EPA Endangerment Finding Would Not End Avgas

The environmental activist group Friends of the Earth has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanding that the EPA make a finding of endangerment caused by the lead in avgas. The situation sounds ominous, but really wouldn’t change the way, or probably even the timetable, of aviation’s move to a lead-free fuel.

An EPA finding of endangerment is really the first step in a very long, many year process of creating new regulations. The words “finding of endangerment” imply that immediate, or even very quick action is required, but that’s not the case.

When the EPA makes a finding of endangerment it means that a threat to human health and the environment has been identified. Since lead has been recognized as a health and environmental risk for decades it is no surprise that the tiny amount of lead in avgas will eventually be added to the endangerment list. The finding starts the ball rolling to establish a process to eliminate or minimize the threat and in avgas the threat is the presence of lead.

Though the EPA has not yet made a finding of endangerment caused by leaded avgas, the aviation industry and the FAA have been searching for a workable unleaded avgas for years. An EPA finding, even one directed by the courts, will not accelerate the work already going on to find a replacement fuel because the research is and has been going forward.

The EPA has also stipulated that it is the FAA that must regulate aircraft fuels because the risks to safety are so fundamental. The fleet of piston aircraft was certified to operate on the existing avgas and any change in fuel type will require certified changes in at least some aircraft operations and neither the EPA nor the courts have the ability or jurisdiction to do that.

What we know after years of research and study by groups including EAA, AOPA, fuel and engine manufacturers and the FAA, is that there is absolutely no direct replacement fuel for leaded avgas. Without the small amount of lead used in avgas no fuel can exactly match every characteristic and performance factor of 100LL. Perhaps an unleaded fuel can deliver the octane—detonation resistance—of leaded avgas, but even if that’s possible, other important fuel performance factors such as vapor pressure or storage life will be different. Auto fuel can work in some smaller aircraft engines, but absolutely cannot perform in more powerful engines and certainly not in turbocharged engines. It is the larger, more powerful engines that consume the majority of avgas because those engines are on airplanes used for business travel, ag work, fire suppression and even regional airliners while the smaller engines power airplanes used primarily for recreational flying.

Because there is no viable alternative yet to 100LL neither the EPA nor the courts can order piston airplane operators to use fuel B instead of fuel A. There is no fuel B. The search is on, and has been for many years, to create a specification for an alternative fuel, but that goal of creating a new fuel spec and all of the ramifications involved in making a new fuel and getting it into the system, is many years into the future

I’m not trying to minimize the importance of any EPA or court action because finding a 100LL alternative is critical. But nothing is going to change anytime soon. Avgas will continue to be available for years to come and there will be many years needed to make the transition to a new fuel once the fuel becomes available. Now for the price of avgas or any fuel, that’s impossible to predict but I am sure avgas will remain available in the U.S.

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26 Responses to EPA Endangerment Finding Would Not End Avgas

  1. “Auto fuel can work in some smaller aircraft engines, but absolutely cannot perform in more powerful engines…”

    One must be careful using the word “absolutely”. Barons and 210′s have been approved for 91 octane auto gas using ADI since 1988, DC3′s with the R-1830 since 1984 with no modifications. Mac if you don’t know what you’re talking about, then you should leave the writing to someone who does.

    More info is here:
    http://airplains.com/index.php/news-updates/information-articles/121-anti-detonat-injection

    • Mac says:

      Yes, a few larger engines have been STC’d for auto fuel, but the reason auto fuel is absolutely not a replacement for 100LL, beyond technical issues, is that it can’t work in every application and only one fuel will be stocked by the FBO system. Auto fuel can work in a few unique situations, but it is absolutely not the answer to replace 100LL.
      Mac Mc

      • Sorry Mac, but right now autofuel is the only replacement. If no one has come up with a “drop in” replacement for 100LL by now, what makes you think it will ever happen. The search has been going on for well over 20 years with zero results. Perhaps Swift fuel will prevail but if it doesn’t then you’ll be putting ADI on that Baron of yours if you expect to continue flying it.

        • Bruce says:

          Hey Peterson Aviation. Just looked at your website and didn’t find a IO-520 on your list. If you have a replacement maybe your time will be better spent on improving your website. This kind of attack on Mac is reason enough to never use a condescending operation like yours. Is it just you or is it that German arrogance that gives us the creeps?

