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Although the thermal stability of fuels currently used in commercial engines is adequate, and usually exceeds the specification requirements by a considerable margin, pressure may be developing to cause a trend toward poorer fuel thermal stability. Factors influencing this trend are economic pressure, poorer quality crude, and environmental legislation. This adverse trend may be initiated as engines are being developed which tend to thermally stress fuel to a greater extent than engines currently in production. This situation exists while the adequacy of the thermal stability test procedure is being investigated by a CRC Task Force. In addition, engine sales to the Soviet Union (Aeroflot) and other east European airlines will expose the engines to fuels from these areas which have not previously been used in the engines on a continuous basis. These factors create a situation where potential effects of poor fuel thermal stability are a cause for some concern.
aviation fuel, thermal stability, Soviet fuel
Senior Staff Engineer, GE Aircraft Engines, Cincinnati, OH