GAMI’s STCs for 100 octane no-lead gasoline and the continuing escalation in vintage used-plane values were the talk of EAA’s AirVenture 2021 show in Oshkosh, which concludes today.

GAMI announced during the week that it has received two supplemental type certificates authorizing the use of its G100UL high-octane unleaded avgas in “virtually all piston aircraft engines.” Highlight’s from AOPA’s excellent article on the topic:

  • The fuel can be mixed with 100LL.
  • Because of the lack of lead, over time, the company said the need for oil changes might be cut in half.
  • The gas won’t be available soon.

Read more in the AOPA article and watch a video of the interview at AirVenture here:

You can also skim though the PDFs of a forum given on the topic here:

Lastly, follow updates on this topic on GAMI’s website here:

Reaction to the announcement was cautious optimism. Some pilots are wary of the idea. Others are excited and ready to roll, saying they trust that the new product has been properly vetted.

GAMI says the answers to its most-common questions are 1) There will be no modifications necessary to use G100UL avgas, and 2) It will cost 60-85 cents more per gallon than 100LL.

“I’ve been waiting for no-lead avgas for 10 years,” said veteran pilot and Piper Owner Society member Eric Panning. “The real advantage of no-lead avgas, if and when it does come, you’ll have the ability to potentially extend engine life cycles, and attain more efficiency by using modern automotive oils that you can’t now.”

Technology also is taking a leap forward, according to Electroair. Panning said he’s excited that “Electroair is very close to getting certification for dual mag applications, where you replace both magnetos with electric ignition, and that’d be pretty much revolutionary for the electronic ignition space. That would mean reduced maintenance cycles related to magnetos, higher fuel efficiency, higher cruise speeds, and better altitude performance.” 

The other main topic of discussion at the show was the continued escalation of used-plane prices, particularly Cessnas. The price for 172s and 182s is up so much this calendar year that it’s hard to put a percentage on it, but some shoppers say vintage used-plane prices are up as much as 40%. The most common question at the Piper Owner Society booth was “can you find me a used plane for a decent price?” and variations thereof.

Story continues after the photo slideshow with the EAA press release.

Photos below by Scott Sherer. Click on a photo for a popup slideshow.

EAA’s Press Release

Comment from EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton: 

  • “This was perhaps the most challenging set of circumstances we’ve ever faced as an organization to make the event happen. I could not be more proud of our volunteers, staff, and participants on the way they came together to exceed our expectations and make AirVenture 2021 a truly memorable experience.”

Attendance: Approximately 608,000 – Only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000 and within 5 percent of 2019’s record total.  Comment from Pelton:

  • “We went into this year not knowing what AirVenture would look like and how big of an event was possible. The aviation community spoke loudly, though – it was ready to come to Oshkosh and we were happy that we could welcome them. Our theme was ‘The Wait is Over,’ and indeed it was. And the wait was worth it. There was joy and excitement throughout the grounds and it set the stage for the return of AirVenture, making us very excited for the future.”

Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 16,378 aircraft operations in the 10-day period from July 22-31, which is an average of approximately 116 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open.

Total showplanes: 3,176 included: A record 1,420 vintage aircraft registered, plus 1,089 homebuilt aircraft, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights, and 27 rotorcraft.

Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.

Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.

Commercial exhibitors: 747.

Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,055 sessions hosted throughout the week.

Social Media, Internet and Mobile: More than 18.95 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, with engagement of 1.08 million; EAA video clips during the event were viewed 3.48 million times.

International guests: Despite travel restrictions that greatly limited the number of attendees from other nations, EAA still welcomed visitors from 66 countries during the week.

The Gathering shines: The EAA Aviation Foundation’s annual event to support its aviation education programs attracted more than 500 people and raised more than $1.7 million dollars that will be focused on EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation.

Media: 567 media representatives on-site, from four continents.

Economic impact*: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). * – based on 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study

What’s ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 (July 25-31, 2022)?  Comment from Pelton: “Planning is well underway for next year’s event, including discussions during AirVenture 2021 about possible features and attractions for 2022. We also look forward to welcoming more international visitors next year to return AirVenture to a truly global reunion. In the next few months, we will be finalizing highlights in all areas to make the 69th EAA fly-in convention the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”