Colour of fuel

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by stona, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Anyone know what colour US 100 octane (good old one-one thirty) aviation fuel was dyed during WW2. I've read green for US fuel, but another British source says that ours was blue. Surely it would all have been the same.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    From what I know the US colors were:
    Red = 80 / 87
    Brown = 91 / 36
    Green = 100 / 130
    Purple = 115 / 145 ... and also 82 UL (Unleaded, no longer made)
    Blue = 100 LL
     
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  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    In the early 50s the codes were

    Red = 80 / 87 unless unleaded in which case white
    Blue = 91 /96-98
    Green = 100 / 130
    Brown= 108/135
    Purple = 115 /145

    The 108/135 was a commercial fuel grade.

    in the early part of WW II there may have been different colors for British 100 octane and American 100 octane as they hadn't come up with the common 100/130 specification yet.
     
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  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    And my story is..............
    Checking the sump of a 150D Cessner, I went back to Ralph, the owner, "why isn't the fuel Blue"????? I asks.
    Turns out the last renter put Car gas in it to save Ralph a few bucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    A$$hole caused Ralph to rebuild the carb and clean all the plugs, 12 of the buggers! It was Leaded petrol........
     
  5. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    A Cessna 150 has 12 plugs ???
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    8 working and 4 spares in the glove box.
     
  7. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    [SimpsonsOldGuyVoice]"That's a paddlin'."[/SimpsonsOldGuyVoice]
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I had no idea they still sold leaded car gasoline.
     
  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Again to my knowlege Mogas works just fine in aircraft as long as altitude does not become excessive (low pressure low BP) and also all Avgas is leaded even the LL blends. No Lead Avgas is a big envirnomental issue.
     

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  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for the replies.
    This is relevant to a model of a USN aircraft in 1945 so I think green would be correct.

    An old erk who served with the RAF during the war is adamant that the British 100 octane fuel in 1940/41 was blue and it seems he may well have remembered correctly too, despite the passage of many years.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The British never had a specification for 91 or 91/96 fuel pre-war, they jumped from 87 to 100. The Americans did have a 91 octane specification fuel pre-war or during the war. And pre/early war the difference in US and British 100 octane ( that under 2% and over 20% aromatics thing) meant that they were most certainly NOT interchangeable, British fuel would eat (dissolve) American seals, gaskets and rubber tank liners.

    One would hope they used different colored fuel to prevent problems.
     
  12. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that what plagued the P-38 for awhile?

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    No, the Americans and British had standardized on a common 100/130 fuel specification by late 1941, I believe. Americans had flirted with a 100/125 specification for a while and a number of engines were rated on it but how much use it saw I don't know.
    P-38 problems came from a relaxed standard for 100/130 fuel that changed which aromatics or how much of certain aromatics were allowable. This was done to increase production of 100/130 fuel and while some of the relaxed blends meet the specification for octane rating or performance number at standard temperature and pressure they tended to fail in extreme cold and in the V-12 engine. The heavier aromatic compounds tended to separate out over time and at cold temperatures ( condensed out of the vapor mixture) in the longer, more convoluted intake tracts of the V-12 engines.
    The fact that the USAAF was instructing pilots to fly the P-38 for long range cruise opposite of the instructions provided by both Allison and Lockheed didn't help. High rpm and low boost meant the intake mixture was being over-cooled by the inter-cooler. Low rpm and higher boost giving the same power would have increased the charge temperature and helped prevent puddling of the fuel in the intake manifolds. It also would have lowered internal friction on the engine giving better range and less wear on the engines. But what do the engine and airframe maker know compared to the USAAF :)
     
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  14. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great info guys!
     
  15. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    when i was learning to fly someone put the wrong octane in the new 152 ( probably during a cross country ) and it ended up causing a complete engine rebuild....the owner wasnt happy.
     
  16. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Just as an aside, Ian Ponsford, who flew Spitfire XIVs with 130 Sqn during the war said this;

    "One big advantage that we had over the Germans was that we ran our aircraft on advanced fuels which gave us more power. The 150 octane fuel that we used was strange looking stuff as it was bright green and had an awful smell - it had to be heavily leaded to cope with the extra compression of the engine."
     
  17. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    According to the previous posts 100/130 was green and 100/150 was purple.

    I guess Mr. Ponsford didn't know about German C3 fuel. The compression of the engine didn't change, 6:1, but the boost pressure increased.
     
  18. Neil Stirling

    Neil Stirling Member

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  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Reading the analyses at the end of that document took me back :)
    Steve
     
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