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Continental president gets the lead out en route to AirVentureContinental president gets the lead out en route to AirVenture

Teledyne Continental Motors President Rhett Ross seems single-handedly determined to showcase how committed his company is to getting the lead out of avgas. As a demonstration of that commitment, Ross flew a turbocharged Cirrus SR22 from the company headquarters in Mobile, Ala., to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., at FL240 burning only UL94 avgas. UL94 is basically 100LL avgas without the lead component. With ASTM actively working the certification of UL94, TCM has shifted from testing the fuel to preparing its engines for its eventual introduction.

Ross claims that by mid-2010, TCM will have equipped its entire product line of engines to run on unleaded fuel.

Company pilot and engineer Keith Chatten accompanied Ross on the flight, the third extended flight for this standard production engine, which has now accumulated 20 hours on unleaded fuels. The flight followed an earlier test flight of 802 miles roundtrip from Mobile to Oshkosh conducted in two uninterrupted legs.

“Today’s flight demonstrated that our standard factory turbo is ready for future fuels and has the fuel economy necessary to benefit our customers,” Ross said. “The engine was a joy to operate during this extended flight on UL94. With successful flights of both turbocharged and normally aspirated engines on unleaded fuels, we feel comfortable that TCM has solutions for the future and are now working to have them ready.”

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines

Editor in Chief
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.

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