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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:18 pm 
You fly a Lyc or a Conti and the tach reads 2500. You fly a Rotax and the tach reads 5000. It's just a number. If someone who has been flying conventional acft engines can't intellectualy accept that a Rotax runs at a higher RPM without any problems, well, he/she is _______ [fill in the blank].

There is no doubt that given the power to weight ratio a Rotax engine is better suited for a LSA than conventional engines.

Two problems with a Rotax that a potential owner has to consider: Service of the engine and proper fuel not available at the vast majority of airports.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:14 pm 
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zdc wrote:
Two problems with a Rotax that a potential owner has to consider: Service of the engine and proper fuel not available at the vast majority of airports.


"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:05 pm 
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7900 wrote:
"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Yes, I can see that as a real problem in some areas (even though Rotax just sold its 40,000th 912!) That was true in my area as well, until a year ago. Instead of looking at it as a deal killer, I saw a business opportunity -- and became a Rotax authorized mechanic. I'd bet you could do pretty well in your area, doing the same, if you're so inclined

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
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AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Location: Allen, TX
Rotax mechanic locator: http://rotaxirmt.info/

Found 7 in Georgia although no way to know if these are close to you, 7900.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:21 pm 
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7900 wrote:
zdc wrote:
Two problems with a Rotax that a potential owner has to consider: Service of the engine and proper fuel not available at the vast majority of airports.


"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Lycoming has been saying that the new electric ignition/fuel injected engines will have to be serviced at a Lycoming service center. For a shop to become a Lycoming service center they have to send 2 mechanics to Lycoming school. As the owner of a one man shop I couldn't work on the engine even with Lycoming training. If Lycoming sticks to what they have said it will be harder to get it serviced than a Rotax.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:43 pm 
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drseti wrote:
7900 wrote:
"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Yes, I can see that as a real problem in some areas (even though Rotax just sold its 40,000th 912!) That was true in my area as well, until a year ago. Instead of looking at it as a deal killer, I saw a business opportunity -- and became a Rotax authorized mechanic. I'd bet you could do pretty well in your area, doing the same, if you're so inclined


What's involved in becoming a Rotax authorized mechanic? I ask because I would like to be able to work on my own Rotax engine, and maybe work on others in my area for a profit. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:15 pm 
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NCPilot wrote:
What's involved in becoming a Rotax authorized mechanic? I ask because I would like to be able to work on my own Rotax engine, and maybe work on others in my area for a profit. :)


If you're already an A&P or LSRM, it's pretty simple. There are three levels of Rotax certification, each with its own training course: service level, light maintenance, and heavy maintenance. Each of the three is a weekend course, offered at a number of different locations (Lockwood Aviation in Sebring FL, and CA Power Systems in Hayward CA, are the two leading ones). Each course costs a few hundred dollars.

FWIW, the Service level course covers line maintenance items (oil changes, carb synchronization, compression checks, etc.) Light maintenance involves tearing the engine down all the way to the crankcase, removing all cylinders and accessories, and reassembling it. Heavy maintenance lets you split the case, and do crankshaft and camshaft swaps, plus bearings. I chose to take the first two courses only, since if my engine ever requires splitting the case, I'll just buy a new one. :(

If you're not already an FAA licensed AMT, you'll probably have to take the 120-hour course for the Light Sport Repairman Certificate with a Maintenance rating (LSRM). That rating will allow you to sign off annual/100 hour condition inspections on any LSA. I know of only two places where this is offered at the moment: a community college in Virginia, and Rainbow Aviation in Northern CA. The place in VA does the course during summer term only (I think they run about 8 weeks). Rainbow offers half a dozen courses a year, all 3-week fulltime. Rainbow also takes their show on the road, to Oshkosh and possibly other locations.

I did the Rotax and LSRM classes all at the same time, about a year ago (repairman course M-F for three weeks, with engine training on the weekends in between). Total cost was right at $7k, for tuition, books, rental car, lodging, meals, and airfare. If I keep working to age 95 (I'm 65 right now), I might just break even. :wink:

Once you have the LSRM, your logged experience (even if under your own supervision) counts toward eligibility to take the A&P practical and written exams, should you ever decide you want that rating. I think you can sit for the A&P exams 18 months after you get your LSRM.

I should note that all the folks in my LSRM course were graybeards like myself, with decades of experience. Someone lacking an extensive mechanical background would probably be hard-pressed to learn enough in 3 concentrated weeks of study to make a competent mechanic.