      • When it comes to stocking only one fuel, I have to say: not necessarily. One of the options that seems to be working at several airports around here is 100LL in the truck and MoGas via a self-serve pump

    • And I thought the compression ratio had a lot to do with it. Lower compression engines, even large displacement models, can run well on MoGas. Of course the bigger problem these days is finding auto gas w/o ethanol.

  2. “a few larger engines have been STC’d for auto fuel”

    Isn’t the EAA supposed to be about sport aviation? My large EAA chapter (1114) of over 190 members has 60% who build or restore airplanes. An O-360 is considered a ‘large’ engine among homebuilders.

    That aside, what about the newest autogas-burning engines, eg 350-HP Lycoming TEO-540-A1A (for new Tecnam P2012 twin commuter), Lycoming IO-360-M1A (in new Tecnam P2012 4-seater), or the Continental IO-360-AF (Cirrus, etc.).

    According to Petersen Aviation’s list of engine STCs, a long list of warbirds and radial-powered planes run on autogas, including T-6, Stearmans, DC-3, Grumman Goose, Twin Beech, etc.

    Add to this 70%-80% of all piston engine planes covered by TCs, all experimentals that are free to use any fuel, all auto-engine conversions, the popular M-14P Russian radials, and essentially all new engines for LSAs from Rotax, Jabiru, AeroVee (based in Oshkosh), ULPower, Hirth, HKS, etc.

    Clearly, engines that can not burn autogas are in a small and dwindling minority.

    • John says:

      In NZ we had a time when we stopped all leaded gas for cars. Working for a large Oil company we had to replan it all. The surprises? A guy who had an old VW engine in a homebuilt which caught fire. A few old Volvo cars. These were not a problem with the motor but , and here is the real issue – the technical spec of respecifying old engines. As it turned out it was the old rubber fuel lines that could not handle the new MOGAS & its bunch of toxic additives and they crumbled causing fire after fire all over NZ. It was a media field day and the Oil companies all looked like idiots, us included. Lesson? We can never solve any problem up front. We have to move while we can and expect some success and some failures. If we stick our head in the sand or up someones butt and say it will never happen, then Mac maybe one day your oil refiners will just all quit the market one by one and who will you be singing to then? And what massive unit price are you expecting to pay to refiner and test and hold that special fuel. Further EPA has a grip on GA that you may not realise. They could do as they did in NZ and come around and inspect your FBOs (NZ it was retail sites) and find them unsafe, leaky. The FBO will simply close and bingo no fuel. As that spreads and the oil companies see their chance to rid them of you GA guys, and 110LL then you will have days not months to change as public pressure brewed up spills over about your spewing lead all over thier newborns and gardens every day for that 100 buck burger. So just putting some real world Oil Company expertise on your ”never happen to us’ Titanic thinking. I think Peterson Aviation has the right approach. Look at what can be done and see which specific motors and planes can not. Then migrate them onto a better engine/platform or tech change. But with oil prices poking USD180 you are joking that any oil company is thinking about you and your three tonnes of metal lumbering down over their customers homes for that $100 burger – when you are already pushing your medical cert for many diseases.

      Dr Deming (Quality , 1950s gave up on USA and turned to people who wanted to learn),. He said people in the system can’t fix it. He fixed the Japanese and they lead the world in making solutions that created a better world as we see their products world class in most areas (but,yes a few flaws).

      USA GA is simply risking losing the lead and seeing a new tech come and wipe out whats left of slothful overweight USA GA.

      Guys all I can say is that there is a solution out there and fighting from rigid foxholes aint going to fix it. Then you will be pushed and really , who cares today with 300 million potential voters out there……

  3. Robert (Bob) Pastusek says:

    Mac,
    Would like to correspond directly about the article you wrote for the EAA Magazine re Lancair IV-P departure accident. The Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO) has been asked to work with the FAA on specific training for Lancair pilots and we plan to meet with them at Sun&Fun on this subject. A direct email address for you would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bob Pastusek
    for LOBO

  4. “only one fuel will be stocked by the FBO system”

    Don’t many already stock Jet-A? What is the ‘FBO system’ ?

    I suppose that the members of NATA, the major corporate FBOs, are not interested in autogas, but many of these are also dropping avgas too due to the transition of their clients to turbines.

