Cost of ownership

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FlyingForFun
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby FlyingForFun » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:14 pm

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CTLSi
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby CTLSi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:19 pm

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Nomore767
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:29 pm

First of all, we have to recognize 'the mogas 'problem'". It's like the technology in the planes, avionics etc has advanced but not the way the plane is fuelled, on a day to day basis. This will change as suppliers introduce the new 93 no lead, no ethanol blends amongst other grades. How long this will take is debatable, but I think it's safe to say that it'll be years before all airports' 100LL pumps are replaced with these new grades.
I don't feel that you have 'solved' your 'mogas problem' rather you have mitigated some of the time consuming aspects. Trucking a larger quantity of auto gas to the airport is simply easier than doing it in 5 gal cans. The difference in mogas and 100LL for me is $1.18 or 848 gallons before the $1k for the special truck tank is returned, probably about 18 months to 2 years of average flying hours. Nonetheless, better than carting 5 gal cans around!

As others have noted, E10 may not affect the Rotax engine as such, but it does affect the rubber components as well as fuel pumps, o-rings etc In other words there's no free lunch.
I have read comments from Rotax users that their blending of E10 auto gas with 40-50% 100LL (without the use of an additive like Decalin or TCP which I don't believe are officially approved by Rotax) has produced very clean results at inspections. The Decalin, I'm told, will put the lead into suspension but it doesn't go away. It will still be somewhere, like the oil tank or , as I've experienced, onto the exhaust system causing cracking and expensive repairs.

Having spent years staring at automated glass cockpits I must say I enjoy the simpler things in flying. The sport level glass cockpits are awesome no doubt, and are light and more reliable than the old round 'steam gauges'. However, in my view more thought has to go into just making the presentation simpler. For example a flight path vector indication is great but I'd trade it in a heartbeat for accurate and easy to see fuel quantity.
I got my second hour in a CTLS to check out the then new 10" Skyview as well as fly the airplane. In that hour I learned nothing from the CFI about actually flying the airplane whilst he fiddled with Skyview and all the things it could do!
All the avionics and integration you mentioned is indeed marvelous and quite simply greater than some modern airliners. However, I still scratch my head at the bit where you land that airplane and then......can't find the right fuel unless you can get a ride to the local gas station or settle for avgas and an additive. Maybe that's just me.

Cheers, Howard

CTLSi
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby CTLSi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:08 pm

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NCPilot
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby NCPilot » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:09 pm

Well I've seen ULPower engines making some great strides in the experimental market. They seem to be simpler, easier to maintain engine than the Rotax. More and more kit manufacturers are offering FWF kit for one or several ULPower engines.

Nomore767
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Nomore767 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:19 pm

"You will not see special blend non ethanol gas at an airport in your lifetime. "

Well, all I can say is that I believe the Feds want a replacement for 100LL by 2018. Replacement grades have already been tested and put in limited production. I guess we'll see how it pans out.

Cheers, Howard.

CTLSi
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby CTLSi » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:27 pm

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Last edited by CTLSi on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:59 am

Howard, your focus on the fuel issue is justified, as demonstrated in part by how difficult it has been until recently to align the right players (from refining all the way thru distribution, a/c manufacturing & ownership, regulatory groups and the local FBO). It is truly a complex puzzle, made more so by the bureaucratic processes that govern it. It also doesn't help there's such a mixture of fact with fiction about the issue.

"The FAA is trying to ban 100LL..."
No, that's the EPA's mandate, and there's also considerable effort from environmental groups and state regulatory agencies which are attempting to do that. But it's not the FAA charter, which instead is to foster a combined industry/agency/user working group to provide an alternative lead-free fuel compatible with the installed base of a/c engines that comprise most of the GA piston-engine fleet. That's not just a nuanced difference. And the EPA has now relented, accepting that it will take time for industry (and the marketplace) to solve the fuel problem. So far, the courts has also sided on the side of patience.

