Paul's pick this month is from 1935 Popular Aviation feature titled "Will Alcohol Mixtures Rule?"
A few months ago I wrote a short article relative to ethanol that is added to auto fuel. This has become a problem for those who have approval to use auto fuel in their aircraft, but that excludes auto fuel that has had ethanol added to it. I suggested that what could be done (possibly) is to make the fuel with ethanol be compatible for aircraft use - not an easy solution at this time. But with many great minds out working together, maybe there’s a possibility for a brighter future.
I know when we started our original auto fuel tests with my homebuilt Cub; there were a great deal of negative comments. I still hear them, but we did win FAA approval for auto fuel use in a great many aircraft in the general aviation fleet. Then came the ethanol problem.
I received a dozen responses to my plea for your input - with only one person from Colorado who is using fuel with ethanol. I thought the ethanol problem for aircraft use had long gone by the wayside. But I remembered that many, many years ago - gosh, about the time I left eighth grade - I had read something about corn being turned into alcohol and then added to fuel, allowing the formation of water in the gas tank and how this could cause a forced landing. Even to a kid with his head in the clouds, it didn’t seem like this would be a good idea.
So I got out my collection of magazines, and I found the article. Times haven’t changed when it comes to lobbyists for a purpose, as you will see. This article was featured in Popular Aviation magazine (“Will Alcohol Mixtures Rule?” June 1935, now Flying magazine). Read the article.