Remember we once reported future planes will use liquid natural gas to fly? Seems like the day is not too far from happening. American firm Aviat Aircraft has introduced the first airplane that is able to run on both standard aviation fuel and compressed natural gas (CNG).
Smaller planes use typical aviation gasoline known as 100 low lead. This gasoline is a bit costly and it pollutes the environment greatly when burned. If something else could be used instead of 100 low lead, pollutants emitted by smaller airplanes could be a lot less. So, Greg Herrick, who owns a popular small aircraft called Aviat Husky, decided to covert his 100 low lead (typical aviation gasoline) fuel driven plane into compressed natural gas driven one.
Aviat converted Herrick’s Husky airplane in such a way that it was able to fly on both 100 low lead and CNG. The airplane is equipped with both tanks and can run on either fuel at the flip of a switch. Aviat mounted the CNG fuel tank to the belly of the plane and placed a slightly higher-compression engine. After doing this Aviat found that the performance of Husky was better with the CNG than the 100 low lead fuel and the engine even ran cooler. Aviat has estimated that its plane can fly for about seven hours on CNG.
However, lately Aviat flew the Husky from the factory in Afton, Wyoming to Oshkosh as a test flight.