"The new C4 will have a Continental that can burn Jet A, Diesel, Mogas and 100LL."
Nope. Europe is certainly capable of more aggressively mandating 'green' regulations than the USA, altho' ask any a/c owner or pilot in Europe how that's been working out for them and you'll see the flip side of the coin. But we can't reinvent phsyics, and the new C4's engine is only being designed to include alternative gasoline products *along with 100LL*. Even with this new engine, they recognize the necessity to include 100LL in their (so far, far short of manufacture) new C4. Thoughts of that low-compression engine burning diesel and Jet A are imaginary. (Read the description of the engine's capabilities as of 3/2013 on p. 3 here: http://flightdesign.com/files/Media/Bro ... 4_2013.pdf Still an impressive product, if the product on paper matches the product on the ramp).

Howard, I laid out the same logic train of specifics you did - regarding the realistic viability of trailering an a/c to/from the airport - some time ago. That option might fit some (probably unique) set of factors for some folks on some airports with some LSA-type a/c. But trailer, hefty tow vehicle, local airport policy all weigh against that option for most of us...and that's before we factor in the 'convenience' factor (or 'lack of convenience' factor), as noted above. For me this was illustrated by a good friend who just built a Highlander - a relatively light (for a 1320# MTOW) tube/fabric E-AB LSA. If you look at this a/c on the ramp, you'd think it a good candidate for trailering, but to take it any distance - safely, reliably over the long term - my buddy opted for a diesel-powered truck. For those attending the next LSA Expo somewhere, check out the trailers used to bring those folding-wing LSAs to the show...and look at the tow vehicles, too. So the option exists but it isn't for everyone.

I'm missing something on the 'gas tank in my truck bed' report. (Perhaps some of you have heard of the Mighty Grape:
http://www.alexisparkinn.com/photogalle ... _truck.htm ?) Yes, the savings might pay off the tank cost over the first year or more, but what happens after you fill it up with 58 gals of fuel? At LSA fuel burn rates, and given most folks fly one (or occasionally two) days a week at most, do you drive around for weeks with some of that fuel in the truck? Do you also use that truck for commuting to work and for hauling DIY stuff from the big box stores? Perhaps that is viewed as a safe practice by most, but not by me. I still like the system we used in the 90's, which cost $200 and relied on a 12 gal. boat fuel tank + electric pump. Easy to use, no fuel being stored anywhere, and only fresh gas being put in the a/c. Wish I could do that again...

Added thought about becoming the fuel distributor for one's a/c: It would seem as tho' a more viable alternative than installing a tank in a truck bed is to pick up a second hand, light weight trailer and carry fuel in it. This gives one many choices of how to carry the fuel (jugs, larger marine tanks, a custom made tank), it allows that choice to change with experience (e.g. use jugs initially, validate the arrangement suits one's needs, and then move up to a larger/more $$ tank), many vehicles can tow a small utility trailer (so a dedicated or specialty vehicle might not be needed), and one only transports the fuel from supply point to hangar after which it remains in the hangar until the fuel is dispensed. Also, no registration fees nor mandated insurance coverage. If only my airport would permit trailers in hangars...
Last edited by Jack Tyler on Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nomore767
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Nomore767 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:41 am

Jack,

I agree with your points. My thought was to go a little deeper into the realities when I hear or read one of the platitudes like "you can easily remove/fold the wings and trailer the plane home and save money on hangar costs' or 'sips economical auto-gas'. Thinking it through, with a dose of everyday reality, and you can see that for most of us, there are 'issues'.

Like Jim, for me it's about keeping it simple and as easy as possible. The least number of people and things to be dependent upon to operate the airplane. I too just want to be able to go to the airport, perhaps on a whim, pull the plane out, refuel if needed and just go.

In Europe, many of the issues we see here, like regulations, environmental issues, green laws etc have produced problems and restrictions for GA and the sport flier. However, they have also come up with many innovations to overcome them. This is why so many aircraft operated under Sport Rules in the USA have originated there. They have also begun to install pumps for unleaded non-ethanol GA grade fuels at many small airfields. true the countries are smaller than the USA and the GA fleet has less units, but that response has yet to materialize here. As such Sport flying is currently in the twilight zone between the old standard GA planes and fuels and the leap to new planes, new fuels and adopting new ideas. Its coming, it's just slower.