    Some FBOs appear to not be getting this message though. Here are those I am aware of who have added autogas in the past year:

    Santa Rosa, CA, KSTS
    Currituck County, NC, KONX
    Martin Field (Walla Walla), WA, S95
    Peter Prince, FL, 2R4
    Raleigh East, NC, W17
    Gilliam-McConnell, NC, 5NC3
    Mountain Empire, VA, KMKJ
    Payette Municipal, ID, S75
    Waseca Municipal, MN, KACQ
    Dexter Regional, ME, 1B0
    Sanford Regional, ME, KSFM
    Norridgewok, ME, KOWK

    A few more points on this important topic:

    - some FBOs sell only autogas, or only Jet-A
    - as more FBOs focus on sport aviation/LSAs, expect to see them drop avgas
    - FBOs do not think and act as a monolithic block
    - those who sell autogas next to avgas make similar net margins
    - autogas can also be sold to the general public, important where ethanol-free is scarce
    - some airports report they now sell more autogas than avgas, especially if they sell to boaters, snowmobilers, etc. , bringing important additional revenue to the FBO.

    Let free markets determine what is best for each airport and each FBO. GA is a hugely diverse community. One airplane does not fit all needs, nor should one fuel.

    The EAA needs to stop worrying about the problems that NATA, GAMA and the AOPA face and focus on the needs of sport aviators. More choices are always better.

  5. Dean Billing says:

    “Avgas will continue to be available for years …”

    Really Mac? And you know this how?

    Ironically the lead problem will go away on its own no matter what the aviation alphabets want. There is only one company in the world that makes TEL, in a 30 year old plant in England. They don’t make it because GA aircraft in the U.S. need it, since we are an utterly insignificant market. Leaded avgas represents less than 200 million gallons of product per year, an infinitesimal amount compared to other gasoline production in the U.S., let alone the world, and demand steadily declines every year. TEL is made for the refineries in the third world that still make leaded auto fuel. But those refineries are being converted to unleaded gasoline production and diesel under a push from the U.N. out of concern for the environment and health issues. The conversion will be completed within the next couple of years and then there will be no economic reason for the plant to exist. TEL production volume has been declining every year, just like the production of leaded avgas in the U.S. The business model for TEL production and leaded avgas is unsustainable. It will be interesting to see which bean counters throw in the towel first, the ones at Innospec or the ones in our refineries.

    The supreme irony for GA here in the U.S. is that we will probably lose our leaded avgas about the same time there is no more ethanol free gasoline produced because of the unintended consequences of the federal RFS mandate in EISA 2007. The 70-80% of GA airplanes that can use auto gas must have fuel with no ethanol in it. The perfect storm for General Aviation fuel is coming soon and blathering about the merits of the EPA lawsuit won’t change economic reality.

    The FOE, EPA and the aviation alphabets would better serve GA, and lower lead disbursement into the environment from 100 LL, by insuring that there will be a source of ethanol free premium unleaded auto gas in the future and let the FBO’s decide what fuel they want to make available to their customers.

    Making blanket statements about the future availability of avgas and what is in the minds of all FBOs is the height arrogance so typical of leaders in bureaucratic organizations and government. This is not leadership.

  6. Eck! says:

    Sorry Mac,

    I have the Peterson STC for me C150L since the mid 80s and cannot use it since
    around 1999 as the STC stipulated NO Alcohols and even details a test for alcohol
    in the fuel. Auto gas around here (New England) all contain alcohol.

    That and the claim is the alcohol is bad for aluminum tanks and fuel lines
    as well as some plastics used in the fuel system.

    For an 0200 it’s not octane as it was a low compression engine designed
    for 80/87. Its about carburetors, fuel lines, and other components that
    will marinate in the auto fuel. Based on my lawn tractor and snow blower
    auto fuel stores very poorly.

    We do need an alternative and one that is cost competitive or even compatible
    with the current auto fuel transport system.

    Eck!

    • John says:

      These are very good comments and show a balanced mind. The risk is that even t new Mogas you see is not that your grandfather put in his Ford T. Pure mogas is gone people. Now its filled with what ever cheap octane booster they can legally stick in it.

