$10 gallon Avgas

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SpruceForest

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The XL had nothing to do with moving crude from Canada to offshore customers. Not sure where that idea came from, but just a cursory look at the route and the carry matrix (what goes in where/what comes out where) should drive a stake through the heart of the notion that it was anything other than a sweetheart deal for the US in terms of construction jobs, long term operator/maint employment, and offsetting cost for another needed pipeline from the Bakken down to GOMEX refineries.

The XL was engineered to move Alberta tar sands crude (dilute bitumin and synthetic crude mix) into the US, where light crude from the Bakken would have been added en route to the massive refinery complexes around Houston, TX. Some additional storage capability was to have been added in Oklahoma to enhance the timing for what arrived at the terminus in Texas (and thus, could be passed to refinery immediately). From there, value-added products would have flowed through either the hundreds of thousands of kilometers of refined product transport pipelines in the US or for temporary holding in the tank farms around Houston/Beaumont/Orange. The CIA Fact Book is a decent reference on pipeline type and length, but the relevant trade associations and regulating agency have more details if you want to find out about your local pipelines.

Cancellation forced Canada to have to choose between refining at home (building a refinery is one of the longest-term/most capital-intensive commitments ever conceived of by mankind) or taking the lower trade balance route of exporting lower desirability crude to offshore refiners.

I can go on and on with this stuff, but if those still following the discussion, not actually reasonably familiar with the basic facts of how that sludgy black stuff gets to us in usable form, and wish to inform their opinions beyond mainstream news sound-bites could spend an hour or two with a few references that are fact-driven - versus ideological or agenda-fueled - I believe we would all benefit.
 
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BJC

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I can go on and on with this stuff, but if those still following the discussion, not actually reasonably familiar with the basic facts of how that sludgy black stuff gets to us in usable form, and wish to inform their opinions beyond mainstream news sound-bites could spend an hour or two with a few references that are fact-driven - versus ideological or agenda-fueled - I believe we would all benefit.
Yes, do that, then let’s get back to discussing homebuilt airplanes.


BJC
 

SpruceForest

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Yes, do that, then let’s get back to discussing homebuilt airplanes.


BJC

Hard not to see the 'how much' drift to the 'why' in threads like this, which becomes a mix of fact and not fact once root-cause stuff gets thrown around.

Maybe the more pertinent aviation-focused question is how we will deal with the fuel cost increase re: engine mods, management, and related topic of maintaining currency/proficiency on reduced annual hours, and - for the e-Aero folks - how they will deal with the coming steep hikes in electric rates and the probable increase in cost to manuafacture aviation-capable batteries. Both topics move back towards safer ground, and towards deeper domain knowledge on the part of most of the members.
 
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TXFlyGuy

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Odd statement, in a thread that is about the cost of fuel, and nothing related to homebuilt airplanes... Just sayin'.

I find the volume of information here amazing.
And it all relates to flying planes, homebuilt or otherwise.
When fuel hits $15 a gallon, how many of us will still burn holes in the sky, and burn holes in our wallet?
When this happens, my plane may end up in a museum.
 

Yellowhammer

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I find the volume of information here amazing.
And it all relates to flying planes, homebuilt or otherwise.
When fuel hits $15 a gallon, how many of us will still burn holes in the sky, and burn holes in our wallet?
When this happens, my plane may end up in a museum.


TX,

I have to concur sir. Just one more reason that HBA opinions and comments matter to me. I value the level of intelligence found on our forum. I feel as if there is not a single topic under the sun that I could ask on this site that I wouldn't receive top notch advice. Most of that advice comes from experience of which, in my humble opinion, is the very best type.

-Yellowhammer
 

sams

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Been burning auto fuel since the early 70's. Never any problems until the watering down of the BTU's with ethanol.
And Why did the President sign the Bill to require Ethanol? Crazy President.
 

rv7charlie

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We're dancing pretty close to politics (which is, of course, unavoidable since it's entwined into everything with activity above the brainstem), but who do you think is 'the President that signed the bill to require ethanol'?
(hint: it was a two step process, by a father-son team)
 

challenger_II

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One thing is evident: most people in Government (past, present, and on into infinity) have trouble with the Law of Unintended Consequences. Too much "Oh! This will be great!", and not enough "Hmmmnnn! Wonder how THIS might blow up in our face?"
 

TXFlyGuy

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We're dancing pretty close to politics (which is, of course, unavoidable since it's entwined into everything with activity above the brainstem), but who do you think is 'the President that signed the bill to require ethanol'?
(hint: it was a two step process, by a father-son team)

Worst decision ever made, on many, many levels. Not a fan of Anheuser-Bush.
 

SpruceForest

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We're dancing pretty close to politics (which is, of course, unavoidable since it's entwined into everything with activity above the brainstem), but who do you think is 'the President that signed the bill to require ethanol'?
(hint: it was a two step process, by a father-son team)
Remember that the reality of things is much messier and more complicated than soundbites or talking points convey... and trying to solely blame one person or organized interest is way more difficult by the time a bill gets to signature. Side A may have to accept something Side B wants to get the thing that the Side A'ers really, really want, and vice versa. Sausage-making is never pretty, and as Charlie stated, is inherently going to be political by the time things are explained.

I love deep data dives and textured analysis as much as the next policy wonk/engineer/aircraft driver, but I have to say that I'm jonesing for a little more discussion of stuff we can do now to mitigate and a little less of the manure spreading.
 

