lundi 6 mars 2017

Once upon a time, there was Avgas available...

During the month of October 2016 we met several times, especially with Francisco, to determine who was going to do what. The enormous task of getting overflight permits and landing permits was left to Yannick Bovier who, together with Francisco flew on their Ecolight airplane Tour in 2010. You can also have a look at their website and incredible adventure at Azimut270 .

My task was to find Avgas. For those wondering why that could be so difficult, here is a long story about Aviation fuel be patient and read carefully . Maybe you'll like the shorter version. Basically older radial supercharged and boosted engines needed Avgas 115 back then, a high leaded fuel that was purple in color, compared to the actual blueish color of 100LL, the one used by many airplane engines nowadays, including the DC-3. That Avgas 115 fuel isn't used anymore, except for some high performance unlimited air races. 100LL is obviously still used but many countries restrict its use, for the sake of environment protection for some and also because it is too expensive to import for leisure aviation. Yes, not every country in this World has the chance to have flying clubs where pilots can hop in and rent a plane and then go for a 100$ burger. 

In contrary, Jet-A1 is the most used fuel now, from turboprop to jet powered airplanes. Some light aircraft also have diesel engines now that can use Jet-A1. So having this in mind, local air clubs in China, the Pacific area and even Russia don't carry a supply of Avgas 100LL. It is even forbidden in some part of the World to ship Avgas fuel. The nightmare was about to begin.

Here you see the two booklets I used to find handling agents and support at every single point the DC-3 was to land. This resulted in no less than 300 emails being sent across 20 countries! Of course you sometimes don't even get an answer from them, they probably thought we were too crazy to attempt to fly around the World in such an old airplane. But hey, we will manage!
Having had many contacts for those destinations, Mike, from White Rose Aviation got my draft and looked at it. Where necessary he then gave advise so that we chose a better option, in term of reliability and efficiency. Mike is managing his job perfectly and since 40 years has covered many airplane for either ferry flights permits and point of contact to find fuel. His knowledge of India and south east Asia was of great help in order to secure our Avgas demand. 

So here we are, Monday the 6th March 2017, our DC-3 having an other two days of intensive maintenance and preparation in Dole, France before being ready to go on its adventure. Stay tuned for more infos about what's going on on the D Day!

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