Baylor's Aviation Sciences Gets Dual Fuel Aircraft Certification

Oct. 18, 2000

by LoAna Lopez

Baylor University's Dr. Maxwell Shauck, chair of the aviation sciences department, received dual fuel certification of a Piper Pawnee from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly on 100% ethanol and 100% aviation gasoline. A dual fuel certification, received this past May, means the aircraft can use either of the two fuels in its current approved configuration with no further modifications.

The Piper Pawnee was provided by the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC) in cooperation with Nebraska, Alabama and North Dakota agricultural organizations. The SDCUC, working cooperatively with Baylor, has advanced the ethanol industry in aviation by securing FAA certification for aircraft flying on ethanol and ethanol blends. Together, Baylor and South Dakota have achieved full certification for four complete aircraft systems.

After 20 years of pioneering effort, ethanol is positioned to move into commercial operations at a time when aviation gasoline is the last fuel in the U.S. containing lead.

"I appreciate the support of the SDCUC and their patience during a long protracted certification process," Shauck said. "I would also like to remind everyone involved in this effort that the first financial support for this project came from a Baylor trustee and Houston oilman, Gus Glasscock, back in 1980. Mr. Glasscock has maintained a very strong interest in our efforts, and his encouragement throughout the years has been very important to me."

Shauck and his wife, Grazia Zanin, head of the Renewable Aviation Fuels Development Center (RAFDC) at Baylor, made history in 1989 when they became the first to complete a trans-Atlantic flight in an ethanol-powered aircraft. That feat earned them the Harmon Trophy, civil aviation's highest honor.

For more information about the dual fuel certification, contact Shauck (pronounced 'shock') or Zanin at (254) 710-3563.

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