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Author Topic: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?  (Read 21587 times)

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Offline ckiff

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2010, 09:17:51 AM »
Hey if someone offers me a competitive package for a turbine powered Cherokee, I'll take it! :)

I was reading up on the PT6A recently ... some models have TBOs of 9000 hours! holy crap!

The PT6 is an extremely well built, well thought out, very simple turbine engine that is EXTREMELY reliable. I think you can count on one hand the number of failures they've had that don't involve pilot or maintenance error. They are easy to operate, and you get the added weight advantage since their power to weight ratio is much higher than piston engines.

And Mr. Philippe, that is a pretty cool video! I'm impressed that their props even feather!
Chris Kiff
ATPL / Class 1 Instructor / Ex-RFC Instructor / Current Airline Pilot

Offline M Philippe

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2010, 12:10:20 PM »



And Mr. Philippe, that is a pretty cool video! I'm impressed that their props even feather!

Yeah, lots of cool stuff going on in the Radio Control hobby.  At least for deep pockets guys anyway.
Marc Philippe
PPL-SEL

pcarscallen

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2010, 04:23:11 PM »
Interesting comments from Lycoming:

"As the industry continues to drift toward some unknown solution to the extinction of 100LL, Continental and Lycoming disagree on what the octane for that replacement should be. Continental has been aggressively pushing for 94UL and gave AVweb a briefing on that project at the Mobile factory two weeks ago. As with Lycoming, many of Continentals engines will require only 80-octane fuel and will have no problem with 94UL. For those that don't, Continental is planning a combination of tweaks, including low-compression overhauls, engine replacements, knock sensing and electronic controls. But Lycoming's GM Michael Kraft told us last week that certifying 94UL as the replacement piston fuel would be a huge mistake that could cost the industry billions in lost business.He believes that owners and operators are the ones most at risk and that most don't understand how significantly performance will be reduced or restricted by 94-octane fuel. "If people really understood what's going on today, they would understand that we need to set the objective at 100 octane fuel," Kraft told us at Lycoming's Williamsport plant last week.

Further, although electronic controls like Lycoming's own IE2 and Continental's PowerLink system provide marginal detonation protection, they won't make up for the six to nine octane drop that 94UL represents. (FBO 100LL is typically at least 102 to 103 octane.) Lycoming says that unleaded 100-octane is reachable and has been viably demonstrated by several research organizations. He believes the industry needs to focus its attention and resources on proving these fuels and bringing them—or at least one—to market."

Offline mguimond

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2010, 01:31:13 PM »
Here's a potential new option...

http://www.sonexresearch.com/SCAI.htm

Martin, MRPV

Offline Nicolas

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2010, 06:40:52 PM »
Not at all viable for existing GA though.  Unless the government funds 100% of the associated costs, which will never happen.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

pcarscallen

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2010, 08:25:48 PM »
I hate to be the bearer of bad news Nicolas but I doubt any initiative to get rid of 100LL will be 100% funded by the government.  The brunt of the costs will be handed off to the GA/Commercial markets and I would think the main involvement of the governments will be to put in place the legislation to get rid off 100LL for an alternative which is yet to be decided upon. 

Obviously this is where groups such as AOPA and COPA are handy as they are able to voice the opinions of the memberships to the governments.

For now 100LL is here to stay but it is becoming rare around the world and I think people should seriously start looking at the alternatives which are currently available (yes I realise they are not cheap).

Offline Nicolas

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2010, 09:10:58 PM »
I hate to be the bearer of bad news Nicolas but I doubt any initiative to get rid of 100LL will be 100% funded by the government.  The brunt of the costs will be handed off to the GA/Commercial markets and I would think the main involvement of the governments will be to put in place the legislation to get rid off 100LL for an alternative which is yet to be decided upon.
You could replace '100LL' with '121 ELT' and all that you've said would still be true ;D

Personally, Im not at all interested in any "alternatives" that requires me to make modifications or waste money.  Im all for saving the planet (I drive my Honda Fit very conservatively at about 5.4l/100km, better than a hybrid!) but not if it means I lose my ability to fly.

I don't think COPA has really addressed this issue yet, it'll be interesting what they have to say.  But then again, as you mentioned, 100LL disappearing is a non-issue in Canada.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

pcarscallen

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2010, 09:44:52 PM »
While I agree that pilots flying in North America will more then likely be able to continue using 100LL for the foreseeable future the fact is that it will at some point in time be legislated out of use; at this point the date is 2017 for it to be phased out.

A time frame of 7 years should give both the industry enough time to sort out alternatives and owners such as yourself enough time to save money for the inevitable switch, unless of course they get an alternative which runs in your current engine.

While I have sympathy for owners (my father being one) and having first hand knowledge of the sizable bills I still think that saying
Quote
Im not at all interested in any "alternatives" that requires me to make modifications or waste money
is slightly shortsighted. 

What will you do if the alternative to 100LL requires an engine change?

As a hypothetical look into the future you could find yourself the proud owner of a great 100LL aircraft which is no longer able to fly due to your unwillingness to change over.

Offline ckiff

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2010, 09:48:25 PM »
Unlike the rest of the world, N. America has a lobby group to represent GA (COPA and AOPA)...

But maybe someday the government here and the US will go the way of Europe and others where GA is simply inconsequential. The government only really cares about commercial aviation because that's the section of the industry than primarily affects the public. In the public's eye, GA is a rich man's game that mainly causes trouble by occasionally crashing an airplane here, there putting innocent bystanders at risk and making lots of noise near newly built condos. 100LL is bad for the environment (like other hydrocarbon fuels, but seems worse because it contains lead, and the only people who use it are rich people flying and racing cars).

So why not eliminate it, and who cares if it costs you money by either having to replace your engine, or trash your airplane altogether? You're a rich person with deep pockets right? Ridiculous, I know, but it's already happened elsewhere. Don't ever expect government to subsidize the change for you, and nobody cares if you're against that change for whatever reason.
Chris Kiff
ATPL / Class 1 Instructor / Ex-RFC Instructor / Current Airline Pilot

Offline Nicolas

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #39 on: July 17, 2010, 09:52:34 PM »
As a hypothetical look into the future you could find yourself the proud owner of a great 100LL aircraft which is no longer able to fly due to your unwillingness to change over.
Unwillingness?  Not the right word.  I'm flat out broke.  If my aircraft - and the aircrafts of hundreds of owners - have to get grounded when this sh*t hits the fan, it may just very well kill GA in North America.

[quiote]So why not eliminate it, and who cares if it costs you money by either having to replace your engine, or trash your airplane altogether? You're a rich person with deep pockets right? Ridiculous, I know, but it's already happened elsewhere. Don't ever expect government to subsidize the change for you, and nobody cares if you're against that change for whatever reason.[/quote]
So very f**king true :(

The end of 100LL (without a "drop in" replacement for most engines) will kill GA.  Meanwhile the government (explicit) will still be playing golf on Sunday mornings.

Oh you can bet if I had a million dollars I'd do the switch.  I'd also do a lot of other things too.  But, I dont have a million dollars.  Nor do most owners either.

What would the world do, I wonder, if they phased out carbon fuels in the next 5 years?
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline jfdoyon

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #40 on: July 17, 2010, 10:56:23 PM »
You are all being a little melo-dramatic I think.  There are several 100 octane drop in replacements in the works, and those of us with low compression engines (a sizeable fleet) can use 94UL without any changes. 94UL is already in common use in other parts of the world.

Lead is bad, I'll suffer on one hand, but benefit on the other, so whatever ...

At the current rate my engine might be due in 2017, so who knows maybe there will be a good Jet A/Diesel engine available for my airframe by then? :P

pcarscallen

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2010, 01:39:25 AM »
While we may be slightly melo-dramatic I think some good themes have been touched upon.

