fa­mil­iar with the in­dus­try a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence var­i­ous avi­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties hands-on and learn about the re­al­ity of var­i­ous ca­reers from a woman’s per­spec­tive.

Among ac­tiv­i­ties was a ‘Pink Pa­per Planes Day’ cel­e­brated here by a French con­tin­gent.

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