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Webinar Gives Clear Picture of Cloudy Avgas Issue

Doug Macnair

November 4, 2010 — A lot of people admit they’re in the dark when it comes to aviation fuel and what will ultimately replace 100LL. But illumination is now available as close as your broadband Internet connection. Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations, recently hosted a webinar titled “General Aviation Gasoline: Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and Where We Are Going,” and you can watch the 90-minute online presentation anytime by clicking here. This webinar helps you cut through the clutter and get up to speed as to what the aviation community can expect as general aviation piston-powered aircraft transition from leaded to unleaded fuel.

Macnair provides a brief history of aviation fuel, from the Wright brothers’ use of gasoline to the first introduction of tetra-ethyl lead (TEL) in 1930; to EAA’s research on autofuel use in type-certificated aircraft in the 1970s and 1980s; and to what he described as the “watershed moment” in 1990 - when amendments to the Clean Air Act mandated removal of lead from all non-road vehicle fuels within five years.

“In a very short window we believed we were going to lose the aviation gasoline we had come to know,” Macnair explained. But thanks to a technicality, aviation was saved from an imminent fuel-less future, and work soon began in earnest on coming up with an unleaded aviation fuel. The Fuel Crisis Conference, which brought together all the stakeholders, was formed.

So here we are, 20 years later, and we still haven’t settled on a viable replacement for 100LL that meets all the requirements, even though there seem to be several solutions out there making excellent progress, including Swift Fuel and GAMI’s G100UL fuel. What gives?

Watch the webinar and learn the five technical requirements for the replacement fuel, as well as what we can expect going forward in the wake of the EPA’s recent Advanced NPRM.

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