TXFlyGuy

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I love deep data dives and textured analysis as much as the next policy wonk/engineer/aircraft driver, but I have to say that I'm jonesing for a little more discussion of stuff we can do now to mitigate and a little less of the manure spreading.

I have the answer. It is very simple. But it's not politically correct. Thus it would not be accepted by a large part of the population...especially those who work the soil in my home state of Iowa.
 
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rv7charlie

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Well, I have no complaints about lead disappearing from fuel. Not only are we all a bit safer (no one uses lead pipes, or paints their walls/windows with lead paint anymore either), but engines run a lot better without it. Even Lycs, as long as you're not running 10-1 compression in their primitive combustion chambers. No more stuck valves. No more digging crud out of $25 spark plugs with dental picks. Longer oil change intervals. Fuel from the corner gas station on the way to the airport, instead of the frequently predatory avgas pricing.

Politics, like the poor is always with us, but not everything is a conspiracy. Most of the time, it's just people doing the best they can, with the info available at the time, to make improvements. Some here might be too young to remember, but we took a shot at using MTBE to replace lead in mogas and it worked just fine for a lead replacement, but we quickly discovered that it was getting into ground (meaning well) water and it's pretty nasty stuff; almost as bad as lead. Enter ethanol, the next best thing they could think of. Relatively benign, available, and it works. Now, no doubt politics played a big part in the *source* we chose for it, but it does work just fine for surface vehicles as long as the fuel system (mainly the 'soft' parts) is designed for it. Brazil has run on an almost pure diet of it for decades; they just get it from sugar cane (much more efficient source than corn). Even aircraft run just fine on it, as long as they're not operating at extremely low (below 0F) temperatures and really high pressure altitudes (O2 altitudes). Modern cars are conclusive proof that it works as a fuel additive; systems that die being fed E-gas, die because the engineers didn't do their job, or the bean counters kept them from doing it.

Science and engineering are always evolving processes that sometimes get stuff not quite right, but things as a whole move forward and improve over time (unlike politics, which seems to oscillate and regress far too frequently, which has the dangerous potential to affect science & engineering).

AFAIK, I don't own any Ethanol stocks, so I have no vested interest in it. When we find something that works better & cleaner, I'll be all for it. I'm looking forward to the day when I don't have to care about the price of a gallon of gas, any more than I care about the price of a cord of firewood. Never happen? That's what some random guy in the pre-industrial age would have said about firewood, too.
 

Ava

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100 LL is $6.82, and Jet A is $7.57 (both full-serv at an airport somewhat near here) prices as of today on-line.

Meanwhile, here in the middle of corn fields, E-15 is $4.529 and E-85 is $4.099 (self-serv) at a local station.
 

SpruceForest

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May 23, 2022
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Whoohoo! Spar caps finally arrived and first tubing order enroute!!! But seriously... the cure for what ails me is out in the shop. Banner day all around when a UPS semi rolls up for a delivery.

Seems like I used to fly something that had a water/ethanol (methanol?) tank in it for some type of injection system... man, that's gonna bug me the rest of the day.
 

SpruceForest

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May 23, 2022
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LOL... I do. Sadly not 109's, Ava... this is really bugging me now.

Charlie - when was the first time you snuck that thing out of the garage and ended up having to put on a new set of rear tires? Come on - we know you did.
 

challenger_II

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Water-injection for War Emergency Power? Sound's like FUN! (Unless you're the poor crew chief that has to change the engine!)

Do tell more! You have my curiosity pegged!

Whoohoo! Spar caps finally arrived and first tubing order enroute!!! But seriously... the cure for what ails me is out in the shop. Banner day all around when a UPS semi rolls up for a delivery.

Seems like I used to fly something that had a water/ethanol (methanol?) tank in it for some type of injection system... man, that's gonna bug me the rest of the day.
 

skydawg

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Jul 26, 2016
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seems discussion got off center line a bit and a lot of speculation. in effort to recenter thought I would chime in on my experience converting a c172 that burns regular car ethanol car gas (it has a v8 engine). I posted earlier about some of the issues with original Cessna system converting to ethanol, all of which do-able. mostly though, opine on the $10/gal avgas.

we have been using 85 octane car gas with over 400 troublefree flight hours. currently, car gas cost about $4.59/gal and AVGAS about $8 locally. higher avgas cost directly decreases demand and soon after higher price, further increasing cost with a domino effect. I expect we will see AVGAS to average what European markets had last year... and well higher as new STC'd fuel distribution expands and required by regulations....so $10/gal fuel is likely coming soon.

we are considering now converting our c172 to a hybrid auto conversion motor which would be even cheaper to operate... and really cool. our biggest effort in developing these engines is not the engineering, but FAA not wanting anything with something that may help GA, even for experimental....regardless if it eliminates lead fuel. Many will disagree, but I can say this from first hand experience.

so, me thinks, as AVGAS demands fall and it's price rises, the GA market will continue to shrink and will be even less attractive for new development, solidifying legacy manufacturers and their same offerings. in other words, get ready for $8-10 bucks a gallon avgas.

our c172 cost about $28/hr compared to over $68/hr with original engine, so it's still affordable to actively fly. I would submit the most important upgrade for legacy engines is an auto fuel STC until a better engine comes along.
 
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