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peter51

MOGAS or AVGAS - remote area refueling options

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Hi everyone,

 

Im new to the forum and intend to build a STOL aircraft for extended remote area operations.

 

For those that already venture into remote areas - how do go about refuelling if you require MOGAS for your Rotax powered aircraft?

 

I imagine it would be easier if the aircraft I was comtemplating building ran on AVGAS. Is this assumption correct?

 

Im not concerned about the cost of fuel - just the ease and time it takes to refuel at a remote town/ airfield.

 

My intended operation would be spoking out from a remote township for a few weeks at a time.

 

Thanks for any ideas and advice.

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The 80 hp Rotax can take 91,95,98 octane unleaded or avgas.

 

The 100 HP uses 95 or 98 octane and avgas.

 

You can also "shandy" the mixes as long as you don't go under the minimum octane, if circumstances dictate.

 

However most try to run 100% on their prefered fuel and limit mixing.

 

No one uses octane boosters regularly as far as I know and I would only use one in an emergency. ie impossible to fill with the correct fuel.

 

As the "80" takes 91, this maybe your best option flying remotely and remember using avgas increases your engine servicing.

 

That's important if you need to take it a distance for maintenance.

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More remote airfields do not have any fuel. Bond Springs is about 20 minutes drive north of Alice Springs and has no fuel. If you were not worried about it being stolen or tampered with, it might be possible to get someone to drop a 200 L drum there. There used to be no hangers there. The people who operate from there fill up jerry cans at a servo and fill up that way.

 

I have no clue if there is self-serve fuel at Dirranbandi. The strip is close enough to the service station that you could walk it back and forth if you enjoyed exercise.

 

Just some examples. I used to live in Dirranbandi. I have enquired about where I could base a plane at Alice Springs.

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100 hp rotax I run on mogas (98) when available and avgas when I cant get mogas Rotax recommends earlier oil changes if running on avgas 25 hours instead of 50

 

and you cant run synthetic oil with avgas

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Thanks for your replies.

 

Take the example of operating out of Cooktown to explore within 100NM radius - maybe outlanding for several days on a beach or station strip with prior permission etc. You can fill up there on AVGAS using a credit card and then fly out to remote areas as required - easy to fill - however landing fees appply etc.

 

However, if you had a ROTAX powerplant and were trying to maximise your use of MOGAS, then you would be comitted to getting a lift into town with collapsible bladders. Cooktown airport is a fair way into town. This would be unworkable if your aircraft carried a lot of fuel.

 

So in this case you would be better off with an engine that used AVGAS.

 

For this sort of mission I think ease of refuelling would be important - or have I overlooked something.

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Someone here will know for sure, but I ran a 912ULS for several years with about 80% Mogas and 20% avgas useage for availability reasons. I don't remember any service penalties. I know earlier models needed a gearbox strip due to the lead, but this didn't apply after about 2012 models.

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A mate of mine uses two of those fuel bags that collapse down when not in use. He fills them 2x20L and takes them with him, gives him two extra hrs in the Rotax, of course it's all about weight but that's up to the PIC

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JG3 on this site would be a big help to you on this subject

Try out back fuel planning search on this site member JG3.

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For the Rotax I believe a straight avgas diet requires a mineral oil rather than a synthetic, and does mean a gearbox strip at 600 hours. I see pmacarhys note that this is only pre 2012 which I didn't know -but you need to to your own research for you particular serial number.

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no I would not consider using a different engine to the rotax just because you may need to use avgas occasionally

 

rotax engines can and do run on avgas lots of people only use avgas in their rotax and have no problems whatsoever

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Where do folks suggest I purchase a couple of those collapsible 20L containers please? Are they ok with avgas?

 

Kaz

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Getting away from debates over which fuel which engines will take and getting back to the practical issue of getting fuel (whatever type you want/need)

 

It’s possible with a bit of planning to get what you want even when there is no apparent fuel in the guide books.

 

However it can get expensive - sometimes you have to buy a full drum ( including the drum itself) and fly away leaving half a drum of fuel behind etc. When I had the R22 I used to “own” quite a few derelict half empty drums all over cape York.

 

First thing is get a copy of the ERSA and also Queensland ( or whatever state you are in) country airfields or whatever the pilots guide to small airfields is now called. They are both part of the package with both Ozrunways and AvPlan.

 

And internet access for websites and a phone book equivalent for the area you want to go to.

 

Often the airfield won’t have fuel but the local roadhouse will get it in and bring it out to the airfield with adequate prior notice. This often applies to either avgas or Mogas.

 

Options for getting names and contacts if there are none listed in the ERSA or airfields guide are:

 

Roadhouse

 

Council offices

 

Tourism information offices

 

Pub

 

Hotel or caravan parks ( they will be even more helpful if you are going to stay the

 

Night)

 

Develop a good phone manner, be courteous and patient and write down peoples names when they first answer the phone and use their names and introduce yourself by name. Names being used makes you a person and people will be far more likely to offer help rather than just say “No”. If you call back again use their names and your own name etc. Ask for a favor and express concern about the inconvenience you might be causing.

