Austria-based engine manufacturer Rotax (Booth SE-014) has always been, at its roots, about performance and efficiency. After delivering 49,000 Rotax 912 water-cooled, four-stroke Rotax 912 engines in the past 25 years the company is expanding the engine’s performance window once again with the introduction of the 912iS Sport at Sun ‘n’ Fun 2014. Several engines have already been shipped to OEMs, and the engine can be found on a new Kitfox at the company’s booth here at the show.
“We’ve improved the airbox and intake system,” explained Christian Mundigler, test pilot, sales and marketing at Rotax. “This increases torque, resulting in a maximum continuous power from 69kW on the 912iS to 72 kW. In real terms, the 912iS Sport will get you to 3,000 agl 30 seconds sooner than its predecessor [that’s 15 percent faster],” he told AIN. The engine sports a larger, now fabricated from aluminum airbox, new engine control unit and intake modifications. The results of the mods include higher cruise speeds, shorter takeoff runs and faster climbs to altitude, according to Mundigler. As far as efficiency goes, the Sport is billed as 30-percent more efficient than its already fuel-sipping ULS sibling. It also corrects radio noise issues that were problematic in some 912iS installations.
Mundigler was clearly happy as he announced that the recently introduced 912iS version of the engine may be modified, via kit, to become a Sport model. “Those first 500 912iS customers can retrofit their engines and upgrade with a special airbox kit that does not require removal of the engine for installation,” said Mundigler. Rotax will offer the material cost for the airbox kit for free until the end of October. After October it will charge €1,300 (approximately $1,800) for the kit. The airbox conversion could be done in about a day, according to Mundigler, but there are gearbox adjustments that must be performed (the overload clutch must be screwed down tighter to account for the additional torque).
Pricing on the 912iS Sport is being held the same as the 912iS (approx. $25,000, depending on the distributor) until October, at which point market pricing will apply.
To showcase its new engine, Rotax is donating one for the One Week Wonder project at AirVenture 2014.