It is considered a matter of vital international interest to assure the survival of general aviation and to consolidate its important role in the overall transportation picture around the globe. However, in spite of plentiful supplies of crude, the general aviation industry has suffered severe setbacks in recent years due in part to increased costs and decreasing availability of aviation gasolines. Simply stated, the vulnerability of these fuel supplies is now well substantiated and a concerted effort involving fuel producers, general aviation manufacturers, professional societies such as The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and user groups is required to establish long-range strategies in this area.
Since 1981, Cessna Aircraft has performed extensive studies and related supportive research activities on current typical general aviation intermittent combustion power plants, and power plants envisioned for development within a time frame of 20 years.
This paper reflects on generalized results of these efforts and the results of a close surveillance of similar related efforts in the United States and abroad. The potential impact of various aviation and currently non-aviation fuels on said future power-plant development activities are covered in detail. Further, the continuing need for assuring acceptable fuel characteristics at the point of aircraft refueling is the key to the safety and success of future activities.
Proposed ASTM activities related to the development of new specifications or revisions or both to existing specifications, considered indispensable to support general aviation fuel requirements envisioned for the future, are defined with justifications for those proposals.