The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today it has selected four unleaded fuels for the first phase of testing at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel that reduces lead emissions for general aviation by 2018.
Swift Fuels got word in early November of final ASTM approval of the production specification for 100SF. This follows the September opening of a new Swift Fuels production facility able to turn out 10,000 gallons a month, a production level benchmark specified in the FAA roadmap for unleaded transition. The ASTM production certificate for this particular formula, along with the production facility opening, mark completion of 10 steps in a 16-step process outlined by the FAA Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (of which AOPA was a member) in its final report in 2012.
On Friday, September 13, 2013, Swift Fuels hosted an unveiling in West Lafayette, Ind., for two new fuel facilities -- a pilot plant and a fuel-blending site -- to help produce a new aviation fuel as an alternative to 100LL. The company said it is investing $2.5 million in the two projects. The blending facility will store at least 50,000 gallons of unleaded, high-octane aviation components for sales and shipment. The pilot plant will produce more than 10,000 gallons of 100SF per month when it reaches full capacity.
Swift Fuels opened a blending facility in West Lafayette, Ind., Sept. 13, 2013, though the 10,000 gallons it will be able to produce each month once full-scale production is reached represents a tiny fraction of the overall demand (about 220 million gallons of avgas were sold in 2011, according to government data). It is, however, a significant milestone on the path to mass production, a step detailed on a development plan created in 2012 by a coalition of industry, government, and advocacy groups. Swift Fuels CEO Chris D’Acosta said the more recent acceptance of the company’s latest 400-page research report on 100SF may be even more significant.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., and ZWEIBRÜCKEN, Germany - An American company that is developing a commercial replacement for leaded general aviation gasoline has announced the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in a German firm.