Other things to consider are:

1. there is now a group in the US which is pushing for a comparable fuel to 100LL be developed as they are the operators of higher performance piston engines which cannot run the 94UL type fuels. 

2.  94UL has some performance issues when compared to 100LL, for some owners this will be a big issue and cause them to stay away from it. Lycomings position is currently a stand against 94UL and IMHO they are a fairly heavy hitter in the engine development field.

3. In Europe 100LL is still quite common but there is a big push to convert the GA fleets to diesel burning engines as diesel is cheaper then AvGas (I am sure you are all aware of the huge cost of car fuel in Europe)

4.  As Chris and I know first hand AvGas is virtually unavailable in Africa so diesel (Jet-A) engines would be the best choice.  While this does not affect most pilots those who do fly aircraft on major cross countrys have to be very careful as to which countries they fly to as they can wind up in a place which has no AvGas unless it is transported in specifically for them.

I guess as individual owners you need to figure out which option works best , either a lower Octane UL, 100UL option or the Jet A option.  I have a feeling that we will see alternatives being offered in all three areas, as far as I am aware the Jet A/diesel option is the only one now available. 

Costs will always be a factor and unfortunately this may cause some owners to hanger aircraft however I do not think it will be the death of GA as Niclolas indicates.


Offline Nicolas

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #42 on: July 18, 2010, 08:31:20 AM »
As Pete said, and it was mentioned earlier too, the 94UL is only being looked at (as far as reading what was said here, I haven't done research) by Continental.  Lycoming engines might be out of luck if Lycoming doesn't consider it.  Although I'm sure a 337 or similar in the US might help Lycoming owners in the US, it wont do us any good.

Again, I haven't read up on it, but I'm sure there can be a way to have a clean version of 97octane (or is 'premium' 94?) MOGAS for aviation?  Or to have another stabilizer other than lead for 100octane?

I had my engine repaired last winter, and its barely got over 400 hours as I recall, on a TBO of 2400.  And I think there's a Cherokee 140 at the airport doing a major overhaul on their engine now.  Having to tell owners in this position that you have to spend another 10-20k on the engine to accept a new fuel, is plainly unacceptable.  (but of course, we all know it's a high possibility)
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline jfdoyon

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2010, 04:20:18 PM »
94UL would be a non-issue for a sizeable part of the fleet ... LOTS and LOTS of O-200's, O-235's ... O-320's, O-360's, etc ... that were all designed to run on the old red 80/87 octane stuff, and would therefore run 94UL quite happily.  The europeans that fly 94UL now do so with un-modified gear AFAIK.

There's even a new turbo cirrus that is low compression, in anticipation of fuel issues!

Don't get me wrong, I think a 100 drop in replacement is ideal, and, quite frankly, likely to happen, but should it not, for some reason, 94UL is there as a backup ... at least that's the way I look at it.

As far as money, said fuel may cost more ... but it's easier to swallow than major STC work or a an engine change.

As for MOGAS, the problem is you need ethanol free gasoline, which is harder to find these days.   Anyone know if Stinson or Francis or specialty fuels distributors like that have an ethanol/alcohol free MOGAS?  I understand ethanol is added very late in the distribution chain ... possibly before it gets into the last truck ... so it should be doable.

If you do use MOGAS, check your density altitudes and mind vapour lock!

Offline Nicolas

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Re: Is AvGAS 100LL on the brink of dissapearing?
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2010, 09:13:02 PM »
Of course Im sure if 94UL can be tossed into a Continental O-200 it'll do just fine in my Lycoming O-235-C2C (the low compression variant), but Im assuming an STC or some other sort of legal obstacle would prevent this if Lycoming doesnt do anything with 94UL.  Which, if there is no legal way to get it in the plane, it may just as well not exist.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

 

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