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July 30, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
Rotax 912 iS engines are dominating the light sport aircraft marketplace with a combination of technological advancement and operational simplicity.
More than 400 of the 100-horsepower engines have been shipped in the first year since they were introduced, and 21 aircraft manufacturers are using the fuel-injected engines on 26 different designs.
The 912 iS has computerized engine controllers that allow it to run far leaner burning less fuel than carbureted versions. The company claims actual fuel consumption is reduced 30 percent for training aircraft and 36 percent for those that typically fly at altitudes above 8,000 feet msl.
The fuel-injected models also aren’t susceptible to carburetor ice, have fewer moving parts, and are simpler to start in cold weather. The 912 iS is programmed to run with a rich mixture setting at full power, then switch to a lean-of-peak mixture when power is reduced to 97 percent or below.
About 88 percent of all light sport designs use Rotax engines, company officials said.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Aircraft Power and Fuel,
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