The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) last month issued a report that examined the effect that rising fuel prices have had on civil aviation in the U.S. The government’s interest lies in the excise taxes imposed on the sale of aviation fuel and their contribution to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, which was created in 1970 as a dedicated source of funding for the nation’s aviation system including the FAA’s capital improvement programs and a sizable portion of the agency’s operating budget.
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.
“We’re excited about our expanding customer base,” said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors, commenting about the growing number of aircraft manufacturers that have committed to jet-A-powered diesel engines. The newest customer for Continental’s CD-155 engine is Cessna, which selected the 155-hp diesel to power its Turbo Skyhawk JT-A.
On the eve of EAA AirVenture 2014, aviation analyst Brian Foley released summaries of two key areas affecting the general aviation industry: investment capital and engine technology.
On the capital front, Foley said that there is no shortage of investors who are willing to put money into general aviation companies. However, there is a shortage of what these investors are seeking–entities that actually make money, that is, “a good $20 million in annual revenues and $5 million in profits known as Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization].
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University is offering a new oil analysis service for all types of piston and turbine engines. NIAR’s new oil analysis lab can perform trivector analysis (wear, contamination, general oil chemistry); infrared spectroscopy (monitors molecular substance in oil); particle count/shape recognition; elemental analysis (checking for elements that correlate to contaminants, wear metals and additives); and viscosity testing.
Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), the aviation group that manages and owns the French airports Cannes Mandelieu, Saint-Tropez and Nice Cote d’Azur, tapped Air BP to be the sole fuel supplier at Cannes Mandelieu Airport, the companies announced today at the NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference in New Orleans.
IWG Technologies, through its International Water-Guard Industries subsidiary, developed and certified the new IWG-M1 compact water circulation module for midsize and super-midsize business jets.
While the name on the side of the refueling truck might say Air BP, BR Aviation or Shell, what’s inside it at any airport in Brazil all comes from the same source. All discussions of aviation fuel in the country must start with Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), the national oil refiner of Brazil and the official supplier of Jet-A and avgas. Petrobras produces approximately 70 percent of the Jet-A used in the country and imports the remainder in its effort to supply the three major distributors.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) is preparing two recently purchased Cirrus SR22s as flying testbeds for its clean-sheet design Vision 350 diesel aero engine. One of the airplanes is located at EPS’s New Richmond, Wis. headquarters, while the other is being prepared for flight testing in a hangar at the Mojave airport in California. The engine is on display outside the Innovation Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, mounted to an SR22 firewall.
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.
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