Lycoming Anticipates Approval for UL 91 Unleaded Avgas for Europe
March 22, 2012 – Lycoming Engines announced this week it has submitted ASTM D7547 UL 91 unleaded avgas for approval in Europe on numerous engine models across the 233, 235, 320, and 360 families. The 540-series engines will follow as Lycoming completes additional validation.
UL 91 is being distributed in Europe largely to serve engines approved to operate on automotive specification fuels. European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) Safety Information Bulletin 2011-01R1 provides aircraft level approval on the basis of engine approval.
"Many of our engines have been approved to operate on unleaded aviation fuel since 1995," said Michael Kraft, Lycoming senior vice president and general manager. "Our approval of UL 91 supports recent actions by European fuel producers and EASA to stabilize aviation fuel supplies for light aircraft and respond to environmental concerns over lead in aviation fuel."
According to Lycoming, its Service Instruction 1070R, along with the EASA Safety Information Bulletin, will immediately authorize use of UL 91 on a variety of Lycoming-powered aircraft including certain Cessna, Diamond, Piper, American Champion, Aviat, Maule, Tecnam, Cub Crafters, Zenair, and others; certain helicopters produced by manufacturers such as Robinson, Helicopteres Guimbal, and others; Van's, Glasair, Lancair, Zenith, Safari, Inpaer, and other experimental kits; and all 233-powered aircraft.
The UK's Light Aircraft Association lists about 25 UK airfields offering or planning to offer UL 91. The fuel is also available at 13 airfields in France and Switzerland, with more facilities preparing to offer it, according to UL 91 manufacturer TOTAL. Plans are underway to expand to German and Belgian facilities.
In the United States, use of UL 91 will require an additional approval by the airframe manufacturer. There are currently no known distributors of UL 91 in the U.S., Lycoming stated.
"UL 91 is not a replacement for 100LL, but it is a very robust aviation-suitable alternative to automotive gasoline," he added. "For many regions of the world it may provide an aviation-purposed fuel at lower prices than 100LL for a significant segment of the fleet. Lycoming remains vigorously supportive of a long-term unleaded 100LL replacement fuel, which could serve the entire installed base."