April 1, 2014
By Sarah Deener
Rotax BRP unveiled a new version of its 912 iS fuel-injected engine at Sun ‘n Fun that the company says offers a shorter takeoff run, a steeper climb rate, the best flight range in its class, and easier operations.
With the tag line “Stronger. Faster. Higher.” the Rotax 912 iS Sport has a modified airbox and intake system that improves its torque curve. Rotax’s Christian Mundigler said the Sport has up to 30-percent better fuel efficiency on average compared to the 912 ULS carbureted engine, as measured over a three-year period in flight school conditions.
The 912 iS Sport looks similar to the 912 iS but has a 27-mm higher airbox that is aluminum instead of plastic. A different software and new calibration support the upgraded engine, which will also be available as a retrofit for 912 iS owners. Rotax expects to achieve ASTM compliance and issue a service bulletin in mid-May to offer the upgrade to customers, although the engine has already been shipped to several manufacturers for display aircraft. A Kitfox with the engine is on display in front of the Rotax tent at Sun ‘n Fun.
Mundigler said Rotax will offer the engine for the same price as the 2013 912 iS through the end of October; pricing is available through distributors. For owners of the 912 iS, Rotax will provide the airbox kit for free for an upgrade until the end of October, so owners will only pay labor costs. After October, the manufacturer suggested retail price for the airbox kit is about 1,300 euros.
In addition to the performance benefits of the 912 iS Sport, Rotax said the engine will have lower maintenance costs than its carbureted predecessor because there is no need to service or synchronize carburetors and the engine has a computer-based electronic diagnostic system.
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated private pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.
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