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The Federal Aviation Administration has studied the behavior of gasolines containing alcohols using an aircraft fuel system and engine that were installed on a dynamometer. The results of this study identified the worst case for vapor lock testing as: takeoff fuel flow, a fuel temperature in the tank of 38°C, and an alcohol concentration of 15% on a weight/weight basis. Several other considerations for using gasoline/alcohol blends in aircraft systems are identified including: material compatibility problems, water absorption and phase separation, and fuel aging, which aggravates the vapor lock behavior. An attempt was made to correlate the vapor pressure of the test fuels with the vapor lock behavior.
aircraft fuel systems, alternative fuels, ethanol, gasohol, gasoline, material compatibility, methanol, spark ignition engines, vapor lock, aviation fuels, fuels, general aviation
Aerospace engineer, Federal Aviation Administration, Technical Center, Atlantic City, NJ