Most American pilots have never heard of LSA Engines GmbH, but neither had most American pilots heard of a Rotax aircraft engine 10 years ago unless they rode a snowmobile or had flown in Europe. Now Rotax dominates the light sport aircraft (LSA) engine market. LSA-Engines managers in Berlin hope to challenge Rotax.
Starting in 2016 you'll hear more about LSA-Engines models LSA850-105 and LSA850-130, which you might guess are engines of 105 horsepower and 130 hp. They will cost 12,850 euros and 18,750 euros, respectively. Based on a May 15 exchange rate, the 150-hp engine costs $14,500 and the 130-hp engine costs $21,250. Certification as an LSA engine won't begin until 2016, but early deliveries may go to the experimental market.
Lest you ask, "What chance have they got?," consider this. They are basing their product on the Weber Motor MPE 850, and you'll notice the "850" number is the same as in the LSA designation. OK, you haven't heard of Weber Motor either. The Berlin company started in the automotive world and has facilities in the United States.
Weber does not serve the aviation market but does cooperate with LSA-Engines by providing complete subassemblies. Both engines each weigh 187 pounds in ready-to-run configuration. That includes a water cooler, intercooler, exhaust system, exhaust muffler, and all liquids. The engines don't meet emission standards for roads, but the company is working on a future variant that will.
The MPE 850 is a two-cylinder, four-stroke engine of 850 cubic centimeters. MPE stands for multi-purpose engine. The company claims its four-stroke engine has a power-to-weight ratio similar to a two-stroke engine, but without typical disadvantages of high fuel consumption, pollution emissions, a short service life, and noise.