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The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is Now a Reality! Thanks for Everyone's Input!

07/26/2013 1:25 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE URL: www.AviatAircraft.com/CNG


World's First Dual Fuel, CNG Piston Powered Aircraft To Be Unveiled At AirVenture 2013

Innovative Aircraft Operates on Compressed Natural Gas and Aviation Gasoline


OSHKOSH, WIS. (JULY 26, 2013) - Airplane manufacturer Aviat Aircraft, Inc. and Minneapolis-based Aviation Foundation of America, Inc. today announced the scheduled unveiling of the first dual fuel, piston powered aircraft to operate on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and aviation gasoline. The Aviat Husky CNG will be on display outside the Innovations Pavilion throughout AirVenture 2013 which takes place in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 29 through Aug. 4. The organizations will host a news conference on July 31 at 9:30 a.m. CDT in front of the aircraft at the Innovations Pavilion.

"This is a remarkable proof-of-concept airplane," said Stu Horn, president of Aviat Aircraft. "While adapting our standard Husky aircraft into this dual fuel configuration was not without challenges, it was well worth it. The performance and ease of operations have exceeded our expectations."

The Aviat Husky CNG, which flew more than 1,000 miles from Aviat's headquarters in Afton, Wy., to be at AirVenture, can be powered by CNG or 100LL aviation gasoline with the flip of a switch. It is a standard Aviat Husky A1-C that has been fitted with a CNG fuel tank in addition to its standard aviation gasoline tanks with a capacity of 50 gallons. The aircraft is powered by a 200 h.p., four cylinder Lycoming aircraft engine with a cruise speed of 143 m.p.h. The flight endurance at 65 percent power setting is approximately seven hours.

From Concept to Reality

Greg Herrick, president of the Aviation Foundation of America approached Aviat's president in early 2013 with the idea of building an aircraft to demonstrate the advantages natural gas can offer general aviation aircraft.

"Among the many advantage of using CNG are fuel cost savings, cleaner burning fuel and no lead emissions," said Greg Herrick, president of the Aviation Foundation of America. "I'm impressed with how Aviat readily agreed to tackle this project, working with a team of engineers and craftsmen within the aviation and natural gas industries. The result is a sophisticated solution which can be readily applied to a variety of piston powered aircraft."


Compressed natural gas power is up to 80 percent less expensive than the national average of $6-per-gallon aviation gasoline. There is no lead in compressed natural gas, the presence of which is currently a significant issue with aviation gasoline. It is also a much cleaner burning fuel, reducing smog pollutants by 90 percent and reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent. Engine oil remains significantly cleaner therefore improving engine life, while aircraft performance is enhanced as CNG typically burns 138 octane versus the current 100 octane of aviation gasoline.


"One aspect we're particularly excited about is the opportunity to dramatically reduce the cost of learning to fly," added Herrick. "If a flight school installs a simple CNG refueling station they can cut the cost for the student's fuel, perhaps by thousands of dollars. And, the fuel is available where ever there is a natural gas line."

About Aviat Aircraft and the Husky A-1C

Aviat Aircraft of Afton, Wy., manufactures the Husky, Pitts Special and complete kits for the Eagle biplane. The Husky, "America's favorite taildragger," has become the most versatile aircraft in its class. It is designed for off-airport landings, for recreational flying as well as observation and cargo hauling operations. It can be flown at any time of the year and needs little more than a clearing to be able to land. For more information, visit www.AviatAircraft.com and www.AviatAircraft.com/CNG


About the Aviation Foundation of America

Minneapolis-based Aviation Foundation of America is a 501(c)3 public charity designed to preserve and promote America's aviation heritage at a grassroots level through initiatives such as historic flight re-creations, airport preservation projects, educational programs and endeavors that reduce barriers to flying.

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#1

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 1:44 PM

Congratulations!!

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#2

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 2:46 PM

Impressive.

That said however if I had a airplane I would have more than likely had it running dual fuel with propane a long time ago.

Maybe not legally but still it would have been able to do it.

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 5:52 PM

It would be legal if you got a STC (Supplementary Type Certificate), or you make the aircraft experimental, and placard it with EXPERIMENTAL for all to see before they get in for a ride.

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#3

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 4:50 PM

Did you fly the 1000 mile flight with NO STOPS and CNG only? If not what is the current range with CNG fill only?

What is the volume of the CNG tank? What is the max pressure when filled?

Photo of Aviat Husky

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 5:13 PM

I'm traveling but visit www.AviatAircraft.com/CNG for details!

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#6
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Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/26/2013 7:53 PM

I found from your link 3600PSI max pressure.

And this " In this demonstration aircraft both the CNG and 100LL tanks may be filled to capacity and still carry a 220 lb. pilot and 70 lbs. of gear."

Otherwise it has the same text as you copy pasted above, and same stuff from earlier this year. The following "Of note is the fact that 88 percent of personal operations flights last less than 1.5 hours, and 75 percent less than 1 hour. The percentage of shorter flight durations are even higher for instructional airplanes, where 97 percent of the flights last less than 1.5 hours, and 86 percent less than 1 hour. The average flight durations for airplanes in the two types of operations varied from 25 min to 1 hour and 27 minutes for personal operations and from 19 minutes to 53 minutes for instructional operations."

Which implies to me, it did not make the 1000 mile flight on CNG, or without refueling stops for av gas.

At any rate, good luck at OshKosh and getting a STC from the FAA.

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#7

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is now a reality! Thanks for everyone's input!

07/27/2013 6:15 AM

The biggest problem with natural gas and transportation is finding a place to fill up.

In Florida 5 years ago, the only place you will find a 'natural gas filling station' is at a military base or, ironically, a natural gas fire power plant.

Now they are more common with flex fuel vehicles becoming more widespread.

http://www.cngprices.com/station_map.php

Of course, sometimes, you have to invent the machine in order to invent the necessity to fuel it I suppose.

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#8

Re: The CNG Dual Fuel Aircraft is Now a Reality! Thanks for Everyone's Input!

07/28/2013 10:22 PM

Congratulations. I hope that this will open a lot of eyes. CNG and LNG can save a lot of money, and a lot of pollution. I am promoting them both. See: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19Yf0MWpo91vrlu-mmJtjB1ERukjJo5W41oi4RZVQBug/edit

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