 

I’ve done this dozens of times and have almost always been overwhelmed by how helpful country people will be.

 

I’ve had drums of avgas dropped off at isolated bush strips, had fuel, food and drinks for twenty blokes brought out to small town strips ( and been met by half the town population. ) and had refuellers go to quite extreme lengths to get me fuel.

 

However be prepared to the occasional person be less than helpful. Had a very few get unpleasant about it. You may have pay for a full drum of avgas. Very few places will split a drum of avgas ( it’s illegal actually) but I have had people do it on occasion if they take a liking to you. If you have to buy a full drum and can only use half the drum well So be it. If you leave it, accept that someone will get free fuel for their motorbike or chainsaw. And the drum will get converted into a horse trough.

 

Mogas is more likely that you will get it in smaller amounts like jerry cans. But you might have to buy the jerries too. I’ve had the experience that I paid more for the jerries then I did for the fuel they held. But some places you can’t get premium fuel. So again prior planning and contacting the roadhouse etc is important.

 

Speaking of Prior planning.

 

Contact them way ahead of time and set up the plan and then recontact them a week or so before to confirm it’s all still going ahead. ( I have had the experience that when I called back the original person i organised with had got sick, Gone to some big smoke hospital for treatment and the stand-in knew nothing about the plans and had not ordered the avgas. Too late to get it in -so we had to change plans. ) but at least I knew. It would have been a real problem if we had arrived to find no fuel because we would not have had enough to go somewhere else.

 

Then ring again the day before and tee it up again. Country folk are keen to help But just as likely to go fishing for the day etc. confirm and ask about how you can contact them when you arrive. I’ve had no one turn up and had to walk into town to find the contact at the pub. Would have been ok if I’d found out there was no mobile reception on the ground. I would have phoned while still in the air.

 

That’s all just Off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more hints and tips but can’t think of them at present.

 

Even if th

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Where do folks suggest I purchase a couple of those collapsible 20L containers please? Are they ok with avgas?

Kaz

Try any of the pilot supply websites. I’ve seen heaps of them. Never actually bought one but seen them.

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Where do folks suggest I purchase a couple of those collapsible 20L containers please? Are they ok with avgas?

Liquidcontainment.com .au. They are designed for hydrocarbon products.

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On the same subject but a different question, what is involved in safely and leagally running an O320 Lycoming on Mogas? I have heard of one pilot who runs mogas in one tank and avgas in the other.

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The mogas STC for my O360 involved two new electric fuel pumps and a new gascolator. In a PA28.

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C172 with Lyc 0320 is an excellent sturdy bush aircraft. Mine is a 172M with 90 litres each wing and runs well on both Avgas and Premium ULP. I have now upgraded to 0360 which burn slightly more / hour but has similar range. The 172 is a robust air frame which has performed well on bush strips for me during the past 20 years. Also performs well in the turbulence often experienced in western areas.

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A mate of mine uses two of those fuel bags that collapse down when not in use. He fills them 2x20L and takes them with him, gives him two extra hrs in the Rotax, of course it's all about weight but that's up to the PIC

Gee my 912ULS would give me 3 hrs plus on 40 litres @ 100 knots indicated - you might want to check your consumption figures.

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Gee my 912ULS would give me 3 hrs plus on 40 litres @ 100 knots indicated - you might want to check your consumption figures.

Don't know how you get 12+ lph out of a 100hp unless of course you use low pwr.. He plans 20 lph but gets around 19 or so for 90 kts (Savage Cub)

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Don't know how you get 12+ lph out of a 100hp unless of course you use low pwr.. He plans 20 lph but gets around 19 or so for 90 kts (Savage Cub)

It's not hard - I cruise at between 4800 - 5000 rpm (Check Rotax specs & you will find my consumption to be typical). Initial Climb out is at full power 5200-5600 rpm consumption for a brief period is probably 18-22 LPH for a 1500 ft/min plus climb. I reduce power to 5200 & then 5000 for cruise climb, still at 1000ft/min, for an airspeed of about 80-90 knots. Level out and cruise at 48-5000 rpm for an easy 100 knots.

 

I plan at 14 lph and always better it.

 

If my air speed is the problem, I am happy to have an independent witness verify my claim. At 20 lph my aircraft would be doing 120 plus knots and that with my prop set for climb advantage.

 

You think my aircraft performs well - check out the ATEC Fayeta with the same engine - leaves my poor old Zephyr for dead.

 

Just so you are fully in the picture - take off role, on grass, is 100 m with full fuel. Conventional wisdom suggests a STOL aircraft won't have a high cruise (& visa versa) ATEC have proven this to be untrue . All the ATEC range combin low stall & high cruise.

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I average 13.3lph on a Tecnam Sierra swinging a Hoffman 2 blade prop at 4800 rpm giving me an indicated 98-100kts, at 5000 rpm it’s out to 15.4lph and at 5200 is around 17.5lph for about 108 indicated, this is for standard atmospheric conditions

 

My fuel calculations are based on known quantities of fuel put back in after each flight

 

It also varies also on temp & humidity

 

Only fuel I use is BP 95 at this stage but will use Avgas in remote

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