SOME fuels marketed as aviation gasoline cause temperatures in large air-cooled cylinders 300 degrees higher than in normal operation. Piston trouble has frequently been found to result from detonation caused by such fuels.
Pyrometers have not been common in the past, but now they are available at reasonable cost for instrument-board installation. Many oil companies lack adequate apparatus for determining knock values. The Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Co. maintains a limited testing-service to determine experimentally the suitability for aircraft engines of fuels that are submitted.
The author urges the recognition of a high standard for undoped aviation gasoline which shall be available throughout the Country. The addition of 2 cc. per gal. of tetraethyl lead to such a fuel will make possible a change from 5:1 to 6:1 in the compression ratio of large engines, with a corresponding increase in brake mean effective pressure from 130 to 135 lb. per sq. in. It is believed that any increased cost of the fuel will be offset by better economy, and that flying will be made safer in addition.