December 12, 2013 - A STOL CH 750 recorded a first recently when it became the first Zenith kit aircraft to fly in North America powered by the new Rotax 912iS engine. The flight took place in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, and was a collaboration between kit supplier Zenith Aircraft Co., engine installer Rotech Research Canada Ltd., and airframe assembler Skytek Aircraft Services. Skytek also developed the firewall-forward package for completing the engine installation.
"We put 7.5 hours on the CH 750 on the first day and had no squawks," said Sebastien Heinz, president of Zenith Aircraft. "Both the aircraft and the engine performed flawlessly. Rotax has done it right."
The Rotax 912iS is a four-cylinder, four-stroke engine with opposed cylinders cooled by air and liquid. A dry sump features lubrication from a separate .8-gallon oil tank. Hydraulic valve tappets provide automatic adjustment. There are two redundant electronic fuel injection systems, an engine management system, dual electronic ignition, electric starter, and an integrated reduction gear. The 912iS has a 2,000-hour TBO.
The 912iS has considerably more redundancy, increased efficiency, reduced pilot workload, and is certifiable compared to the carbureted version. It operates without primers, carb heat, or mixture controls. The engine and accessories are monitored constantly by a built-in computer that alerts pilots to any issues that arise on the ground or in the air. The end result is a higher level of reliability and enhanced safety.
Zenith Aircraft offers the 912iS as an engine choice from a list of powerplants that includes the 100-hp 912 ULS, the turbo Rotax 914, the fuel-injected UL Power and Viking engines, as well as the Continental O-200 and the Lycoming O-235/233 engines. Each is suitable for the high-wing CH 750 series or low-wing CH 650 designs. For more information, visit the Zenith website.