GUNSKIRCHEN, Austria — Last year, as part of the 40-year celebration of BRP’s Rotax brand of aircraft engines, the company launched a contest to find the oldest certified Rotax aircraft engine in operation.
The winner was Kenneth Gates from Colorado, who owns a Super Dimona equipped with a Rotax 912 A certified engine. His aircraft engine with the serial number 36351 was produced in 1991 and is still in operation.
Each contestant had to provide a copy of the log book and latest proof of maintenance, as well as personal contact information to his nearest authorized Rotax aircraft engine distributor.
The owner of the oldest active certified Rotax aircraft engine was invited to visit the Rotax factory in Gunskirchen, Austria, where more than 175,000 of the aircraft engines have been produced. The invitation included travel expenses for two, two nights in a four-star hotel, a tour of the Rotax facility, and a welcome package.
“We were very impressed by the efficient processes used at the Rotax factory and the customer-oriented attitude displayed by the management. Everyone is clearly very excited about continuous improvement and manufacturing the best products. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people and places of the Wels/Gunskirchen area,” said Gates, who retired from the US Air Force after a 25-year career and now works as a schoolteacher in Colorado.
There are now approximately 27,000 active 4-stroke and 13,000 active 2-stroke Rotax aircraft engines – certified and uncertified – in the fleet.