Rotax has long dominated the lighter aircraft space with a series of engines over many decades. Now, the Austrian leader is winning converts all over the aviation spectrum with its modern and potent 915iS engine.
Producing 141 horsepower from four horizontal cylinders is a sophisticated accomplishment employing turbocharging, intercooling, and fuel injection.
Able to lift the coming, new Mosaic LSA, even four seaters, 915iS has power to spare and can maintain that power up to higher altitudes.
Since 1973, BRP-Powertrain's Rotax Aircraft Engines is approaching 200,000 deliveries. Their line of 9-series four-stroke aviation engines has logged tens of million hours of successful operation with more than 50,000 units shipped. Going beyond aviation, BRP has produced more than ten million engines.
The Rotax 912ULS engine broke ground using just 83 cubic inches to provide the same 100 horsepower as the 200 cubic-inch Continental O-200 engine, for example. Along with liquid cooling, smaller displacement and reduction gear box, the Rotax 9-series design keeps the engines physically smaller yet the powerplants also weigh significantly less than other popular light aircraft engines.
Seen nearby, Rotax 912iS engine debuted in 2012. It is exceptionally fuel efficient while also offering robust power for a majority of the world's Light-Sport Aircraft. Read more about this powerplant or you can watch this video.
You may also wish to read a contrast of 915iS to 912iS flown on the same day at Rotax headquarters airfield (article was written five years ago; the 915iS is much better established now and has become a leading seller).
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP), a privately-held company, is a world leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorized recreational vehicles. Its portfolio of brands and products includes: Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and boats, Evinrude and Johnson outboard engines, Can-Am all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles and roadsters, as well as Rotax engines. BRP products are distributed in more than 100 countries.
Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Lynx, Evinrude, Johnson, Can-Am, E-TEC, Rotax and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Phone: (01143) 7246-6010Gunskirchen, A-4623
Last summer, when EAA AirVenture Oshkosh exploded with news that FAA released Mosaic, nearly all the attention was on increased weight and speed, and capabilities like retractable gear, controllable props, even multiengine or turbine aircraft.
I write about affordable aviation whenever interesting material is available. This website will eventually (probably by August or September) move to the AffordableAviation.com domain that I purchased many years ago.
Oshkosh is nearly here again so it must be seaplane flying time.
When this series started, Icon’s shapely A5 LSA seaplane topped the list.
At Aero Friedrichshafen 2023, visitors saw numerous aircraft that could qualify as Mosaic Light-Sport Aircraft or mLSA.
If the bright green didn’t catch your eye, the unusual placement of the propeller probably did.
In the last couple years a rivalry erupted among companies in Europe aiming to be the fastest LSA-type aircraft*.
All week at Sun and Fun 2023 my eye kept drifting to a rather distinctive gyroplane.
CubCrafters has never made an aircraft powered by Rotax. Images accompanying this article portray their very first example using the 9-series engine in a model intended for production.
In a splendid professional presentation, Waco Aircraft unveiled their newest vintage-style aircraft.
Sun ‘n Fun 2023 — Day 1
During 2023, in only three months, I’ve lost count how many airframe producers have told me a story that goes something like this…
“We (some manufacturer) offer two 100-horsepower choices: a Rotax 912ULS (carbureted) and 912iS (fuel injected), plus the new 141-horsepower 915iS (fuel injected, intercooled).
M-Squared Aircraft is one of the light sector’s pioneering airframe producers.
Whoo, Hoo! It’s almost showtime! April 2023 seems destined to finally overcome all the Covid baggage as attendees sign up in droves for Sun ‘n Fun.
I have followed Super Petrel since before it went to Brazil* more than 20 years ago.
Some might say Icon Aircraft has experienced a rather turbulent flight.
Once upon a time, I was able to report three or more new Special Light-Sport Aircraft every month.
Fifteen years ago, in 2007, Guisset brothers Jean-Marie and Jean-Baptiste were dealers in France and Belgium for a company then known as Aveko.
Splog: Jabiru Engines Approaching 8,000 Engines Produced — Plus, Our List Reporting Every LSA Engine
When I was a kid, I was a New York Yankees baseball fan.
Pilots love airplanes (duh!). Pilots also love engines, especially when they are truly powerful.
Rotax’s 9-series engines have propelled several aircraft in round-the-world flights. One major user of the Austrian powerplants is The Airplane Factory in South Africa.
When I asked “Mosaic LSA?” in the lead image of this article, was I simply being provocative?
One of the longest-awaited Light-Sport development projects has been Vickers Aircraft’s Wave, a sophisticated amphibious LSA seaplane.
We leave the grounds of Oshkosh ghosted with images of planes that attracted major interest.
Somewhere, it seems like a group of light plane developers must have held a meeting and decided that low wing manufacturers needed to broaden their line to include high wings.
EAA has reported that the Warbird displays (ground and flight) are the single biggest draw at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Talk about being ahead of its time, Junkers’ A50 Junior was designed to 600 kilograms / 1,320 pounds …93 years ago!
Our concluding report from Europe’s most interesting airshow (certainly for those interested in affordable aviation) speaks to the challenges for big event organizers in the restrictive atmosphere of Covid mandates.
