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.
The Corporate Angel Network recognized four corporate aircraft operators here yesterday as 2008 Quarterly Corporate Angels for their exceptional contributions to making life a little easier for cancer patients. The four aircraft operators are Air Frantz, Meredith Corp., Bank of America and General Motors.
Congress has allocated $8.5 million to research on alternative piston aviation fuels in the coming fiscal year. Though current supplies and production of 100LL avgas are secure for the near term, AOPA argues that alternatives may become necessary later.
Testifying before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on air-quality standards for lead, AOPA executive v-p of government affairs Andy Cebula warned that any immediate changes to current aviation fuel standards would have a “direct impact on the safety of flight and the very future of light aircraft in this country.”
Apopka, Fla.-based GreenFlight International continues to refine its “first generation” biofuel for jets and plans to conduct the first biofuel transcontinental flight using this blend within the next 60 days, company founder Douglas Rodante said. At press time, the company was running a turbine engine on a ground test stand with different blends of soy and animal-fat oils to find the cleanest-burning jet fuel that meets ASTM standards.
Online fuel buyer AML Global is preparing to start offering discounted insurance and pilot training rates to business aircraft operators. The company claims to save operators an average of 7 to 10 percent on jet-A purchased through its process.
In 1927, Oklahoma oilman Frank Phillips became enamored of aviation and put his money and his energy where his heart was. Now, 75 years later, Phillips 66 remains committed to aviation fuels and oils and is one of the most popular among refiners and distributors. Mark Wagner, Phillips 66 aviation manager, said, “We’ve been there through good times and bad, and we’ll continue to support our customers.”
When you pull up to the gas pump in your car, you probably don’t think much about what is in your fuel. Perhaps you try to find a certain brand based on the fuel card in your pocket, but usually price is the primary factor. What about when you’re fueling your aircraft? Most corporate aircraft pilots and operators are aware of the fuel system icing inhibitors (FSII) and biocides available as additives for jet-A and jet-A1.
Prodded by perceived FAA failings and the threat of summer air travel delays, the Senate Transportation and Finance Committees reached agreement late last week on how to fund the FAA for the next four years. If the bill is approved by the full Senate today, it is expected to keep avgas taxes at the current rate of 19.3 cents per gallon but increase jet fuel taxes to 36 cents per gallon, up from 21.8 cents.
Jet Aviation recently completed negotiations with three major worldwide fuel suppliers to provide discounts for its charter and managed aircraft fleets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Christoph Thurnherr, head of purchasing for Jet Aviation Business Jets in Zurich, Switzerland, said the company now provides discounts at close to 300 locations worldwide, with customer savings of up to 60 percent compared with posted retail fuel prices.