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Trimeresurus
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Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:32 am

I heard that jet fuel is similar to diesel in structure(surely smells very close too) and can be used in diesel engines(but not the other way around, since diesel fuel would be a bit too thick for a jet engine's injection system), and that's what the US Military does in it's overseas bases. Is this used at civilian airports too? Since there's already a huge supply of jet fuel, saving on storage space and transportation cost by not needing an extra diesel storage on the airport.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:42 am

Regular diesel / gasoline. Most airport vehicles aren't certified for other propellants (even if they could run on jet-A).
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:16 am

Older diesel engines certainly can/could run on Jet A or kerosene. The emission control advances of the last 15 or 20 years have significantly reduced the variety of fuels that can run acceptably in diesel engines. No gasoline vehicle can run on diesel or Jet A.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 4:10 am

Jet A lacks the lubricant qualities needed by diesels for the fuel injection systems. While it’ll work for awhile, pumps will suffer.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:11 am

The military doesn’t use jet a. The army and Air Force use JP-8/F34 as part of the DoD single fuel concept. the navy uses JP5/F44 for its aircraft afloat due to its higher flashpoint, with its ships using NATO F76, using JP5 if F76 is not available.

Aircraft coming from ashore will most likely have JP8. once recovered aboard, will be refueled with JP5.
There is a limited quantity of mogas carried onboard, but it’s stored on jettison racks.
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fr8mech
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:59 pm

At previous operators, we would use sump fuel in our GPU’s and air starts. Now, sump fuel is taken away by Plant Engineering. I’ve no clue what they do with it.

Can the equipment run on it? Yes. Is it ‘safe’ to do so? I’ve no clue, I’m not a diesel mechanic.
When seconds count, the police are minutes away, or may not come at all.
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NWAESC
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:43 pm

Our tugs & belts run on gasoline. Other equipment--pushbacks, ground power units, A/C carts, and air starts--takes diesel.

We used to put Jet A in the back engines of our deice trucks, but now just use diesel.
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:06 pm

When I was a contract ramp agent for DL at PWM, we fueled our diesel ground equipment with Jet A. Especially the push back tug.

As I understand, you can use JET-A in diesel equipment, but it lacks the lubrication of diesel if used long term.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:08 pm

Woodreau wrote:
The military doesn’t use jet a. The army and Air Force use JP-8/F34 as part of the DoD single fuel concept. the navy uses JP5/F44 for its aircraft afloat due to its higher flashpoint, with its ships using NATO F76, using JP5 if F76 is not available.

Aircraft coming from ashore will most likely have JP8. once recovered aboard, will be refueled with JP5.
There is a limited quantity of mogas carried onboard, but it’s stored on jettison racks.


Isn’t military Jet fuel basically the same thing? Just with a lower freeze point? I mean, military jets use Jet A when they come into a civilian field for refuel.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:18 pm

Besides all the technical issues there are legal issues. At least where I live, jet fuel is taxed differently to diesel or gasoline.
 
N737ER
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:24 pm

7 years ago when I worked on the ramp (Express Carrier at a Major Hub):

Bag tugs - CNG (~30-40 units) and Electric Battery (~15-20 units) were dominant. ~6 units used Diesel
Beltloaders - Electric Battery (30ish units) was primary, with 3-6 units using Diesel
Pushbacks, Mobile GPUs & A/C Carts - Exclusively Diesel

Never was I aware of any of our Diesel vehicles being fuelled with Jet-A. Not sure if it could've been done either as the airport was primarily Hydrants, with an area for the Tankers to fill up quite a distance away from the terminal.
 
nws2002
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:29 pm

Horstroad wrote:
Besides all the technical issues there are legal issues. At least where I live, jet fuel is taxed differently to diesel or gasoline.


Pretty sure this is why they told us to stop fueling diesel GSE with jet fuel. Same as using the red farm fuel in trucks that are not just used around a farm.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:13 pm

pwm2txlhopper wrote:

Isn’t military Jet fuel basically the same thing? Just with a lower freeze point? I mean, military jets use Jet A when they come into a civilian field for refuel.


Anecdotally, back in the early 90’s, as Desert Shield/Desert Storm were spinning up, and our Jumbos were operating more and more CRAF missions, we started seeing a lot more APU problems. At one point, at least half our Jumbo fleet had the APU’s on the hook.

Suspicion was, that the military fuel used, had some different content that was gumming up the APU fuel filters, but not the engine filters.

