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  • Re: Mechanical raison or not ?

    by » one month ago


    Hi RW,

    Thanks for the history on this, you have a crazy amount of Rotax knowledge stored away in your brain.


  • Re: Mechanical raison or not ?

    by » one month ago


    "In the USA, perhaps the world, the first OEM to switch from the Rotax 2 strokes to 4 stroke in volume was Kitfox aircraft.  They were the first to sell over 100 aircraft with the new engines and other OEM quickly made the switch for many light experimental kit aircraft." 

    It took Sonex another 34 years to decide to "support" the installation of 912's in their airframes. This is not to suggest that they were not being installed, they were, mainly by home builders outside the USA.


  • Re: Mechanical raison or not ?

    by » one month ago


    Hi Sean

    i knew the principals of Sonex.  Dad loved the idea of the VW power as he was a great home builder supporter.  He loved the Aero Vee engines. I had a friend who made one Sonex with a 914 and it was a rocketship however as you stated Sonex was not interested.  If you look back 30 plus years ago Rotax was the new kid on the block.  Most OEM kit builders of the time considered them just snowmobile engines and not serious aircraft power for the firewall forward.  There is a long list of power unit suppliers who have come and gone in that time frame.  Literally dozens of auto powered conversions, some of which are still selling.  Where Rotax really shines is they actually did the work and made engines that were to aircraft standards and proved they would give the power and reliability.  (designs had to meet JAR part 22 H and later the EASA equivalent of FAA Part33 even if they were sold as experimental) Rotax also had a collection of some of the best distributors and support services worldwide also.  Many years ago I meet Bert Flood while he came on one of his annual trips to Canada to buy things for his business back home.  Some distributors went that extra mile to support their people.  We still have a number of the family descendants running a few of the distributors and Service Centres in many countries.  

    The unique thing that happened in the American market was the path that the distributor took.  They would not sell to the OEM or Service Centre unless they took training.  Rotax also provided free support documents to the distributors.  The Americas distributor took that one step more and offered them all online free.  The last part was just revolutionary when they did it as the only way from the legacy suppliers was from subscription CDs that you had to get in the mail before that.  While commonplace now it for sure was not 30 years ago. 

     

    Cheers


    Thank you said by: Sean Griffin

  • Re: Mechanical raison or not ?

    by » one month ago


    Thanks RW,

    Speculation: Rotax probably had  a far easier time of entering the World market than entering the USA  market. I am sure there were several/many factors for this, not the least the availability of LyCon's (& derivatives) in the US, compared with other markets AND the conservatism of the flying world.

    Despite Rotax 9's, now well proven, record for reliability/excellence, we (Australia) still have LAIM's and pilots, who consider the Rotax 9's to be overly complicated/difficult engines to maintain/work on, "turn their nose up" at the very suggestion of using one. 


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