A STOL CH750 has become the first Zenith kit aircraft in North America to fly with the new Rotax 912iS engine.
The flight was the result of a collaborative effort involving Zenith Aircraft Co., which supplied the aircraft kit, Rotech Research Canada, Ltd., which installed the engine, and Skytek Aircraft Services, which assembled the airframe. Skytek also developed the firewall-forward package for completing the engine installation.
“Both the aircraft and the engine performed flawlessly,” said Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft. “We put 7.5 hours on the CH 750 on the first day and had no squawks. Rotax has done it right.”
Installation of the fuel-injected 912iS is considerably more complicated than the standard, carbureted 912ULS engine, Zenith officials noted.
However, the new model has considerably more redundancy, increased efficiency, reduced pilot workload and is certifiable. It operates without primers, carb heat, or mixture controls. The engine and accessories are monitored constantly by a built-in computer that alerts pilots to any issues that arise on the ground or in the air. The end result is a higher level of reliability and enhanced safety, officials noted.
The Rotax 912iS is a four-cylinder, four-stroke engine with opposed cylinders that is cooled by air and liquid. A dry sump features lubrication from a separate .8 gallon oil tank. Hydraulic valve tappets provide automatic adjustment. There are two redundant electronic fuel injection systems, an engine management system, dual electronic ignition, electric starter and an integrated reduction gear. The 912iS has a 2,000 hour TBO.
Zenith Aircraft is offering the 912iS as an engine choice from a list of powerplants that includes the 100-hp 912 ULS, the turbo Rotax 914, the fuel-injected UL Power and Viking engines, as well as the Continental 0-200 and the Lycoming 0-235/233 engines. Each of these engines is suitable for the high-wing CH750 series or low-wing CH 650 designs.