There is an interesting division developing related to the unleaded avgas issue. The Coalition, comprised of aviation related organizations working with the FAA, is taking the position that a replacement for 100LL is the sole option. As previously mentioned in our blog, replacements are in the developmental stage. One of the requirements of a replacement fuel is that it be completely “fungible” (the DES English major had to look that one up). This means that it is completely interchangeable with 100LL. No modifications are necessary to aircraft and all aircraft that previously used 100LL can use it.
There are some private pilots who are encouraging the concept of “dual fuel”. In this case, an unleaded fuel for high performance aircraft that use Avgas would still have to be developed but a large percentage of general aviation aircraft either can or could be modified to use Mogas. Mogas is the unleaded gas that is used in automobiles. Aircraft must use a grade of Mogas available that is ethanol free as ethanol has been found to damage parts and seals on aircraft.
The divide is mostly over the bottom line. The Coalition says that having another type of fuel available will mean FBO’s will have to add tanks which is more expensive both for installation and maintenance. Private pilots like the Mogas idea because it’s readily available and it’s one of the cheapest fuels available.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. You can read about the two viewpoints in the following articles: