$10 gallon Avgas

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rv7charlie

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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.
With a 2 barrel 283 small block & 2 speed Powerglide it wasn't exactly a fire-breather; pure performance interested him much less than economic performance. I doubt that it made a lot of difference in gas mileage, but it probably did reduce detonation quite a bit (very common problem on those old carb/Kettering engines). The economics end of it drove him to install dual glasspacks too, which did make it *sound* impressive. Add air shocks for the heavy packing the family did for long trips, and you could make it *look* impressive when there was nothing in the trunk.

It became my high school/college car (on a payment plan) when he bought his next car in '68. Now the '66 GTO with 3-2 barrels, headers, & Muncie 4 speed that replaced the Chevelle...
 

PMD

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Just a few notes tied back to the last few pages of discussion:

Yes, we can (and right now pretty much DO) produce enough oil in the US to be self sufficient, but what one has to understand is that no new refineries have been built in nearly half a century. Original plants were build close to the oilfields with ancient technology suited to the very simple process of getting some products out of that fuel as cheaply as possible. These old plants have been improved and expanded (or shut down) but it is not normal in this market to build a plant with a huge Nelson index (complexity thus flexibility of feedstock). So, as the fields age or shut down, new discoveries don't necessarily match what a refinery nearby is set up to use.

So, one of the costs we see flowing through to the pumps is adding a rather predatory midstream function between producers and refiners. These companies once bought something like Wyoming sweet for a PREMIUM over WTI (which is the price of West Texas Intermediate sitting IN a tank in Cushing OK) but 20 years later the same sweet, light crude is discounted usually around $10 BELOW WTI. The arrival of the same world of finance that is screwing up every other industry on this continent makes the Wall Street and hedge fund owners of what used to be private business have to squeeze every penny out of both the supply side and down to the consumer level to justify numbers that will make them rich from the next M&A deal.

The Keystone XL deal goes back to the end of cheap Orinoco heavy sour coming into the TX Gulf. Athabasca Oil Sands dilbit (diluted bitumen - as the extra heavies from either Orinoco or Fort McMurray can NOT be shipped alone in a pipeline). XL would have given those refiners a new supply line that suited their technology from an extremely stable source (the whole deposit is probably as large as most of what is left in the entire world). Similarly happy co-incidence it would have been able to bring the Baaken stuff down as well. Instead we are now stuck with very high cost and high risk transportation for the crudes the are part of the avgas supply chain (all products across the board suffer from this). I might add as a Canadian, most of the Baaken is in SK so that was a particularly big kick in the crotch for us.

Finally, as the so-called "green" movement brings more and more ultra-stupidity into the energy marketplace - with every wing nut's idiotic brainstorm sucking up gazzillions in investment capital, the oil patch along with the rest of main street has been essentially de-funded. Add to that the need to deal with Federal, State and Country governments who have largely bought into the same nonsense and you would find as an independent US oil producer business is NOT very easy or profitable at $100 - never mind where we were a while back at $0 wellhead price for some crudes (WY heavy sour in our case). The bureaucrats see producers as the enemy these days, not their partners in running their economy. So, the high crude prices we are seeing now are likely to stay IF there is going to be a sustainable oil industry.

So, at least for the next while, get used to the $10 avagas and consider that may be the least of our problems when the inevitable correction for $10 Trillion of "stimulus" stops distorting every market in the economy.

Of course, my solution is that we should be designing, certifying and building simple, light and cheap (like that will ever happen) CI aircraft engines. We could get those costs down overnight be dumping the unbelievable FAA certification costs and the LLL (Legal Liability Lottery) that sucks billions a week out of genav to pay lawyers and insurers.
 

SpruceForest

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With a 2 barrel 283 small block & 2 speed Powerglide it wasn't exactly a fire-breather; pure performance interested him much less than economic performance. I doubt that it made a lot of difference in gas mileage, but it probably did reduce detonation quite a bit (very common problem on those old carb/Kettering engines). The economics end of it drove him to install dual glasspacks too, which did make it *sound* impressive. Add air shocks for the heavy packing the family did for long trips, and you could make it *look* impressive when there was nothing in the trunk.