As for avionics...I see many talk about having impressive panels with dual this and that and an array of displays and capabilities way beyond their mission. Nice but but most often redundant. Hence their throw away comments about trailering and auto-gas. I'm sure having thought it all out, most would settle for a single Skyview and a good hangar at an airfield with a fuel pump offering a universal new blend to spend their money on. Alas, the supply of appropriate fuel and hangars is meagre and so the cart is before the horse in this regard.

What I'm seeing is the enthusiasm for LSA being dampened and destroyed in many ways by the current frustrating realities.

Cheers, Howard.

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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby CTLSi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:42 am

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Merlinspop
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Merlinspop » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:53 am

For someone dedicated to self-fuel (assuming your airport rules allow it), I would suggest looking into a DOT approved refueling tank. There are various sources. Pickup truck mounted or mounted to a trailer. From there you can add pumps, filters, grounding, whatever. A 100 gallon tank would save the fuel burned in your vehicle to GET the gas, and a transfer pump would make filling much easier than hefting 5 gallon cans at a time (probably a lot less messy, too).
- Bruce

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David
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby David » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:35 am

I truck in 80 -100 gals of unethanol @ about 10 cents more per gal than 92 octane at the gas station. I have an approved fuel tank with an electric pump with grounds, I usually fill the plane with 10 and then 30 gals of fuel in containers on a cart for later use. Then sell the remaining fuel to the other RV 12 owner who does the same. This way I am not running around town with a full tank in the back of the truck.

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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby 3Dreaming » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:21 am

CTLSi wrote:The C4 is equipped with Teledyne Continental Motors' new, six-cylinder IO-360-AF engine which burns Diesel, Mogas and 100LL. The 100LL component is for backward compatibility, but as both Europe and the USA move away from 100LL this type of engine is critical to being able to burn Jet A, mogas as alternatives to the phasing out of 100LL.


The Continental IO-360-AF will not run on Diesel fuel. The C4 may have an optional Diesel engine from an other manufacturer.

Nomore767
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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Nomore767 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:37 am

CTLSi writes:-

Most of your response is opinion and really not convincing. And your ignorance over how transfer tanks work is also apparent.

The FAA is gonna ban 100LL - matters not that the edict comes from the EPA. The FAA and the EPA are sisters and they are going to get rid of lead in five years one way or the other. If you buy a new aircraft over the next five years you had better get an engine that can burn mogas 91 E10.


My transfer tank is DOT approved, vented, baffled and can hold 55 gallons. It also has a FilRite 15gpm pump with filter, and a farm pump nozzle. I also have a static ground spool grounded to the truck. I can store gasoline in this transfer tank while in the hangar because the tank is even more robust than the tank in the plane itself, or a car. But, there is no reason to fill the tank for each use, I can easily put in 35 gallons versus 55. The gas station is closer to my hangar than the self-serve 100LL station is on the airfield. I pay $3.50 for my gas, the self serve 100LL is $6.60, the FBO delivered 100LL is $7.00.

Well, here's what is ACTUALLY going on:-

"The FAA, industry, and the members of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition continue efforts to work on [b]a permanent solution to eventually replace 100 low-lead gasoline for GA aircraft[/b] that will meet the needs of the existing fleet.

Nationwide, average concentrations of lead in the air have dropped nearly 94 percent between 1980 and 2007 due to the Clean Air Act, which resulted in the removal of lead from automotive gasoline and other manufacturing processes. Since then, the GA industry has also cut the amount of lead additive per gallon of fuel by approximately half, resulting in the current avgas specification.

The GA industry has been actively involved in developing a plan to transition to a new, unleaded avgas for piston-engine airplanes through the implementation of the FAA’s Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC) recommendations. Currently, there are no high-octane unleaded fuels that are approved by the FAA for the entire GA fleet. [b][color=#4000BF]Lower octane fuels, including auto fuel, are options for part of the GA fleet and have been approved by the FAA.

While lower octane fuels may be useable for portions of the fleet, they are not viable replacements for the portion that needs high-octane fuel and utilizes the largest amount of fuel. Factors surrounding the availability of auto fuel include finding a suitable supply (without ethanol), determining market size at any given airport, and if it is commercially viable at specific locations to support additional tanks and pumps if needed.[/color]

Fuel providers Ada, Okla.-based General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI) and West Lafayette, Ind.-based Swift Enterprises provided updates at the AOPA Aviation Summit in October and reported they were making good progress in developing a replacement for 100LL avgas.