We’d replace the filter, and send the aircraft on its merry way.
When seconds count, the police are minutes away, or may not come at all.
It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person. ~B. Murray
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Okcflyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:23 pm

Woodreau wrote:
The military doesn’t use jet a. The army and Air Force use JP-8/F34 as part of the DoD single fuel concept. the navy uses JP5/F44 for its aircraft afloat due to its higher flashpoint, with its ships using NATO F76, using JP5 if F76 is not available.

Aircraft coming from ashore will most likely have JP8. once recovered aboard, will be refueled with JP5.
There is a limited quantity of mogas carried onboard, but it’s stored on jettison racks.


Point of Order: This is no longer true when stateside. By 2014, the Air Force completed it's switch over Jet A F24 (from JP8 / F34) with additive blend as a cost saving measure.

https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... urce/GovD/
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:27 pm

While the de-icing truck engines are likely diesel, gasoline, or natural gas, what fuel do the fluid heaters use? I imagine that's an easy one to use Jet A in -- if the logistics of having separate fuel tanks and method of filling the trucks make sense.

Does anyone have a cost comparison per gallon between bulk Jet A and #2 diesel on approximately the same day?
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:30 pm

nws2002 wrote:
Horstroad wrote:
Besides all the technical issues there are legal issues. At least where I live, jet fuel is taxed differently to diesel or gasoline.


Pretty sure this is why they told us to stop fueling diesel GSE with jet fuel. Same as using the red farm fuel in trucks that are not just used around a farm.


If the vehicle travels on public roads, is titled and tagged as a vehicle, then that absolutely that makes sense. Thinking of catering trucks specifically since many of those leave the air field between loads.

If the vehicle never leaves the ramp and isn't tagged/titled as a road vehicle, (belt loader, tug, etc), I cannot imagine how the road tax of diesel is a requirement. I imagine it's more a technical limitation to reduce the procurement cost of speciality fuel & engine components (think injectors, pumps, etc) rated for it (these are essentially military grade and potentially dual-use classified, which makes trade compliance more tricky), and exhaust treatment systems technical limitations.
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:09 pm

I'm not sure if this is still a thing, but years ago there was a lot of talk in the GA market of developing aircraft that run on Diesel (purportedly they were more efficient than their AvGas counterparts). One of the chief benefits -- or so it was said -- was that these aircraft could run just as well on Jet-A, where it was more plentiful than AvGas.

Anyone remember that? I don't know if this materialized or not. Whether it did or not: As has been mentioned that Diesel provides more lubrication than Jet-A, was this taken into account with the engine's design parameters?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:27 pm

There’s been a few, but not much success.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:41 pm

rjsampson wrote:
I'm not sure if this is still a thing, but years ago there was a lot of talk in the GA market of developing aircraft that run on Diesel (purportedly they were more efficient than their AvGas counterparts). One of the chief benefits -- or so it was said -- was that these aircraft could run just as well on Jet-A, where it was more plentiful than AvGas.

Anyone remember that? I don't know if this materialized or not. Whether it did or not: As has been mentioned that Diesel provides more lubrication than Jet-A, was this taken into account with the engine's design parameters?


As GalaxyFlyer says, diesel pistons are a thing. However AFAIK the engines tend to be much heavier, and they need a reduction gearbox.

The Diamond Da-42 is a reasonably successful example of the type. The diesel versions have much significantly better endurance than the avgas version.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:18 am

Starlionblue wrote:
rjsampson wrote:
I'm not sure if this is still a thing, but years ago there was a lot of talk in the GA market of developing aircraft that run on Diesel (purportedly they were more efficient than their AvGas counterparts). One of the chief benefits -- or so it was said -- was that these aircraft could run just as well on Jet-A, where it was more plentiful than AvGas.

Anyone remember that? I don't know if this materialized or not. Whether it did or not: As has been mentioned that Diesel provides more lubrication than Jet-A, was this taken into account with the engine's design parameters?


As GalaxyFlyer says, diesel pistons are a thing. However AFAIK the engines tend to be much heavier, and they need a reduction gearbox.

The Diamond Da-42 is a reasonably successful example of the type. The diesel versions have much significantly better endurance than the avgas version.


I know that a few of these have been engined with Diesel power... What I was wondering was weather or not there was any truth among the articles I had read several years ago, that they were perfectly able to also run on Jet-A. Has anyone heard that? Can they?
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
mxaxai
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:26 am

rjsampson wrote:
I know that a few of these have been engined with Diesel power... What I was wondering was weather or not there was any truth among the articles I had read several years ago, that they were perfectly able to also run on Jet-A. Has anyone heard that? Can they?