It became my high school/college car (on a payment plan) when he bought his next car in '68. Now the '66 GTO with 3-2 barrels, headers, & Muncie 4 speed that replaced the Chevelle...
One of the guys I had a few classes with in the late 1980's had a '69 or '70 SuperSport... had put ADI in when he shaved the heads and then nitrous to try and re-kit the engine. That thing was a rocket with all the weight stripped out and a custom induction system that Dave did for what would now be called a Capstone project. We were going to swap rides (airport road midnight 1/4 mile in his SS for me and sneaking him aboard for a NODS TERF hop up front). Around the time we finished classes, I ended up getting sent somewhere to do something to/for someone with moderate prejudice, but I think he still had the car (or something even crazier) ten years later when he refreshed the offer. After school, Dave ended up doing a decade's worth of induction engineering for racing teams run by guys referred to as Bubba or Junior, but ended that after a little too much time on the road and too many ownership-driven (read 'small equipment/big ego') tantrums to tolerate. 7-8 years back, he was still at Duke, but I don't see him listed now.
 
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skydawg

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AVGAS $7.95/gal at my airport. I use ethanol car gas in my c172 experimental and paid aboit $4.60 at local gas station. its also about 15-20% more efficient so that helps too, but it’s still expensive. my next step is to put a hybrid engine on a c172 which will help reduce operating cost as electric is still far off for converting most aircraft.

im noticing a lot more planes staying on the ground lately. EAA is expecting less planes due to fuel cost as well. As volume of AVGAS decreases, it’s cost goes up adding salt to the wound.
 

Tom DM

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AVGAS $7.95/gal at my airport. I use ethanol car gas in my c172 experimental and paid aboit $4.60 at local gas station. its also about 15-20% more efficient so that helps too, but it’s still expensive. my next step is to put a hybrid engine on a c172 which will help reduce operating cost as electric is still far off for converting most aircraft.

im noticing a lot more planes staying on the ground lately. EAA is expecting less planes due to fuel cost as well. As volume of AVGAS decreases, it’s cost goes up adding salt to the wound.

Wondering how/which hybrid engine is envisioned and interested in as well the technical background and its beancounting base.

Secondly; why should the volume of Avgas decrease if more planes stay on the ground? If production remains equal -a production unit can not be shut off/ put on short notice- there should be a surplus, and hence -as the economists pretend- a lesser price.

Or do you mean that AvGas cost and prices in general depend on more than "demand-supply"?

Greetings from the land of 16.36 USD / USG for AvGas.
 

SpruceForest

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As demand - as well as other economic activity - tapers as we settle into this recession, we should see some downward price pressure on AVGAS. Not a silver lining, but at this point, I'll take what I can get.
 
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skydawg

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i worked in the FBO biz in the 1980’s GA spiral and fuel cost was a primary concern for many reasons, mostly it was primary driver to capture customers from competitors on the field offering same product. It comes down, of course, to supply and demand. AVGAS is a insignificant market overall to refineries and distributors so as demand decreases, so will their output…..and fuel biz is about quantity, so cost to make and distribute climbs with lower output and as they pass along the cost to FBO. So, it’s not that they will continue to make the same amount of AVGAS regardless of lower demand and excess supply will drive cost down….there is finite storage. … there is no strategic reserves for AVGAS anymore as there was in WW2. We saw this during Covid when no one was driving and there was no place to put oil so prices spiraled down.

as gas stations and FBOs fill their supply tanks, their cost goes up with each delivery. At my airport AVGAS went up again…. Now $8.97/gal, that’s about $1 more from just a few couple of weeks, as their last delivery of fuel cost them more. There is a small airport about a 20 min flight with self serve about $5.75/gal, but they haven't refilled for a while and likely to be about 6.50 after next delivery.

point is, few care about cost of AVGAS so there is little pressure or incentive to lower its cost for of what public and politicians perceive as rich aircraft owners that look like the guy on the monopoly game. So, as the cost goes up, quantity sold and produced decreases, resulting in a decreased supply and shrinking market, which self induces higher cost until suppliers conclude there is more money to be made elsewhere With their resources.

