March 28, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Officials of Rotax Aircraft Engines, the company supplying engines for ultralights in Europe and light sport aircraft in the United States, expect certification of the new four-cylinder 100-horsepower 912 iS fuel-injected engine in late summer.
The engine uses control technology by Rockwell Collins and could result in fuel savings for aircraft operating at 5,000 feet msl and higher. It is expected to cost $4,000 to $5,000 more than the carbureted 100-hp 912S engine. ASTM engine compliance used by LSA could come as soon as June.
For aircraft constantly operating at higher altitudes, fuel savings could amount to 20 percent, the company claimed. It would mean the aircraft is burning only four gallons per hour, Rotax officials told reporters during Sun `n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. The fuel savings are accomplished by having the computer-controlled engine operate at lean of peak. It is a port injection engine.
Rotax officials said at 140 pounds, it is claimed to be the lightest of any fuel-injected engine. The installed weight is 10 to 15 pounds heavier than the carbureted 912 S and ULS models.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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