Correct, the DA-42's engine (AE300) is certified for both Diesel and Jet-A.
https://www.austroengine.com/en/products
 
meecrob
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:23 pm

The entire point of the diesel/jet-A Diamonds is that 100LL was roughly double the price of Jet-A in Europe when they started the project. The extra range was a "bonus" (you know what I mean if you've sat in one for over 4 hours non-stop).
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:31 am

Diesel road vehicles will run perfectly well on Jet A, but long term problems will arise:

1. Jet A is an inferior lubricator compared to diesel fuel. Injection pump will wear faster. Factory warranty may be void.

2. During the later years formulation of diesel fuel has been changed in practically all developed countries. Max sulfur content is now 10 PPM (U.S. 15 PPM). Max sulfur in jet fuel is 300 PPM. Often it is much lower than that, but still in the hundreds. When road diesel sulfur content was reduced, then also engine lubrication oil was reformulated. Chemical additives to neutralize sulforic acid were reduced. That doesn't fit to jet fuel's higher sulfur content. Sulforic acid will be produced and mixed into the engine oil. Depending on driving conditions (especially many cold starts) that means accelerated engine bearing corrosion and premature bearing failure.

There are ways around the problems.

1. Mix 1% or 2% engine lubrication oil into the jet fuel for the diesel engine. And change your engine lubricating oil 3-4 times faster than manufacturer recommendation. And everything (except factory warranty) will be just fine.

2. If you live close to an ocean you may find some diesel engine oil formulated for high sulfur fuel and sold to fishermen. But beware that in some more closed waters such as North Sea or Baltic Sea low sulfur fuel has recently for environmental reasons become mandatory also for shipping.

You may also just ignore the whole thing and throw your diesel machine away when it quits after ten years, instead of nursing it properly and operate it for thirty-forty-fifty years.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
jetstar
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:27 pm

Way back in my Lockheed JetStar maintenance days in the early 1980’s, I had a 1980 diesel VW Rabbit and I ran it exclusively on JetA for at least 2 years. The JetStar had 14 sump drains in the wings and 2 in each wing aux tank and I would drain these sumps at least once a week. Just draining a quart from each sump I could easily get 4 to 5 gallons a JetA a week and considering the Rabbit got 50 miles per gallon on the highway I had more than enough fuel to cover all my driving needs.

Any extra fuel I had that week, sometimes I had a heavy hand on the drains I took home and poured it into my oil tank for my furnace. My boss, the Chief Pilot knew what I was doing with the sumped fuel and he was okay with it, fuel is cheap and corrosion damage from water in the fuel is expensive to repair.

I would let the fuel sit overnight in a 5 gallon fuel can to let any water in the fuel settle to the bottom of the can and then pour it to another clean 5 gallon fuel can. To make up the lack of oil for fuel injector lubrication, I would add 2 to 3 ounces of engine oil to the clean can before I poured in the jet fuel and then shake up the can to mix up the fuel and oil.

As a precaution I installed a small marine diesel engine fuel filter which had a glass sight bowl and a drain on the bottom of the bowl just in case there was any water still in the fuel.

I never had a problem in those 2 years running jet fuel in my Rabbit, fuel economy was down about 3 to 4 miles per gallon because Jet A is basically number 1 oil while Diesel is number 2 oil. Jet A also has to flow at minus 35 to 40 degrees so I didn’t have any of the cold weather fuel problems associated with #2 diesel fuel.

My Rabbit also ran great on #2 heating oil as well. This was in the days before non road #2 fuel oil had to be dyed red and computers were installed on diesel engines.

JetStar
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:49 pm

A whole lot of mechanics at KHPN did the same thing at the time.
 
jetstar
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:39 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
A whole lot of mechanics at KHPN did the same thing at the time.


There was a whole bunch of Chief of Maintenances, mechanics and even pilots at HPN (White Plains NY) which has a large concentration of corporate airplanes based there who had diesel cars, and like myself bought them because of access to jet fuel, most of us had VW diesel Rabbits, but some had larger diesel cars

I knew of a corporate flight department that had a setup where they had a 55 gallon drum with an electric pump and a fuel hose nozzle set up to pump the jet fuel into their cars. I worked in a large hanger and we were not allowed to store jet fuel in a drum so I had a few 5 gallon gas cans and at home behind my garage I had a 55 gallon plastic drum and a siphon hose and stored the extra fuel there. It was no secret as why there were a lot of diesel cars in the parking lot.

Also in the 1980’s kerosene heaters were very popular and one of my company pilot’s had 2 of them so I would fill his gas cans as well.

I ran my car and made a sizable dent in my homes fuel oil bill for 2 years just from sumping fuel from the JetStar, 18 sump drains, a quart to half a gallon out of each sump drain weekly, it was just like milking a cow.