If distributors drop out of the market, that would be real bad. remember, many of the avgas suppliers have been under considerable pressure to stop making the leaded concoction for decades, including being sued. states like CA have been fighting to outlaw it since the 1980s and only failed cause there wasn’t an alternative….. but now there is an alternative fuel regardless of its cost. Eventually, if demand continues to drop, so will their interest in making it regardless it they are getting $12/gal for it. …there’s a point where it doesn’t make fiscal sense Quantity wise regardless of cost.

my buddy has a Tesla and couldn’t care less about cost of gas. Point being, few care about cost or supply of AVGAS. I fly all over the world and often inquire about cost of AVGAS….. besides some oil producing counties that subsidize, we have always enjoyed cheap AVGAS. Europe seems to have always been about 3X our cost, and ASIA even more. I expect bean counters in the AVGAS segment are using historical foreign cost to determine their price elasticity models, and thus expect $8-10 per gallon AVGAS or alternative will become the norm even after oil cost decreases.

for me, I don’t really care about AVGAS cost as I burn the cheapest car gas (85 octane ethanol) and pump it from my SUV directly to my c172 wing tanks. ..even get off highway tax rebate! right now, we are modifying software that shuts the cylinders down when not needed, such as taxi and descent. We eliminated the engine run up, unless leaded AVGAS is used, which actually made a considerable consumption decrease over time. During descent with engine off and windmilling prop, we are now able to power the alternator enough to maintain normal loads on electrical system and charge batteries….. so we now stay high and plan on a Vg extended descent to landing which also helps in the bottom line. All of this seeming insignificant savings really adds up, especially now with even car gas close to $5/gal, not to mention it’s why there is experimental aircraft category to begin with…to experiment.

we had a guy do 20 hrs of commercial pilot flight training and FAA check ride in our exp c172. The total cost of the 20 hrs aircraft time was less than the cost of the examiners fee. A high school student is now training for her private pilot in it and expects to take checkride soon. The total cost for the 60 ish aircraft hours will be less than $1600, compared to 3X that with original c172 engine. Point being, these seeming insignificant savings can really add up when fuel cost increases so significantly.

as far as hybrid, there is significant challenges in developing software to make a car engine work in aircraft mission and add part 33 type redundancies. But, we figured it out with the V8 and have some talented engineers again looking at is as a challenge. Not sure what engine we will use yet. We will likely buy a couple of different engines from a junk yard and narrow it down from there. FAA has basically shut our further development down for over 2 years even as an experimental project….. so can’t attach anything new to a plane for now. Seems when you figure a way to eliminate leaded fuel, lower cost by more than 50% all while increasing performance in effort to reignite GA, FAA will figure a way to shut even experimental projects down unless you are either lycoming or Continental. But will post some photos of hybrid Frankenstein when available on www.corsairV8.com if anyone is interested.

I would suggest avoiding engines not able to burn MOGAS or not eligible for MOGAS STC. Car gas will always be available everywhere and relatively cheap.
 

BJC

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and fuel biz is about quantity, so cost to make and distribute climbs with lower output
Distribution can be a problem because of the need to purge tanks and pipelines before and after moving 100LL.

Anything manufactured and transported in small quantities can be a problem. Back when I worked for the largest citrus processor, our lowest quality product, specified by a major grocery chain, was our most expensive to produce because of the need to find, and segregate, the fruit and concentrate. The customer was the largest grocery chain in North America, and we made enough on their high quality, high volume, product to justify the cost of their low quality juice.

BTW, back in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, I bought lots of Jet A to use for industrial boiler fuel, rather than #2 fuel oil, because the local distributor had contracts for fuel, but no available storage tank capacity, due to deregulation of the airline industry.


BJC
 

PiperCruisin

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I've always found this a weird conversation. There is always complaining about high gas prices. How much do people have invested in their aircraft? Insurance, hanger, maintenance, opportunity cost, etc.? Even at $10/gal, which is not fun, I get that, it is still not such an overwhelming driver. Somehow the conversation lacks perspective.

Of course mine burns 8 gph. If you've got an IO-540, significantly more, but you probably have a lot more invested in the aircraft. If people were really concerned they would be looking at motorgliders (ICE or electric), or at least higher aspect ratio machines. I don't see the market interest yet.
 