Sun ‘n Fun started the recreational flying season as it always does, taking place this year in the beginning of April.
Over many years as an affordable aviation journalist I have learned two things.
How about this? Among the loudest “buzz” at Aero Friedrichshafen 2022 was the introduction of turbine engines on Light-Sport Aircraft.
Long in development to incorporate a raft of distinctive ideas, Vickers Wave took its first flight last month, mere weeks before the launch of Sun ‘n Fun 2022, which kicks off a new flying season.
Welcome to the newest Special Light-Sport Aircraft in the fleet: Savage Norden.
Pilot, builder, owner Roger Jennings is singular in an uncommon way.
It’s always exciting to welcome a new entry into recreational aviation.
Now that 2021 is historical and following two years of Covid uncertainty and business interruptions, many readers can breathe a sigh of relief for an better 2022.
Over the years, curious pilots have asked me what aircraft I fly.
Rather loudly and persistently I beat the drum about “affordable aircraft,” but readers also enjoy learning about other aircraft.
UPDATE 11/28/21 — Vickers Aircraft sent fresh images and additional comments.
Two decades into the new millennia, few aviation companies can claim impressive growth.
North American’s World War II-era P-51 Mustang has consistently won polls of pilots asking to identify their favorite aircraft.
As AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 starts, we have arrived at a long-awaited beginning to the world’s biggest airshow.
Most of us would be mighty pleased to sit comfortably and gaze upon our pace-setting aircraft.
How does modern-day Rotax relate to the Wright Brothers? Here’s a trivia test for light aviation enthusiasts.
“Winds are going to be rather sporty,” observed AirCam developer, Phil Lockwood, as he and Robert Meyer and the AirCam team finalized arrangements for another fly-out, this one to Jekyll Island (09J).
Splog: LSA Update — Finland’s ATOL Avion… Ekolot Topaz Wins Another… Fresh SW-51 Video… New FAA Reg Update Video
Summer is fast approaching and for much of the northern hemisphere, that means seaplane flying.
Recently I interacted with a reader, someone considering a light aircraft for purchase.
This flying dream has been years in the making. Admittedly, it’s a big project, but so authentic is this 70%-scale P-51 Mustang lookalike that I think I see you already starting to drool.
The appeal is obvious. What pilot doesn’t like the idea of flying faster?
Splog: Wave Theory — After Years of Thoughtful, Thorough Development, First Flight Is Getting Closer
Down under, heads are down and wrenches are wrenching. A team in New Zealand has been working for years on what might be the most sophisticated new aircraft to emerge …well, anywhere among Light-Sport Aircraft but certainly in LSA seaplanes.
We continue with further coverage from the first major airshow in almost two years… THANKS to Sun ‘n Fun 2021 for helping present these interesting aircraft and more.
Splog: Sun ‘n Fun 2021 / Day 4 — Still Great 30 Years Later: Titan Aircraft’s Tornado Comes in Four Flavors
Usually, aviation journalists attending airshows seek the latest and greatest in aircraft.
Perhaps you knew years ago that Brazil was an aviation beehive of activity.
Think about this: A Rotax-powered aircraft capable of high-speed cruising at 185 miles an hour?
Americans have seen Comco Ikarus‘ C42 before. At least three different importers have represented C42 versions to the U.S.
Affordable is a word I often hear as I explore the ever-expanding world of light aircraft.
“Nynja lifts off after a ridiculously short ground roll and soars skyward at a precipitously steep angle.
Welcome our newest entry to the Special LSA fleet: Montaer’s MC01.
Splog: New or Old? … Deluxe or Simple? … Quicksilver or Smithsilver? — Here Is Tri-State’s Falcon 503
One of the most successful airplane designs of all time is the Quicksilver.
Back when Light-Sport Aircraft were still youngsters in aviation (LSA are teenagers now), Ron Corbi imported the Direct Fly Alto 100.
When I first reported about — and did videos about — Just Aircraft’s Part 103 entry back in 2017 and 2018, lots of readers got excited.
In the earliest Light-Sport Aircraft days, nearly 70% of available models came from Europe.
➡️ Update 11/3/20 — A new video interview with Flight Design USA importer Tom Peghiny appears at the bottom of this article.
Splog: SilverLight Shines Brightly Among Modern Gyroplanes — All American, Available, and Modestly Priced
After thousands of articles, I’ve have heard over and over about two common ingredients sought by pilots who visit this website: Affordability and Availability.
Splog: Staring At Goat — Wild Sky’s Brutus Off-Field, Outback Weight Shift Trike Light-Sport Aircraft
If you flew better than 9,000 hours solely to give trike instruction, you would tend to develop ideas about how an aircraft can better fit the type of flying lessons you want to give.
Although a mirror reflection of the greater global economy, many pilots are stunned that airshow after airshow has fallen to the virus.
You can call modern gyroplanes “wanna-be” helicopters if you want but that might miss a few important points.
If you pay any attention to LSA seaplanes, you should already know about Aventura.
