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Kero subsitute?


My recollection of Kero powered lighting engines was that lighting kero caused them to knock quite badly under load,but power Kero was OK, as it included an anti-knock additive. Some
early engines before power kero, used a water injection system
to prevent knocking.
Ian Mattner's fuel recipe of one third petrol in lighting kero, jet fuel or heating oil (all much the same) sounds best to me, as you gain the anti-knock advantage and some more volatile fractions which I am sure the power kero used to contain
Regards, Combustor.:O


I was going to say that anyone who flys aircraft and buys their fuel by the drum could probably help you out. As stated before in this thread stored fuel has a shelf life. I know that the local NPWS keep fuel in drums for when they have to fuel up helicopters for fire fighting duties. Once it is out of date they then use it for lighting the fires for back burning. Surely some could be sourced from them.


Thankyou to all who have helped me out.... Ive been flat out the last few weeks but am going to make friends at the areodrome.

Cheers, Will

Phil P

Last Subscription Date

I have been involved in the aviation business for 45 years. Until the low sulfur diesel came on the market the only difference between Jet A-1 and Diesel 2 was the cleanliness of the Jet A and the moisture content. Jet A was lower in sulfur and dehydrated to help prevent freezing at altitude. Some aircraft are approved for use of Artic Diesel if needed.

We have been using Jet A in the diesel ground support equipment for years. The only result we observed prior to the introduction of low sulfur diesel was accelerated wear in the injection system of the no-rail type injection system (Cummings & Cat). The GM two stroke diesels use a rail type injection system and we didn’t have any problems with them.

My wife just purchased a Chevy Duramax. After we have some mileage on it I intend to start running it on Jet A from our sump tanks.

In the US off-road diesel is much less expensive and it has a purple dye in it to keep people from putting in their highway vehicles.

Phil P


I was having trouble running my hornsby and talked to an old fellow who told me to use a mix of 6 ltrs of lighting kero to 4 ltrs diesel. Also had my cylinder lubricating oil all wrong and he put me onto elite 50 (english oil) and is running alot better.

Merv C

What was the trouble when running your Hornsby on kerosene?
I ran my Hornsby 3 1/2 hp on kerosene, but without a load it would cool down and stop after about an hour or so. I have talked to a Hornsby owner in England who ran his on home heating oil, which I believe is similar to the mix you describe, He says his would run all day without load. English weather is colder than here and certainly colder than Australia.
According to my wall chart my engine is set to run on "Russian oil". I have not been able to find out just what
" Russian oil" is. If it is to be run on "American oil" it should be fitted with a different hot bulb. The chart only mentions the specific gravity. There are different standards of "American oil" according to where where it came from, eg Californian oil Pennsylvania oil etc.
As this is from 100 years ago I have no doubt that modern kerosene, A1 or even petrol is different to the fuels used then. It seems to be about specific gravity, calories BTU's and flash point's I am sure if we could match the old fuels our engines would run better.
Unfortunately my Hornsby's hot bulb is worn out and has to be replaced before it will run again. I am looking into that at the moment.