Engineers & CAD Designers: Fuel of the Future (Don’t Let It Stink!)


If you’re something of a bad*ss, maybe you’ve woken up (to a predictably rough day at work), thrown back the covers and growled, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” But has anyone ever professed a fondness for the distinctive cat-pee smell of ammonia? We think not. However, someone had better come up with something — pretty darn quick — because unless they do, the future of aviation is doomed to smell like, well, urine (unless some genius aerospace engineer or CAD designer figures out a workaround).

Please engineer it so that our skies don’t smell like the men's room at an overcrowded pub on a Friday night.

A Tale of Two Gases

Depending on how many trips around the sun you’ve celebrated, you may recall when “unleaded” signs started showing up at gas pumps.

Automotive leaded gas was banned at the pumps in the mid-90s, but the aviation industry is still playing catch-up.

There is no known safe level of lead in the blood . . . — Prof. Amy R. Pritchett, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Thunder From Down Under

Ammonia is still a popular cleaning solution because it’s inexpensive and plentiful. But it’s destined for greater things.

Of all the potential avgas replacement fuels, ammonia requires the simplest engine conversions.

Ammonia: Odiferous Lifeblood of the Future?

Christof and Helmut Mayer’s goal is an ammonia-fueled flight by mid-2023.

Helping You Help the World

If you’re the guy designing our future, we’d prefer it if you weren’t frustrated or uninspired.