The engines of AERO Part II

Your blogger briefly mentioned the engines on display at AERO Friedrichshafen 2012 in a previous report on April 22. With Europe’s largest general aviation show now two weeks past, I thought it was time to provide a few more details. With the previous two shows having focused great attention on electric propulsion, AERO organizers wisely chose 2012 to showcase advances in piston and turbine engines, and there was a great deal to see indeed.

A large area within Hall A5 was reserved for the purpose, with most powerplant exhibitors providing one or more examples of their latest engines. Most manufacturers highlighted improvements they have made in fuel efficiency, advanced fuel injection plus FADEC, as well as the ability to burn lower octane fuels (especially autogas) as well as jet fuel in compression-ignition (diesel) engines. Following is a list of the engines on display, along with a few pertinent details displayed with each and a link to the manufacturer’s web site. (Note: not all manufacturers listed prices for their products).

Poloni Thor 200 (Italy): One cylinder, two-stroke, 29 hp, fuel: autogas + oil, price: 2850 Euro

ULPower UL350iS (Belgium): Four cylinder, four-stroke, 180 hp, fuel: autogas/avgas, price: 17500 Euro

Limbach L2400 DFi (Germany): Four cylinder, four-stroke, 100 hp, fuel: autogas/avgas

Sauer S2400 ULE300 (Germany): Four cylinder, four-stroke, 100 hp, fuel: autogas, price: 10498 Euro

Mistral G-200 (Switzerland): Twin rotor, 200 hp, fuel: autogas/avgas

Jabiru 3300 HL (Australia): Six cylinder, four-stroke, 120 hp, fuel: autogas, price: 14950 Euro

Austro Engine A300E (Austria): Four cylinder, four-stroke, diesel, 170 hp, fuel: jet/diesel

Göbler-Hirth Concept Study 4002 (Germany): Two cylinder, two-stroke, 120 hp, fuel: autogas/diesel, price: 9990 Euro

Centurion 2.0S (Germany): Four cylinder, four-stroke, diesel, 155 hp, fuel: jet/diesel

Continental O-200-AF (USA): Four cylinder, four-stroke, 96 hp, fuel: autogas/avgas, price: $23,000

Lycoming TEO-540-A1A-iE2 (USA): Six cylinder, four stroke, 350 hp, fuel: ‘various’

Rotax 912iS (Austria): Four cylinder, four-stroke, 100 hp, fuel: autogas/E10/avgas

A few things can be summarized from this display:

  • Engine origin: Unsurprisingly, Germany and Austria remain the home to most new aircraft engine developments in Europe.
  • Fuel options: Not one single engine on display was limited to 100LL avgas. Most operate on autogas or diesel/jet fuel.
  • Fuel efficiency, along with engine weight, was an area of clear progress, led by the Rotax 912 iS and Austro diesels.
  • HP range: Most engines produce 100-120 hp, but a number of new engines develop 180 and more hp.
  • Price/HP: The average list price per hp for the European engines that displayed a price was 101 Euros ($132) compared to $240/hp for the Continental O-200-AF. Many factors will affect prices; for instance some of the engines are on display were non-certified, for homebuilts only, which likely results in lower prices.
  • Weight/HP: Varied greatly, with the lightest being two-stroke and rotary engines, and the heaviest being the diesels.

US presence: Among European manufacturers, Rotax is now a mainstream engine in the U.S. Belgium’s ULPower is also becoming more common, and the company is working towards ASTM compliance to make the engine a serious contender for the LSA market. With the growing strength of Diamond Aircraft, we can expect to see the engines from its subsidiary, Austro Engine, to become more common in the U.S. in the coming year. With U.S. fuel prices approaching those in Europe, and the future of leaded avgas in question, these new arrivals will be welcome, especially if they can be offered at affordable prices.


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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