Shell Aviation Has Unleaded Avgas

The energy titan is ready to get the new fuel approved.

Light Aircraft Shell

Light Aircraft Shell

** Avgas is used to power light aircraft. It
currently contains lead, but Shell Aviation
has announced a lead free option that will
be submitted for approvals.
(Photo courtesy of Shell) **

Shell has developed what it seems to think is an unleaded avgas replacement that’s ready to go, once testing is complete and certification earned. The new 100-octane fuel would be a drop-in replacement for 100LL. Shell worked with Piper and Lycoming in conducting preliminary tests of the new fuel.

In a press release Xinsheng (Sheng) Zhang, vice president of Shell Aviation, said the "process can be completed for this new lead-free product within a short timeframe” and that the approval would be quick. “We look forward to working alongside our technical partners and authorities to progress the necessary approvals needed to make this product a reality for use in light aircraft engines of all types," he said

Piper Aircraft recently flew using the new fuel for an hour in a PA-32 Saratoga. Michael Kraft, president of Lycoming, said his company tested the new fuel on the most demanding piston engine it had and found the performance to be “remarkably close to avgas 100LL from a performance perspective.”

We’ll keep you posted on developments as they occur.

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