Swift Fuels has suspended its work with the Phase-II Piston Alternative Fuels Initiative (PAFI) — the FAA’s initiative to test and develop ASTM standards for unleaded replacements for the low-lead aviation fuels currently used in approximately 167,000 aircraft. Swift Fuels and Shell were the two finalists in the program. In June it was announced that the program was paused and delayed for at least one year from the original targeted completion time at the end of this year.
However, the announcement doesn’t mean that the company is ditching the idea of producing unleaded aviation fuel. Instead, Swift Fuels will work directly with the FAA and select OEMs on a high-octane unleaded avgas replacement that is not part of the PAFI program. The company has been testing its UL102 fuel during the PAFI program hiatus.
Swift already has an ASTM-approved unleaded alternative in the U.S. that can serve about 110,000 piston aircraft capable of flying on lower octane fuel – UL94.
“We’re hopeful our new fuel will be accepted by pilots as the ‘best’ fleetwide unleaded avgas alternative to replace 100LL,” says Swift Fuels CEO, Chris D’Acosta. “All our unleaded fuels are premium quality, reliable, intermixable for transition, and low toxicity – with no plug fouling or oil contamination – resulting in longer engine life and lower operating costs. At Swift Fuels, we expect all our high-octane unleaded fuels to be priced commercially competitive with 100LL.”