George Braly, co-owner of GAMI (General Aviation Modifications, Inc.) says the time is now. As we all know, lead in aviation fuel has a grim future and the need for a solution is urgent. In a presentation Tuesday at Airventure, Braly said that GAMI is developing a solution, G100UL that is now being tested and in the certification stage. It is a fuel consisting of 60 percent 100 octane fuel without lead and 40 percent ingredients that Braly declined to identify. GAMI’s G100UL meets all the necessary operational criteria for reciprocating engines to safely operate and can be mixed with 100LL. The problem is that it doesn’t meet all the technical requirements of the ASTM standards now in effect.
Braly (pictured) says these nonconforming criteria do not affect aircraft operation or safety. He suggests that since G100UL actually works in airplanes, a new ASTM standard needs to be established so that it will be allowed in GA aircraft. He brought up several interesting issues re leaded fuel. Lead is not necessary for valve lubrication. To the contrary, engines run better without it, think of your fouled plugs. Why lead? Lead boosts octane. That’s it. The successful replacement for 100LL will have to be able to deliver the same octane as 100LL. Braly says that G100UL actually exceeds this octane rating. At full rich, the octane rating for G100UL is much higher than 100 which will be much appreciated by war bird owners.
So far testing has gone well. GAMI has flown a Cirrus with one take tank having G100UL and the other 100LL without any problems for 2 ½ years. It has also been used use successfully in a turbocharged engine. Braly expressed frustration that the bureaucracy is moving so slowly when urgency is required. He anticipates bring G100UL to the aviation community by the end of 2013 at a price competitive with 100ll.
Mr. Braly, quoting an engine manufacturer, says “we have to stop loving the problem… and just fix it”.
That is something that all the aviation community will agree on.