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100UL (merged thread)

Shell has announced an unleaded 100 octane fuel.
Avweb

EGBE - Coventry, United Kingdom

I’m sure the GA fleet will transition to some form of 100UL at some point. I’d imagine the issue is mostly managing the business transition, there was more than enough fuss and disturbance when they dropped 80/87 avgas. I just hope the new brew smells as good when burnt as current fuel I also hope they’re not expecting us to burn it in water cooled V8s, as shown in the photo attached to the article!

That’s pretty high octane stuff too, 100 MON versus ~88 MON (not RON) for worldwide premium auto fuel.

AOPA link on the same subject: http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2013/December/3/shell-unleaded.aspx

Last Edited by Silvaire at 03 Dec 20:36

FWIW, I have always been convinced that a “100UL” of some kind is going to be the only solution – because anything else will

  • kill off the higher power end of piston GA – basically anything turbocharged and basically anything competitively aerobatic
  • severely fragment the market
  • create near-intractable economic decisions for fuel stockists (airports)

Point 1 is especially relevant to GA in Europe where a lot of pilots do work on the “I am allright Jack” principle, and killing off the IFR-capable community isn’t going to bother a lot of people. But killing off aerobatics is going to bother an awful lot of people who have nothing to do with IFR.

TOTAL, with their UL91, tried to do all of the above and failed.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

TOTAL, with their UL91, tried to do all of the above and failed.

Disagree. With that product, they never intended to conquer the entire piston market. Only the “lower half” of the market, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t continue to do so. Because:

-many many GA airports in the main markets (Germany and UK) now have three pumps, so there is “space” for them
-anything replacing 100LL will be more expensive than 100LL (dreamers may differ), thus maintaining a noticeable price gap

Last Edited by boscomantico at 04 Dec 07:43
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Two years ago,the Intl airport where I am located,succeeded to get rid of AvGas (the liquid for the rich and spoiled).

I allready had an FAA/EASA Mogas STC installed anyway. I totaly and continously converted to using Autogas 100 Unleaded .
Main precaution is to use the same Station and monitor its qualities: water,alcohol,sediments.

Results for the C172P: Excellent performance up to 11.000",lower temperatures,clean plugs,same range,no surprises from the biannual oil analysis
and 33% cheaper.

LGGG

anything replacing 100LL will be more expensive than 100LL

Perhaps, yes. But UL91 tried to be an alternative not only for 100LL but also for MoGas – Total managed to get Mogas pumps replaced by 91UL pumps at several fields, especially in Germany, I think – and the stuff is far too expensive to succeed at that.

So yes, this 100UL seems to have better commercial chances – and if it succeeds, it will kill off UL91 definitely.

Last Edited by at 04 Dec 08:29
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Re UL91, what TOTAL probably underestimated was how many of the Rotax people would move away from the airport fuel pumps and revert back to refuelling from jerry cans.

In Germany, before UL91, the situation was that most midsaze GA airfields carried Avgas (2,55€) and some kind of Mogas (2,05€). Autofuel from the road fuel station was 1,60€ at the time. So, most Rotax flyers (17l/h) didn’t bother to take the hassle and shuttle fuel, get dirty filling it to the aircraft, etc.

Nowadays, mogas is largely being replaced by UL91, which is 2,40€. Autofuel from the road fuel station is now 1,55€, making that a whopping 85 eurocents difference per litre. Well worth the hassle, for many.

However, airfield regulations are becoming ever so much tighter these days, so in many cases, the refuelling has to be done secretly, like in the hours when the airport is closed. A big hassle. Alcohol is another problem. So in the long run, I think most people will use the airport fuel stations.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Two years ago,the Intl airport where I am located,succeeded to get rid of AvGas (the liquid for the rich and spoiled).

Thessaloniki or Mikonos?

Have you tried Mogas above 11000ft? I understand the issue depends heavily on the fuel system layout.

Well worth the hassle, for many.

I am not suprised. The sheer weight of any useful quantity of fuel makes the jerrycan refuelling impractical for anything but very small amounts (tens of litres). That’s unless you can carry a load of cans permanently on a pickup truck, refill them in situ, and then back the pickup to the plane and empty them (with a pump) in situ.

the refuelling has to be done secretly, like in the hours when the airport is closed

At an airport not a million miles away from me, the manager has emailed all operators that a risk assessment is required for any engine run unless one is going flying. It makes maintenance slightly problematic because it needs to be preceeded by going for a flight and then aborting the takeoff due to some instrument problem.

Last Edited by Peter at 04 Dec 09:01
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Boscomantico: I agree with your analysis, at least as regards the situation in Germany.
(here in BE I have yet to see the first UL91 pump, and my own field promises to install a MoGas pump in 2014)
(in France not so clear either, but I have a feeling there are less UL91 pumps in FR than in DE)

But I do not agree with your conclusion: I rather expect a more strict separation between ultralight fields and G/A fields – the latter being indeed more and more difficult about jerrycan refuelling. Ultralight fliers will more and more resort to typical ultralight fields, with grass runways of max 500m, and where jerrycans are the normal way to go or even a MoGas pump is available.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

PETER
I’m speaking about Kos. Mykonos&Thesaloniki are gone long ago.
Over 11000"? But I start feeling dizzy-sleepy over that.So,didnt try.

LGGG
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