Meanwhile, the FAA established the Fuels Program Office in September to help meet its goal of identifying an unleaded fuel available for the GA fleet by 2018. This action was in response to a letter from the aviation industry members of the coalition. It is seen as the next important step in establishing an unleaded avgas transition program that will evaluate the viability of candidate fuels and generate the data needed for fleet-wide aircraft certification and development of a commercial fuel specification.

According to the associations' letter, “The FAA's direct involvement and participation in this process is critical to ensuring a fleet-wide transition to an unleaded avgas that will maintain consumer confidence and ensure the least impact on the existing fleet. The establishment of the new Fuels Program Office will ensure an efficient use of both government and industry resources and will provide a more comprehensive pathway and timeline to an unleaded fuel.”

“The FAA recognizes the importance of introducing an unleaded avgas that can be safely used by the piston-powered fleet, and is collaborating with industry to develop the best possible alternative to lead-containing avgas,” the agency said in a statement"

Note: there is nothing here about the FAA banning avgas or anything supporting your point about HAVING to get an aircraft that only burns auto gas. Avgas isn't gone in five years, however a suitable replacement may be available. Looks like the auto-gas option will depend on market size and hence commercial viability, but will still be an alternative. The avgas replacement addresses the largest portion of the fleet.

regarding transfer tanks...they're good, I've had a look at them. I made inquiries at several local airfields and none would allow storage of such a tank within any hangar, and most didn't even approve of self fueling although I got the impression they'd turn a blind eye.

I don't much see your point of buying a 55 gal tank and then only filling it with 35 gals but that's up to you. My point was that the auto-gas v avgas 'issue' isn't 'resolved' you're just mitigating the effects because you can tanker in a larger quantity at one time instead of going to the gas station each time with 5 gallon cans. Talking of which, most hangars I inquired about did approve some limited storage of fuel and that could only be in cans up to 5 gals. Not enough to make a viable fueling option though.

For me, today local E10 93 is $3.61, non-ethanol 93 is $3.99 and self serve 100LL at the airport is $5.18 Not a whole lot of difference for ME and then about worth it to avoid the hassle of doing 'the auto-gas two-step', again, that's just ME.

Dave's truck tank is equally good and a great idea when you can help fellow owners/pilots who are in the same boat!
Again though, this all only works for local flying. On a cross country, you're out of luck. So do you carry empty gas cans and use the FBO car to find the nearest gas station or do you just bite the bullet and use 100LL, which in limited amounts doesn't appear to be really harmful?

Cheers, Howard.

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Re: Cost of ownership

Postby Merlinspop » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:55 am

CTLSi wrote:Most of your response is opinion and really not convincing.

The same can be said about 90% of your posts. And that's fine. That's what "Discussion" forums are all about. Keep it civil.

CTLSi wrote:The C4 is equipped with Teledyne Continental Motors' new, six-cylinder IO-360-AF engine which burns Diesel, Mogas and 100LL. The 100LL component is for backward compatibility, but as both Europe and the USA move away from 100LL this type of engine is critical to being able to burn Jet A, mogas as alternatives to the phasing out of 100LL.

Continental's own press release for this engine says, "The 6-cylinder IO-360-AF (Alternative Fuel) will operate on 100LL avgas as well as alternative fuel(s) to 100LL." It does NOT mention Diesel at all (or Jet A for that matter). Jet A and diesel are not an alternative fuels to 100LL. They use an entirely different combustion process.
By the way... Fight Design, according to their own press releases, does not yet have a conforming prototype and won't until next year and hopes to have certification done in 2015 at the earliest. So, just as you lambasted the Icon, the C4 is isn't *real* yet either. I hope it gets all the way through certification, but lots of good designs died before getting that far. Continental does not list that the IO-360AF has achieved certification. So I wonder how all those Cessna T-41 Mescalero, Piper PA-34 Seneca, Cirrus SR20 owners you said are installing it are managing that feat.
- Bruce


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