Thursday, January 6, 2011

Avgas Issues

One of the reasons (among many) PFC choose to convert one of our Cessna 182’s to a FADEC controlled SMA “Diesel” engine was because it is fueled by Jet-A rather than Avgas. There is a lot of controversy on the phasing out the leaded Avgas and no one really knows what the future fuels will be. This is not new and in fact PFC had a similar issue to contend with in 1977 when one of our past 172’s needed a new engine. From the April 1977 PFC's newsletter Helmet & Goggles:

“The board decided in favor of replacing the aging powerplant with a factory-new 160 H.P. engine which uses 100 octane, high level. Now there’s a new bugger factor – everyone swears 80 octane is coming back. If so, it would be nice to take advantage of the lower-priced fuel by having an engine that can run on it. But there’s more to it than that. We suspect that if 80 octane returns, the new 100 octane low-lead will be junked, with a return of the original high-lead 100. At this point feeling is we just have to wait and see what happens to the fuel situation”.

We know what happened to this past fuel situation but the general aviation community is facing a similar issue with the proposed elimination of leaded Avgas. Will all engines running on leaded Avgas need to be converted or replaced? Will there be a “new” fuel developed which will run in current leaded Avgas engines? No one really knows. However, by having one of one planes already converted to Jet-A, Paramus Flying Club is already ahead of the game and ready for the future. That is unless they eliminate Jet-A anytime soon!…highly doubtful.

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