Unauthorized Fuel Practice
The November–December 2005 issue of Army Logistician contained an informative
and interesting article. “PMCS: Key to Readiness During Deployment” was
well written and emphasized the need for preventive maintenance checks and
services to ensure equipment readiness. However, in the paragraph about fuel
systems, the author mentioned adding engine and transmission oil to diesel
fuel to reduce friction in the engine’s moving components. The author
did comment that this practice is not sanctioned by project managers or the
Army Materiel Command. An extensive amount of information has been distributed
to the field to inform Soldiers that adding oil products to fuel is not beneficial.
This “field remedy” first appeared during the first Gulf War in
1990 and 1991, when the Single Fuel Forward concept was introduced on a large
scale. At that time, the Army’s contractor-operated Southwest Research
Institute conducted laboratory testing to see if additions of oil products
would offer benefits. The testing revealed that adding up to 5 volume percent
of engine, transmission, and gear oils did not solve the friction problem.
These higher viscosity oils did not significantly increase the hydrodynamic
film strength (thickening of the aviation turbine fuel). The testing also proved
that engine oil, when added to the fuel, did not improve the lubricity of the
fuel but actually increased the level of wear.
It is unfortunate that some individuals continue to follow this unauthorized
Maurice E. Le Pera
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The photo that appeared on pages 28
and 29 of the November–December
issue of Army Logistician shows a CH–47D helicopter
from the 159th Aviation Regiment, not an MH–47
from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
We apologize for the error.