Continental pledged to increase its investment in research and development by 250 percent to focus on current engines that run on avgas and Jet A, “future engine designs and applications, and sustainable/alternative fuels.”
Its investment in current engines includes testing already available UL 91/94 in lower compression engines and seeking FAA approval for more than 100 popular models to be able to run on the unleaded fuel. This includes “select O-200s, IO-360s, O-470s, and IO-470s,” the company noted in a press release. Continental is testing additional engines and expects to broaden the number of models approved to use the lower octane unleaded fuel. The tests were held in conjunction with the EAGLE initiative.
“As the industry searches for a long-term fuel solution, Continental considers 91UL and 94UL fuel as a transitional step in a long-term strategy to reach a more sustainable aviation,” the company said while pledging its support for and participation in the EAGLE initiative to find a single unleaded solution for all engines and aircraft.
“If we want the future generations of aviators to enjoy the beauty of flight, it is imperative that the industry collaboratively evaluate alternatives and identify viable solutions,” David Dörner, Continental vice president of global research and development, said in a press release.
Continental was one of many engine and aircraft manufacturers, aviation associations, and FAA officials attending the “100LL Transition to No Lead, Briefing and Panel” forum on July 25. The groups showed a unified emphasis on a smart, smooth transition to a fleetwide unleaded fuel by 2030, and hundreds of pilots attended to learn more about the process of getting a fuel approved and distributed across the country.