In our strongest month ever, April 2020, our biggest story was about the Swedish Blackwing “Speed Monster.” Pilots almost universally admire a beautiful and fast aircraft.
In the last couple months as we’ve all been struggling under the lockdowns happening across the country (and around the world), some of our best-read articles have been about going fast using the most powerful engines.
The need for speed is hard wired into humans, it seems.
Five years back at my favorite airshow in Europe — Aero Friedrichshafen — I could not pass the supersleek blue and black low wing from Sweden, my father’s ancestral home.
This first year I ever saw Randy Schlitter fly one his models at an airshow seems a hundred years ago.
The Coronavirus madness is far from being a U.S. problem. Naturally, we tend to focus on our own part of the world …as we must.
While I continue to worry about the cash crunch faced by two of my favorite shows, I am still driven to provide content as if those shows had occurred this year and not been postponed to 2021.
As everyone on the planet knows by now, aviation has nary an airshow in sight.
Way back when, long before the birth of the Light-Sport Aircraft segment (in 2004), lots of us flew ultralights.
How does one LSA brand rise and stay above others?
Many reasons can be introduced; all possibly valid.
It started with a seemingly simple product. Since long before recreational aircraft arrived, the invention that launched the Rotax brand was a “rotary axle,” a freewheeling hub that advanced the then-state-of-the-art in bicycles.
How about this for a great way to start off the new year — a brand-new airplane?
The last airshow (DeLand) is over. Recreational aircraft across the snow belt are secured in their hangars.
“The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase (DSAS), conducted from November 14-16, 2019 at the DeLand Municipal Airport in Florida, has completed a careful look at ticket sales, gate receipts, exhibitor numbers and other data… and is happy to report that the 2019 Showcase eclipsed the 2018 attendance by over 20%,” reported lead organizer, Jana Filip.
In mid-October, FAA provided another update to the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association.
The weeklong celebration of flight known around the planet as “Oshkosh” is now history.
Splog: Aero Friedrichshafen Day 3: ELECTRIC, Hybrid on Tecnam and Comco – Battery on Horten and Bristell
More from Aero as Day 3 closes. Because of the number on display — and because several readers asked — this post will focus on electric propulsion in two distinct forms.
You wanna go fast? Of course you do. What pilot doesn’t want to go fast?
This Just In!
Follow the Sling TSi LIVE tomorrow, Sunday March 31st, 2019, as the new model flies this route: KTOA – KLAL (Coast to Coast) • Torrance, California to Lakeland, Florida, a distance of 1,900 nautical miles
Intended Departure: Sunday at 4 AM Pacific • Landing Florida before 7 PM Eastern in a flight forecast to take “under 12 hours” at a predicted speed of 160 knots (184 mph), at altitude.
Let me admit right up front: I am a big fan of AirCam.
I have to admit my pleasant surprise. This tie-up of Copperstate and Buckeye Air Fair might be exactly what is needed to generate a major show in the Southwestern USA.
When Rotax debuted their new 915iS engine at an Oshkosh press conference, Sling designer Mike Blyth raced forward at the end of the conference to closely examine the new power plant.
Day One of the third running of DeLand Showcase is complete.
This week kicks off the truly gigantic trade show known by its sponsoring organization’s abbreviation: NBAA, or in common lingo, “Enn, Bee, Double A.” While not taking up the extensive terra firms of Oshkosh, NBAA actually has more paying exhibitors.
Updated September 26, 2018 — This article has been updated to include more producers.
The big Italian company that LSA enthusiasts know very well through models such as P92, Sierra, and P2008 has a large and growing presence in global aviation.
Video review: Searey Equipped with Single Lever Control
Yes, yes, I know — in-flight adjustable props are not permitted on U.S.
When most pilots think of imports, they assume a foreign manufacturer builds an aircraft in another country, finds a U.S.
Besides LSA seaplanes, one area of furious development (and sales) is gyroplanes, the term modern industry prefers to “gyrocopter,” which was actually a branded name used since the days of Igor Benson.
As the 2018 flying season launches, a long-awaited powerplant from Rotax Aircraft Engines is beginning to arrive in the USA and to be shipped on to customers for installation.
Sebastien Heintz of Zenith Aircraft in Mexico, Missouri is one of the more vigorous promoters in light aviation.
Along with many others, I’m sure, I’m presently en route from Daytona Beach to Sebring, Florida as the 2018 or 14th running of the U.S.
What a great Christmas present for the Rotax Aircraft Engine team members (lower photo).
In the late ’90s, an earlier iteration of Remos Aircraft delivered their first aircraft, a G-3 Mirage, originally designed by the very talented Lorenz Kreitmeyer.
Surely all readers know that Rotax-brand engines dominate the light aircraft landscape.
Could Light-Sport Aircraft, light kit aircraft, and even ultralights benefit from in-flight adjustable propellers?
How is it that Rotax so dominates the supply of engines to light aircraft?
Rotax Maintenance Classes — If you are a professional or wanna-be pro in the maintenance or overhaul of Rotax engines, you must take factory-approved training.
In a show as vast at EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh, it is presumptuous to attempt covering everything of interest.