Faa Issues Ethanol Certification for Cessna 152

May 29, 1996

WACO, Texas - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently certified the Cessna 152 aircraft to run on a renewable fuel, ethanol, marking the first-time ever that any aircraft has been fully certified to run on a non-petroleum aviation fuel.

The certification results from the work of Dr. Max Shauck, professor and chair of aviation sciences at Baylor University, who has pioneered the use of alternative fuels for aviation.

Shauck received FAA certification for the use of ethanol in two series of aircraft engines more than two years ago, and since that time, he and Glenn Maben, aeronautical engineer involved in this research and lecturer in the aviation sciences department at Baylor, have been working with the FAA to obtain full certification for the Cessna 152, the most popular training aircraft in the United States.

The latest FAA certification is for the entire Cessna 152 aircraft, including both the engine and the airframe.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ethanol is a high octane alternative fuel that can be easily adopted for use in small aircraft. Not only are there numerous performance advantages with ethanol, including smoother operation, increased power and superior resistance to knocking, but it also enjoys a relative cost advantage compared to 100LL aviation gasoline (avgas), the single largest source of lead in the atmosphere today.

In a recent issue of General Aviation News & Flyer, Kas Thomas wrote that Shauck's work reflects a growing movement in the United States toward greater acceptance of renewable fuels.

Under the guidance of Shauck and Grazia Zanin, the Baylor Renewable Aviation Fuels Development Center (RAFDC) has been working on research and certification of renewable

fuels for aviation for the past 15 years. RAFDC received a grant from the FAA Technical Center to test the non-petroleum alternatives to avgas to improve the efficiencies of the engines using these fuels.

One of the most promising fuels to be tested under this research project is ETBE (ethyl tertiary butyl ether). ETBE combines the nation's two most abundant domestic clean burning fuels, natural gas and ethanol. It can be used in a reciprocating aircraft engine with minor modification to its fuel injection system.

"The promotion of biofuel programs cannot be postponed," Shauck said. "Liquid biofuels development has to become a national priority. They will decrease our energy dependence and trade deficit while providing benefits to air quality and employment."

For more information, contact Shauck or Zanin at (817) 755-3563.

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