      So the more GA delays switching to “Mogas” in all its ugly variants then it maybe that in due course thatMogas even in two years will move more and more synthetic and out of any use to your old GA lugs. Its a hard call, but you are asking companies worth USD350 billion to keep old plants open for your 100buck burger which we all know is really 60% ungreen and wasteful if we were all really honest So bargining power is close to zero. Oils are fighting with the biggest issues of no reserves, nationalism and restrictions *(EPA again) on digging and now hybrid cars. Where o where GA guys do your 30 yr old planes fit in all of this other than a mere luxery or hobby in their eyes. They will drop GA in seconds. Having worked in the EU for Oil in Aviation world GA is dying. Asian is growing and yet its not GA at all other than a few die hard sports and old govt rigs pondering over the skies. Guys wake up. Move to make GA real again – with the new tech and embracing change that all other voters have to at some personal cost yet with some ýeah hahs, & “I hated those old smelly fumes anyway……’ Or be run over by the Trillion dollar Oil Industry.

      Ex Oil Insider.

  7. Steve Carter says:

    Please ask EPA where their facts are and ask for supporting information. There is a basic wrong to all of this and it should be revealed. What are the current facts? They don’t know my friend and neither do you.

    Thanks

  8. The Rotax 912 handles mogas, even E10 mogas, just fine. I have over 700 hours over 4 years in all kinds of weather and up to 14,000 ft with no problems from E10 at all.

    Rotax Service Instruction SI-912/914-016 and 019 R2 spell out the approved fuel information for this engine.

    Anyone who as ever overhauled an engine that runs 100LL can see with their own eyes that lead is not your friend; it collects and plugs up oil galleries and creates other problems. For the Rotax, for example, more frequent services are proscribed for engines running leaded fuel.

    Who hasn’t had plugs foul from lead deposits?

    (Very real) environmental concerns aside, this industry should make a concerted push for upgrades of the fleet as well as the fuel supply.

    P.S.
    Even miniscule trace amounts of lead can cause measurable declines in IQ among children – your grandchildren perhaps? How hard do you want to argue to keep blowing lead out of your exhaust?

  9. Chris Moran says:

    I enjoy reading Mac’s blogs every week, I do not always agree with everything he says, but that is the beautry of free speach I don’t have to agree. That said everyone is entitled to their opinion and each is just a valid as the next. i also enjoy the comments and points of view of others who read the blogs ,what I grow tired of reading is the folks who cannot express their own opinion without the personal comments about others who have an opinion that may differ. This forum is intended to generate conversation but please lets keep the personal comments out of it. Thanks
    Keep up the great work Mac.

  10. Add one more airport to my list above:

    Park Township Airport in Holland, MI (KHLM) just announced they are adding autogas.

    Guess they are not part of the “FBO System” ?

    Note that there are only 12 aircraft based at KHLM. If they can do it, what excuse can a large GA airport possible have not to sell autogas?

    As I said above, FBOs do not think and act as a block, and only a small number of those who serve sport aviators are members of NATA, the association for the corporate aircraft operators.

  11. G Miller says:

    I have been burning mogas/E10 for 19 years and 1600 hours including 800 hours on a factory new O-360-A1A, which has a 9.5/1 compression ratio. Altitudes to 17,500, year round. No issues, except two instances of vapour lock: warm spring day+winter mix of mogas+heat soaked engine.

    When I am stuck using 100LL, on trips, I know I will be digging lead balls out of the plugs. 100LL is not necessary for a O-360, but it’s $3/gal more expensive. That is probably the reason for industry foot dragging and fear mongering about 100LL.

    • I would not use any ethanol, otherwise autogas is the perfect fuel for the O-360 and O-320, possibly the two most common engines used in homebuilts. According to the FAA’s UAT-ARC, which includes a rep from the EAA, autogas is not a viable option for sport aviators. Guess you did not know that?

      • Mac says:

        Thousands of piston engine/airframe combinations are approved under various STC to operate on auto fuel. But that does not make mogas a replacement for 100ll. First, the majority of all avgas used cannot be replaced by auto fuel for performance reasons. And, second, after decades of approved use of auto fuel in some airplanes the fuel has not become available except at a few FBOs. Liability, low volume, the cost of maintaining a third fuel supply and other reasons prevent auto fuel from being stocked and sold at the huge majority of FBOs. So, nothing will change for auto fuel users when a replacement for 100ll is identified and eventually manufactured. Those who use mogas can go right on doing so. But for those who have engine/airframe combinations that need a different performance from fuel the replacement for 100ll will need to be widely available, and will be the only piston fuel stocked and delivered by most FBOs. The work of EAA and all other members of the fuel replacement study committee does not in any way change the availability of auto fuel, or limit the ability for those with approvals to use it. But auto gas just isn’t the acceptable replacement for the aircraft that burn the biggest volume of avgas.
        Mac Mc

        • With all respect:

          “Thousands of piston engine/airframe combinations are approved under various STC to operate on auto fuel.”

