SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1989

Automotive Gasoline—A Fuel for Modern Aircraft Piston Engines


Over the decades, the aircraft piston engine and aviation fuel have developed into a mature functional unit much like the automotive engine and gasoline whose demands have been harmonized in the course of time.

For that reason one might be inclined to say that automotive gasoline (mogas) is not suited for aircraft engines. It would be more correct, however, to say that automotive gasoline is not fit for conventional aircraft powerplants without special precautionary measures.

By converting however an automotive engine into an aircraft powerplant, that is, by providing it with all the design features required for flight operation, we obtain a propulsion system whose basic design predestinates it to mogas operation.

When considering the general trends in aircraft engine design, it is found that for economic reasons new modern aircraft piston engines can be developed from existing automotive engines. Therefore, mogas will be of ever-increasing importance as a fuel for aircraft powerplants. When discussing different kinds of fuel, mogas seems to be the most suitable as an alternative to aviation gasoline (avgas), but the type of mogas should be carefully chosen.

Avgas, unlike mogas, is of uniform quality worldwide. Leaded premium gasoline, for example, shows considerable variations, whereas unleaded premium gasoline has been developed into a fuel with a uniformly good quality level throughout the world. Therefore, the latter should be chosen as the target fuel. The advantages of unleaded premium gasoline are: 1. The fuel is unleaded and thus the air is not polluted with lead. 2. The highly developed modern passenger car engines can be fully utilized for the new aircraft powerplants, particularly because of the reduction of exhaust gas emissions.

Author Information

Schmauder, J
Fuels and Lubricants, Porsche Aktungesellschsft, R & D Center Weissach, Stuttgart, West Germany
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Developed by Committee: D02
Pages: 56–76
DOI: 10.1520/STP22975S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5100-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1263-6