One-hundred octane low-lead avgas (100LL) is on its way out. Despite the fact that studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to demonstrate a clearly higher risk attributable to lead emissions by piston-engine 100LL-burning aircraft, lead is poisonous in any concentration.
A day after revealing its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston engine helicopters on unleaded fuel (see article on page 10), Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. C23) shared its strategy for doing so. CEO Kurt Robinson and engineering vice president Pete Riedl spelled out the steps required and the technical issues involved.
Piper Aircraft’s entrant into the Light Sport Aviation (LSA) segment, the two-seat PiperSport, is parked in the static display here, its first venture outside of the U.S. in Piper colors. The U.S. manufacturer, which is making its Singapore Airshow debut, launched the aircraft last month.
With pressure increasing on the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate elimination of tetraethyl lead from avgas, Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) has stepped up research into alternative fuels for aircraft piston engines.
A small percentage–about 20 percent–of the piston-powered fleet requires 100-octane fuel. Yet these aircraft burn about 70 percent of the total avgas volume, according to Allen Bretz, director of general aviation market at ConocoPhillips.