June 24, 2009
By AOPA ePublishing staff
As the industry explores possibilities for new fuels for general aviation aircraft, AOPA continues to be actively involved in fuel issues.
The association participated in meetings this week with ASTM International, the organization that sets consensus standards for fuel used in FAA type-certificated aircraft. The meetings, held in Norfolk, Va., included discussions on leaded, unleaded, and diesel fuel specifications. As the industry researches fuel options outside of 100LL, the role of ASTM in the fuel specification process will remain important.
“In the search for alternative fuel types, it is critical that any proposed alternative is economical and operationally equivalent to the fuels used today and that it can be used without major changes to the engines in use today,” said Leisha Bell, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. “AOPA is involved every step of the way, from the early stages of research through production.”
A newly established ASTM task force met in Norfolk to begin developing a fuel specification for diesel used in piston engines. The importance of adhering to fuel specifications was highlighted last year when ExxonMobil announced that it “does not support or endorse the supply of jet fuel (for) aircraft powered by diesel engines,” citing differences between the specifications for jet fuels and the requirements of aviation diesel engines. Jet fuel is not tested for the conditions and operation of a diesel engine. The task force is designed to address these technical concerns.
ASTM (originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. AOPA is a voting member of the petroleum standards development group of ASTM and works to ensure that the organization includes standards for all current and future aviation fuels.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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