Type groups representing owners of high-performance piston aircraft have formed the Green 100 Octane Coalition to raise awareness of issues surrounding the impending demise of 100LL. So far, members include the American Bonanza Society, the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association, the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association and some individuals.
In a podcast interview with AVweb, Tom Turner of the American Bonanza Society said the major aviation groups appear to be sending disturbing signals to those who fly aircraft with high-horsepower, high-compression and turbocharged engines that absolutely must have 100-octane fuel to operate normally. He said some groups have issued statements pointing out that about 80 percent of the piston fleet can run on lower-grade gasoline. But Turner says the lower-powered majority should be concerned about the potential effects of a lack of suitable fuel on the big-displacement crowd because of the way the numbers work.
Turner said the 20 percent represented by high-performance aircraft owners buy 80 percent of the fuel sold in the U.S. and if they’re simply relegated to the scrap heap, there will be catastrophic effect on the fuel supply chain as there simply won’t be enough business to sustain the fuel sellers. He said the coalition’s initial goal is to raise awareness of the issues among all piston aircraft operators. A statement will be coming soon.
More…… from AvWeb
BIG PISTON OWNERS UNITE FOR FUEL OPTIONS
Now that 100LL’s demise is virtually assured, owners of airplanes that need 100 octane fuel are feeling left out of the debate. AVweb‘s Russ Niles spoke with Tom Turner, executive director of the American Bonanza Society, which is joining other type groups in the Clean 100 Octane Coalition.
Click here to listen. (8.2 MB, 9:00)
There are a number of media reports, websites and blogs here and there about the transition process to an unleaded 100 octane avgas, which illustrate two serious misconceptions of the aircraft owners who must have 100 octane avgas. Until these misconceptions are addressed honestly, GA is going to tear itself apart.
Misconception 1: The amount of 100 octane avgas that is used or needed by GA is not known accurately. The worn-out statistic that is always thrown out in the press and at meetings needs to be challenged and then replaced by accurate numbers. This is the statistic that is oft repeated, “While these operators represent about 30% of the general aviation piston fleet, they consume about 70% of the fuel.” It is very important for those start-up companies that might be planning to make a 100 octane replacement that the consumption statistic by target audience be accurate, but this statement isn’t accurate. Nobody knows exactly where it came from, but it has been repeated over and over for almost a decade, that I know of, in the aviation press. That doesn’t make it true!
In the ongoing debate the elimination of 100LL, a statistic that’s often thrown around is that 70% to 80% of the existing fleet could operate on existing fuels, while only 20% to 30% of the fleet require 100 octane fuels. But what GA needs to remember is that those 20-30% buy a majority of the fuel, says Tim Roehl, co-owner of General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI), developer of G100UL, a would-be replacement for 100LL.
“We’ve got to have that 20-30% contributing their dollars to fuel, maintenance, sales and parts for GA to survive,” he says. “We dare not do anything to challenge that.”
That’s because if that portion of the fleet is grounded, the rest of GA will also be grounded, he says. “We will lose the infrastructure.”
Another thing that GA needs to realize is that while avgas is a very small percentage of transportation fuel — some estimates place it at less than 1%, deeming it a “boutique” fuel — it also is a fuel that refineries “make a healthier than average margin on,” according to Roehl.
===> Posted on July 22, 2010 by Janice Wood. No comments. © GAN 2010