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.
“All of aviation, including general and business aviation, as well as the airlines, is working together really well to continually improve the environment,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen declared last month during opening comments on a panel discussion about the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. But he quickly added, “We are also working together to fight wrong-headed environmental regulations that don’t work.”
At this year’s Paris Air Show, some big players bellied up to the biojet bar. Boeing flew one of its new 747-8s from the U.S. to the show fueled by a mix of 85-percent jet-A and 15-percent camelina plant oil derivative; Honeywell–the jet-engine and avionics manufacturer–made the trip using a 50-50 mix in a Gulfstream G450.
Parker Aerospace (Hall 5 Stand D264) is featuring its recently developed thermal management and lubrication packages for aircraft engines here at Paris 2011.
How many coconuts does a Boeing 747 need to fly from London to Amsterdam?
Last year amid much fanfare, a Virgin Atlantic 747-400 with one of its four engines fueled by a mix of 80 percent jet-A and 20 percent coconut and babassu oils flew the route in 40 minutes. Had all four engines been flying on biofuels alone, it would have required the oil from several million coconuts.
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.”
In a survey conducted by information provider Conklin & de Decker, operators reported that they save significant amounts on jet fuel by participating in discount fuel programs.
Airbus and Shell recently made the first ever commercial flight using liquid fuel processed from gas when an A380 airliner flew from Filton in the UK to the airframer’s Toulouse, France headquarters. The flight marked the start of a program to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels in the airline market.
Always looking for new ways to serve customers, Wilson Air Center founder Robert Wilson came up with the idea to modify fuel trucks so that they can display fuel delivered in pounds as well as gallons. Wilson flies his own turbine-powered airplanes and is familiar with the errors that can occur when converting gallons to pounds during fuel purchases.
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