Belgian aircraft engine maker ULPower recently announced a new line of FADEC-controlled, autogas-burning six-cylinder engines ranging in output from 140-200 hp.
According to Robert Helms, general manager of ULPower North America, “The thrust to weight ratio is appealing to the designers of many aircraft. Whether you are focused on short takeoff, high economy, or high speed, the UL520i and UL520iS offer incredible performance, reduced weight, advanced technology and are competitively priced with other engines of the same horsepower. We are also working with individual aircraft owners to develop firewall-forward kits for models not otherwise supported by their respective manufacturers.”
The UL390i (140hp) and UL520i (180hp) operate on 95 octane RON (91 AKI) ethanol-free, lead-free autogas or avgas. The higher compression-ratio UL390iS (160hp) and UL520iS (200hp) require 98 RON (93 AKI) ethanol-free, lead-free autogas or avgas. The company is working with a number of aircraft manufacturers to develop firewall-forward packages for these engines.
ULPower is the latest aircraft engine manufacturer to announce higher-performance engines capable of operating on ethanol-free, lead-free autogas, following similar announcements from Continental, Lycoming and Rotax in the past year. Italy’s Tecnam, the world’s largest manufacturer of light aircraft with a fleet of autogas-burning aircraft ranging from LSA trainers to an 11-seat twin, recently hinted of additional powerplant options for its products: “Once Rotax have achieved EASA certification [of its 912iS], Tecnam will commence work on a ‘major change’ for the entire Tecnam range of aeroplanes,” said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s Managing Director.
Your blogger will attend the upcoming AERO Friedrichshafen show in Germany where he will see and report first-hand on the latest developments among European aircraft and engine manufacturers.
The GAfuels Blog is written by two private pilots concerned about the future availability of fuels for piston-engine aircraft: Dean Billing, Sisters, Ore., a pilot, homebuilder and expert on autogas and ethanol, and Kent Misegades, Cary, N.C., an aerospace engineer, aviation sales rep for U-Fuel, and president of EAA1114.
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