Sun 'n Fun

Illinois Airport Adopts Unleaded Avgas

 - April 12, 2018, 11:02 AM

Rochelle Municipal Airport-Koritz Field is the first in Illinois to offer Swift Fuels’ UL94 unleaded avgas. While not a direct substitute for 100LL, UL94, the only commercially available unleaded aviation gasoline in the U.S., can be used as a drop-in ready replacement in approximately 65 percent of the current piston-powered aircraft fleet, specifically those with engine/airframe requirements that permit 94-or-lower motor-octane fuels.

“With a solid portion of the traffic at the airport piston-powered aircraft, we were not only seeking a cleaner, more environmentally friendly alternative to 100LL, but we also needed a more resilient option than recreational autogas,” noted Michael Hudetz, manager of the airport. “Among its major benefits, UL94 eliminates lead-fouled sparkplugs, allows longer oil change maintenance intervals than 100LL, and UL94 avgas has a 10-to-15-times-longer shelf life than autogas.” He added that since the fuel has a low year-round Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), seasonal fluctuations that can cause vapor lock in aircraft are no longer an issue.

“We continue to work with regulators, aircraft/engine OEMs, pilots, airports, municipalities, airport boards, and supply chain folks as part of a multi-year initiative to educate the market on the key benefits of unleaded avgas,” explained Swift Fuels CEO Chris D’Acosta. “We recognized early on that pilots would value the longer maintenance intervals, less wear and tear on engines, less corrosion, longer spark plug life, etc. We are extremely proud to have our UL94 avgas available for piston aircraft use at Rochelle."