          20 years ago a review of the FAA registry showed that 70% of all piston engine aircraft could operate on 91AKI autogas. Today that percentage is likely higher given the decline in use of 100LL burning twins, 33,000 homebuilts that all may in principle use it, a growing number of LSAs that can essentially all use it, and the continued transition of high-performance singles and twins to turbines.

          “First, the majority of all avgas used cannot be replaced by auto fuel for performance reasons. ”

          I know of no one who has ever suggested that this should happen. Many FBOs have added Jet-A in recent years, but I doubt many expect their autogas & avgas customers to start using Jet-A. Somehow these FBOs managed to find the funds to afford a Jet-A system, just as they can find the funds for a modest autogas system if the will is there.

          “And, second, after decades of approved use of auto fuel in some airplanes the fuel has not become available except at a few FBOs. ”

          But for decades 100LL and autogas were similar in price, we had many more 100LL refiners than today, there were more large consumers of 100LL than today, and environmental concerns over 100LL were essentially non-existent. Times have changed, which is why essentially all new aviation piston engines these days, even those from Continental and Lycoming, are TCd to operate on autogas. In many parts of the world, 100LL has essentially disappeared. Can we afford to wait for this to happen in the US?

          Note too that in the past year there has been a slight increase in the number of FBOs offering autogas while the number selling 100LL continues a decline begun years ago.

          “So, nothing will change for auto fuel users when a replacement for 100ll is identified and eventually manufactured. ”

          And why should it? I do not understand this statement. Autogas supporters want more options not fewer. In our opinion, FBO should offer whatever the market will bear, including Jet-A, autogas, 100LL, 94UL, etc.

          BTW – leading members of the UAR-ARC admitted at their December 2011 meeting that a drop-in replacement for 100LL now looks highly unlikely. After 20 years of research, the fuel industry has failed to produce this, what gives anyone hope that this will change? In the meantime, 100LL consumption has dropped by more than 50%, making this an highly unattractive market for anyone to enter.

          “But for those who have engine/airframe combinations that need a different performance from fuel the replacement for 100ll will need to be widely available, and will be the only piston fuel stocked and delivered by most FBOs.”

          Why? Many FBOs already sell a second fuel, Jet-A, but not all do. There are also FBOs who sell only autogas. Why must we dictate to a free market that it can not have more than one fuel for piston engine aircraft?

          The infrastructure that exists to produce and ship autogas is immense compared to 100LL. We have some 110,000 gas stations in the US compared to a paltry 3600 airports (from AirNav). We pump autogas through pipelines all across the US, but avgas has to be shipped in trucks so it does no pollute our gasoline supply with lead. There are perhaps now fewer than 6 refineries making 100LL, and they are all west of the Mississippi. Trucks that supply three grades of gas and diesel to every gas station in the most remote locations of the country all pass near our airports already. We do not need a separate supply chain for autogas, just a place to store it at airports. Since fuel sales generate profits, the cost of adding a fuel system is quickly amortized.

          “The work of EAA and all other members of the fuel replacement study committee does not in any way change the availability of auto fuel, or limit the ability for those with approvals to use it.”

          Sure it does. The EAA is part of the group that wants to dictate a one-size-fits-all, hyper-expensive, overly-octaned, drop-in replacement for 100LL that is not needed by the vast majority of SPORT AVIATORS, the people that make up the EAA. Instead, the EAA should be loudly supporting more options, pressuring Congress to preserve a supply of ethanol-free premium fuel, and working harder to dispel the myths surrounding autogas. Given that the EAA obtained the first autogas STC 30 years ago, one would expect the EAA to defend it more. Instead, the EAA appears to be doing the bidding of the AOPA, NATA, and GAMA, whose primary customers are anything but sport aviators. Let them solve their own problems and please focus on the reason the EAA exists, to help people build and fly airplanes for fun.

          “But auto gas just isn’t the acceptable replacement for the aircraft that burn the biggest volume of avgas.”

