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Door Opens for Use of Rotax 503 in E-LSA Kits

Eric Tucker, technical director at Kodiak Research Ltd., has announced that the 50-hp Rotax 503 has been found to be compliant with the ASTM standards for use in special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA). No features or characteristics were found that would make the engine unsafe, provided it’s installed, operated, and maintained properly. Only engines with serial number 6479168 and higher are ASTM compliant. Engines made prior to the testing aren’t applicable, and the compliance statement isn’t retroactive.

Formerly, the smallest Rotax engine that could be used in an S-LSA was the 65-hp water-cooled Rotax 582. The significance of this development isn’t that we can expect to see many new S-LSA trainers using the Rotax 503; this development opens the door to production of lighter low-cost two-seat experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) kits for recreational fixed wings and trikes that would otherwise have to qualify for the 51 percent amateur-built requirement. Read the original compliance statement here and encourage your favorite manufacturer to produce an S-LSA version, which may help the prospects of an E-LSA kit.

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