Legally you cannot put sump fuel back into the airplane and it has to be disposed of in accordance with EPA regulations and I can honestly say I complied with the law and disposed of the sump fuel properly, it went right into my car or home fuel tanks.

That was one perk from my job then.

JetStar
 
N1120A
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:59 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s been a few, but not much success.


LOL, really? Tell that to Diamond, who have had such success with diesel that they stopped building 100LL DA40s. The DA40, DA42, DA62 and upcoming DA50 all use diesel engines and operate quite nicely on Jet-A.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:08 am

N1120A wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s been a few, but not much success.


LOL, really? Tell that to Diamond, who have had such success with diesel that they stopped building 100LL DA40s. The DA40, DA42, DA62 and upcoming DA50 all use diesel engines and operate quite nicely on Jet-A.


A fine aircraft, but early DA-42s have had issues in hot weather. A number of gearboxes seized up in places like Australia, prompting conversions to Lycoming powered AvGas engines.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:42 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
N1120A wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s been a few, but not much success.


LOL, really? Tell that to Diamond, who have had such success with diesel that they stopped building 100LL DA40s. The DA40, DA42, DA62 and upcoming DA50 all use diesel engines and operate quite nicely on Jet-A.


A fine aircraft, but early DA-42s have had issues in hot weather. A number of gearboxes seized up in places like Australia, prompting conversions to Lycoming powered AvGas engines.


The Thielert was never as good an engine as the Austro Diesels are now. I've not heard of any major issues with the engines on DA62s.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
superbizzy73
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:51 pm

Want to use Jet A in your diesel motor? Marvel Mystery Oil is your friend. As has been noted, the biggest difference between Jet A and ULSD is the lubricity properties. Even modern diesel needs an injection of lubricity when it is loaded onto tanker trucks for delivery to fuel stations. We used to run our fuel trucks (only on the ramps, not on the public roads) with sump fuel we would get from doing daily water draws from our trucks, tanks, and filters. We would let it sit in a tank that was on a stand for a couple of days, drain the residual water from the bottom of the tank (there was never very much), then use gravity to fill up the fuel trucks. Add some of that Mystery Oil, and away we go. Never seemed to ever have an issue with it. As to whether there was any other issues (the $ kind), that I'm not sure. Also not sure what they do there nowadays...haven't been there in 20 years.
 
jetstar
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:50 pm

superbizzy73 wrote:
Want to use Jet A in your diesel motor? Marvel Mystery Oil is your friend. As has been noted, the biggest difference between Jet A and ULSD is the lubricity properties. Even modern diesel needs an injection of lubricity when it is loaded onto tanker trucks for delivery to fuel stations. We used to run our fuel trucks (only on the ramps, not on the public roads) with sump fuel we would get from doing daily water draws from our trucks, tanks, and filters. We would let it sit in a tank that was on a stand for a couple of days, drain the residual water from the bottom of the tank (there was never very much), then use gravity to fill up the fuel trucks. Add some of that Mystery Oil, and away we go. Never seemed to ever have an issue with it. As to whether there was any other issues (the $ kind), that I'm not sure. Also not sure what they do there nowadays...haven't been there in 20 years.


Many of the mechanics at HPN who had diesel’s mixed Marvel Mystery oil into the jet fuel for their cars.

I used it as well at times in my diesel Rabbit because it is a very good fuel additive, even for gas engines, it’s been around for many years.

JetStar
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Do ground vehicles in airports run on jet fuel or regular diesel?

Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:16 pm

jetstar wrote:
superbizzy73 wrote:
Want to use Jet A in your diesel motor? Marvel Mystery Oil is your friend. As has been noted, the biggest difference between Jet A and ULSD is the lubricity properties. Even modern diesel needs an injection of lubricity when it is loaded onto tanker trucks for delivery to fuel stations. We used to run our fuel trucks (only on the ramps, not on the public roads) with sump fuel we would get from doing daily water draws from our trucks, tanks, and filters. We would let it sit in a tank that was on a stand for a couple of days, drain the residual water from the bottom of the tank (there was never very much), then use gravity to fill up the fuel trucks. Add some of that Mystery Oil, and away we go. Never seemed to ever have an issue with it. As to whether there was any other issues (the $ kind), that I'm not sure. Also not sure what they do there nowadays...haven't been there in 20 years.


Many of the mechanics at HPN who had diesel’s mixed Marvel Mystery oil into the jet fuel for their cars.

I used it as well at times in my diesel Rabbit because it is a very good fuel additive, even for gas engines, it’s been around for many years.

JetStar


J.C Whitney catalog, anyone? :D

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