          I have yet to see any hard proof of the 70/30 number that has been claimed by many for years. From friends I know running FBOs, the number is likely more 50/50, but this is highly dependent on the airport since GA is a hugely diverse community. Remember too that 100 times more Jet-A is sold annually than 100LL; most FBOs who sell Jet-A make their money from it and not 100LL.

          Note too that airports make money from sources other than fuel sales. The vast majority of T-hangars are occupied by airplanes that could operate on autogas. They also make up the bulk of business at maintenance shops. All airplane owners also pay for insurance. It’s not only about fuel revenue.

          Most high-performance singles and twins could potentially operate on cheaper 91 AKI autogas with the Petersen/AirPlains ADI water injection system. STCs for Barons and C-210s already exist.

          Autogas has so many benefits – it lowers the cost of flying, is produced in vast volumes compared to our boutique aviation fuels, has no lead-related maintenance issues, it’s the targeted fuel for all new engines and all LSA engines, it is the best answer to concerns over lead in the environment, and relieves us of the need to devise/test/produce/ship yet another boutique fuel.

          If we ever hope to reduce the cost of flying, we must tap into large volume production from other industries. Autogas is the best possible example of this, and it solves the problem with lead at the same time. It is not for everyone, yet, but new electronic controls on new engines and ADI water injection on others could make it the best option for all aircraft. I am sure to that FBOs would love to rid themselves of the lead problem and sell a more conventional fuel.

          • John says:

            One solution is for GA to move beyond FBOs and setup their own 110LL infrastructure for the most common routes privately. A simple Avgas truck with pump and a cell phone, you call and book it and its there at the time. Okay Mac now you see your are going to get more expensive, more restricted and loss freedom but it could open doors to allow you a new business to sell Avgas by drop from a truck, and GA guys start up these small businesses , on the back of a Ford F150. EPA and FBO would be happly as they rip up old leaky tanks, and you guys can charge huge prices yet okay, we are all flying on a private system that AOPA members have to buy into to use. This system was used in NZ when we shutdown and mothballed farm deliveries of AGO and they were left to call a new company who was only to happy to turn up at midnight and charge 100 bucks call out fee…. the Oil Companies are just like Goldman Sachs and have every business model to work up a solution to free FBOs of Avgas, and please EPA and drop the 110LL from their massive refineries and allow a few to brew it at some massive cost to GA users. I bet then nearly every GA 110LL will swing on his seat and say , my that new Cirrus looks mighty nice and it runs on mogas…well aint that interesting. Guys you know that there are many options out there , and sticking in your heels will only wipe it out faster as they all see it for what it really is. No doubt that one refinery will turn into a niche marketer to you. As a case in NZ Firestone shut its factory and put it in Asia. A group of fellow workers brought some of the plant and old moulds for Model T white wall tires that so happened to be lying around (strange they never let the bosses see them to throw them away) and viola! They started up a new business cranking out vintage tires to the world market. That is niche thinking. Mac you look to be the leader and that is your challenge. Go hunt out a East and West coast refiner small and get him to do a deal with FAA and EPA to “Take it all’ and let all the others drop it. Then he will earn the 18% ROI on his assets by cranking out a stripped down model maybe that will service the key routes and allow some 44Gal drum business. In Cambodia we found an old MIG jet tank farm at Seam Reap and bingo had it cleaned up and we were in business filling flights when prior everyone was tankering it in. All were happy.
            Ex Oil Insider.
            “The sky is not the limit!”‘ I assert copyright on that comment!

  12. As a footnote – Lycoming just today announce approval for UL 91 on most of its new engines. UL91 is a new ASTM spec for what is essentially autogas. UL91 is not available in the US however. Clearly the industry is reacting to the reality of autogas and Jet-A being the two fuels most available to aviation around the world.

  13. Alex Kovnat says:

    Last summer there was an article in Sport Aviation about a proposed all-electric Cessna 172. The idea was to have a plane that could fly about an hour before having to land and recharge the battery, which would be enough for a flight lesson. Now, if you are going to accept reduced endurance relative to a 100LL-burning ’172, it would be nice if some homebuilder were to tear apart and then totally rebuild a standard ’172 engine and fuel system to operate with E-85. Actually, years ago at Oshkosh, there were ethanol-burning planes on display.

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