BRP Rotax Shows New 912iS Engine to U.S. Market
BRP-Rotax shows its new 912iS engine in the U.S. for the first time this week at Lakeland.
By Marino Boric, EAA 1069644, for EAA.org
March 29, 2012 - At a press event for international aircraft manufacturers and journalists 19 days ago in Austria, BRP-Rotax unveiled its newly configured 912iS engine. At Sun 'n Fun this week, the fuel-injected 912iS was launched to the U.S. market and remains on display at the BRP Rotax booth located in the LSA Mall.
BRP engineers said they modified more than 60 percent of the parts of the normally aspirated (carbureted version) 912 when installing fuel injection. Fuel is now injected in each cylinder by two independent fuel injectors that sit just above the intake valve, controlled by the dual electronic engine control unit (ECU). The ECU - developed by Rockwell Collins - also calculates the ideal ignition moment of the fuel-air mixture in each cylinder, performed by two spark plugs per cylinder driven by two independent sets of ignition coils. The result of this intensive calculation process in the ECU is the creation of optimal fuel and air mixture at any altitude.
In other words, the same aircraft now burns up to 21 percent less fuel (1 gallon/hour less) and has much longer flight range with lower operating costs and CO2 emissions. The new 912iS also has the same 2,000 hours TBO, using the same fuel and oil as the carbureted version.
Pilots and owners will also benefit from the wide use of electronics because there is no manual choke, carburetor icing can't occur, and the synchronization of carburetors is no longer required. Engine diagnosis is now car-like and should be easier than in the past.
Externally the 912iS has a new "green" look with green-painted cylinder head covers and green plastic covers for fuel rails and double fuel injectors. The whole engine package is now much shorter and more compact. Its top side is dominated by the plastic, car-like air box with a single throttle body and air filter.
The coolant path in the liquid-cooled heads was modified for better cooling, especially the exhaust valve. A new, higher-volume oil pump also contributes to the engine cooling.
There are three new boxes containing dual (electric) fuel pumps, the fuse box, and the ECU controller on board. The engine dry weight increased 9-15 pounds, to 140 pounds.
The 912iS has two alternators in a single block, one serving the ECU (16 amps) and the other serving the aircraft electrical system, with 30 amps/430 watts. Performance remains unchanged - 100 hp at 5,800 rpm.
Price is 14 to 17 percent higher than the 912S, but includes the stronger generator, the air intake, and exhaust system. Rotax already delivered almost 50 engines to 25 OEMs since December 2011; the mass production is slated to ramp up in May 2012.
Look for the 912iS at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 in the expanded BRP Rotax exhibit.