The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected two unleaded fuel formulations for further testing as part of its ongoing efforts to develop an acceptable unleaded fuel for small airplanes. This will move the general aviation (GA) community closer to having new fuels that eliminate their reliance on leaded fuel.
Fuel formulations from Shell and Swift Fuels were selected for Phase 2 engine and aircraft testing. Test data will help the companies obtain an ASTM International Production Specification for their fuels and allow the FAA to authorize the existing GA fleet to use the unleaded replacement fuels. The testing will begin this summer and conclude in 2018.
The Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI), a government and industry partnership, is facilitating the development and deployment of a new unleaded aviation fuel that can be readily available across the general aviation sector.
“Small aircraft are the only mode of transportation that still relies on leaded fuel. We’re committed to finding safe fuels that benefit the environment and our general aviation community from this transportation source,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Approximately 167,000 GA aircraft in the USA currently rely on 100-octane low-lead aviation gasoline for safe operation. The small quantity of lead in the fuel creates the high octane levels needed for high-performance aircraft.
April 1, 2015