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Fri, Aug 05, 2022

Continental Petitions FAA for Fuel Addendums to Extant Engine Models

91UL and 94UL Approvals Pending

Continental Aerospace Technologies, the storied aircraft engine manufacturer headquartered at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, has announced its efforts to expand the use of alternative fuels in select lower-compression models of its avgas reciprocating engines.

Continental has submitted a formal application to the FAA that, if approved, would authorize the use of unleaded aviation gasoline in over one-hundred of its popular engine models—including select O-200s, IO-360s, O-470s, and IO-470s. Notwithstanding widespread, apocryphal claims to the contrary, Continental considers 91UL and 94UL fuels a transitional step in the ongoing endeavor to comprehensively and practically reconcile aviation and sustainability.  

With the pending approval of its application, Continental seeks to provide aviators opportunity to select greener alternatives to their fuel needs.

Continental vice president of global research and development Dr. David Dörner states: “While Continental offers Jet-A engines that utilize readily available heavy fuels, the majority of Continental aviators are flying behind an engine fueled by a lead avgas like 100LL. If we want the future generations of aviators to enjoy the beauty of flight, it is imperative that the industry collaboratively evaluate alternatives and identify viable solutions. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to quality fuels, but by expanding fuel sources, aviators can choose to fly while being more environmentally responsible.”

As a part of its commitment to the future of general aviation, Continental prioritized the aforementioned group of engine models to conduct an extensive review on the impacts of alternative fuels in lower compression ratio engines. This performance study, held in conjunction with the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions’ (EAGLE) initiative, verified that subject powerplants perform as designed with the lower octane fuels. Continental’s testing program includes additional engine models and anticipates commensurate approvals in the future.

Continental invites pilots to remain abreast of changing fuel recommendations by reviewing the service documents corresponding to the specific engines they operate. Furthermore, Continental reminds pilots and aircraft operators to use only those fuels certified for use in the engines of their respective aircraft.

FMI: www.continental.aero

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