TXFlyGuy

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It's like this...many people can actually afford to own a P-51 Mustang. But few, even fewer today, can afford to fly it. Largely because of the cost of fuel.

Figure 1 gallon per minute in low blower, and 2 gallons per minute in high blower (above FL230).

I'm not comfortable with 10 dollars, or even more per gallon of fuel.
 

TXFlyGuy

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This might affect 100LL prices…

 

zolotiyeruki

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This might affect 100LL prices…

Alright, I dug through the chain of links to get to the actual stuff going on. This proposed rule is what's behind the hysteria:
In 2017, EPA designated certain counties in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas located in the area known as the Permian Basin attainment/unclassifiable for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. EPA is now considering a discretionary redesignation for (portions of) these counties in New Mexico and Texas for the 2015 ozone NAAQS under Clean Air Act section 107(d)(3) based on current monitoring data and other air quality factors. If the area is redesignated to nonattainment, the state(s) will be required to submit a State Implementation Plan to bring the area into attainment with the 2015 ozone NAAQS.
No, they're not (yet, at least) "shuttering the US's largest oil field." And there's no evidence that it's in response to the recent SCOTUS ruling (although that's still a possibility). And as far as I understand it, it may have nothing to do with oil production. It could be as innocent as a "Hey, Texas, we noticed this area of yours has too much ozone. What's your plan to fix it?"
 

TXFlyGuy

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Alright, I dug through the chain of links to get to the actual stuff going on. This proposed rule is what's behind the hysteria:

No, they're not (yet, at least) "shuttering the US's largest oil field." And there's no evidence that it's in response to the recent SCOTUS ruling (although that's still a possibility). And as far as I understand it, it may have nothing to do with oil production. It could be as innocent as a "Hey, Texas, we noticed this area of yours has too much ozone. What's your plan to fix it?"

Nothing innocent about that. It appears the goal is to have all of us operating battery powered vehicles. No...they are not electric. Yes, you charge the batteries with electricity. But then the batteries power the vehicle.

How many people use an electric flashlight? Got a long extension cord for that? They are battery powered. Just like the battery powered vehicles.

This is all be design. Just like Dallas has too much ozone. As far as I know, it has not harmed anyone. The speed limit was capped at 55 forever as a result. Now we go 75 mph. And 85 on the expressway. Legally!

The smartest thing Texas could do would be to secede. Then the current administration would beg Texas to produce more oil.
 
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SpruceForest

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Not my plan, but how about pipe it all up to the ozone hole that the nasty R-12 created?!? 😄:popcorn:

Lots of hysteria in the news lately. The chicken littles may indeed be right, but till the future becomes history all we can do is take it one day at a time.
Already went through this... every measurement of high altitude ozone other than over the poles going back more than 20 years shows statistically insignificant change...all while ground-level ozone has been increasing. The polar regions show some serious fluctuation, but until those beach-front 'naturalist' resorts open up around McMurdo, it looks like much ado about nothing.

As to SCOTUS, I suspect regulatory agencies will need to look at which regulations exceed their portfolio (i.e., did Congress direct them to regulate ozone directly at the producer level, and were clear goals established, etc. Reading the decision, I don't think EPA gets to ad lib anymore, nor ATF, nor the hundreds of other agencies that have grown used to governing sans responsibility.
 

Tom DM

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It's like this...many people can actually afford to own a P-51 Mustang. But few, even fewer today, can afford to fly it. Largely because of the cost of fuel.

Ownership of a P51 (or any genuine) WOII-warbird was indeed possible 30-50 years ago when their value was next to nothing. Very few peoply did as ownership (and flying) has evident drawbacks. EBGB houses a airworthy Morane-Saulnier Alcyon ( Kingfisher) and several former ex military trainers (SV4, Tiger Moth, Marchetti) .

However the warbirds of the like of P51, Spitfire, etc (valued and insured for several millions US) ceased to be aircraft like most antique cars (yet brand new) / old or youngtimer/ racecar with pedigree car are no cars anymore.

They morphed into "a financial instrument" for a certain kind of businessmen which lack a pilot-licence and should they burn up behind the wheel of antique supercar, will succesfully sue its maker. Those "owners" will close to never fly or drive the craft but hire a pilot/ racer to do when needed "to protect its value".
 
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