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:31 pm 
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drseti wrote:
7900 wrote:
"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Yes, I can see that as a real problem in some areas (even though Rotax just sold its 40,000th 912!) That was true in my area as well, until a year ago. Instead of looking at it as a deal killer, I saw a business opportunity -- and became a Rotax authorized mechanic. I'd bet you could do pretty well in your area, doing the same, if you're so inclined


I learned to fly to spend my time doing just that, and not turn a wrench or take courses on engine maintenance.


Last edited by 7900 on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:33 pm 
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3Dreaming wrote:
7900 wrote:
zdc wrote:
Two problems with a Rotax that a potential owner has to consider: Service of the engine and proper fuel not available at the vast majority of airports.


"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Lycoming has been saying that the new electric ignition/fuel injected engines will have to be serviced at a Lycoming service center. For a shop to become a Lycoming service center they have to send 2 mechanics to Lycoming school. As the owner of a one man shop I couldn't work on the engine even with Lycoming training. If Lycoming sticks to what they have said it will be harder to get it serviced than a Rotax.


Not a problem whatsoever, have a couple lined up that are ready to go.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:50 am 
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Location: noble, IL USA
7900 wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:
7900 wrote:
zdc wrote:
Two problems with a Rotax that a potential owner has to consider: Service of the engine and proper fuel not available at the vast majority of airports.


"Potential problems" - more like a deal killer for me. In my area after over 6 years of the Rotax being out you still can't get it serviced.


Lycoming has been saying that the new electric ignition/fuel injected engines will have to be serviced at a Lycoming service center. For a shop to become a Lycoming service center they have to send 2 mechanics to Lycoming school. As the owner of a one man shop I couldn't work on the engine even with Lycoming training. If Lycoming sticks to what they have said it will be harder to get it serviced than a Rotax.


Not a problem whatsoever, have a couple lined up that are ready to go.


Your lucky, around here I would have to travel over 100 miles to get it serviced. There is one closer, but they are a Mooney only shop. I don't think I would want to own an airplane that I couldn't work on.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:07 am 
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7900 wrote:
I learned to fly to spend my time doing just that, and not turn a wrench or take courses on engine maintenance.


I can understand that. Some of us like working on our own motorcycles; others don't. There is, however, a great safety advantage to knowing your airplane's mechanical systems intimately. Whether they plan to maintain their own planes or not, I encourage my students who buy aircraft to take any course that's available to them on the engine and airframe.

Lycoming used to offer a great course for owners. I took it decades ago, and was able to communicate far better with my mechanic, and recognize impending problems, as a result (even though I was not then maintaining my own engine).

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:12 am 
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NCPilot wrote:
What's involved in becoming a Rotax authorized mechanic?


I failed to mention that in addition to the courses, there is a not-inconsiderable investment in tools and equipment. Although I already had a very well equipped shop (result of 40 years' accumulation), I still put about $5k into specialized tools for the Rotax (everything from a gearbox puller to a dry-sump oil purge kit). This expense may well be why so few A&Ps want to get into servicing Rotax engines. None of those tools are required to get your certification as an independent Rotax maintenance technician (iRMT). However, to have your shop recognized as a Rotax Independent Repair Centre, there's a very long list of required tools.

_________________
The opinions expressed in this post are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the position of the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS
AvSport of Lock Haven
http://AvSport.org fly@AvSport.org


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:35 am 
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drseti wrote:
NCPilot wrote:
What's involved in becoming a Rotax authorized mechanic?


I failed to mention that in addition to the courses, there is a not-inconsiderable investment in tools and equipment. Although I already had a very well equipped shop (result of 40 years' accumulation), I still put about $5k into specialized tools for the Rotax (everything from a gearbox puller to a dry-sump oil purge kit). This expense may well be why so few A&Ps want to get into servicing Rotax engines. None of those tools are required to get your certification as an independent Rotax maintenance technician (iRMT). However, to have your shop recognized as a Rotax Independent Repair Centre, there's a very long list of required tools.


Well I may not have 20 years of mechanic experience behind me, but I do know the ins and out of your typical internal combustion engine.

As for the Lycoming engine. I'm sorry but so far it seems too heavy for LSAs.

The ULPower UL260iS engine has an installed weight of 159.3 lbs. While that's still heavier than the Rotax, which has an installed weight of 140.6lbs, it's still lighter than the Lycoming LSA engine which will seem to weigh in at 213 pounds.

That's a huge chunk out of the useful load right there.

I don't see many people switching over to Lycoming LSA engines until they can get the weight down to 140-150lbs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:40 pm
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Location: New York - HPN
Update on O233 program on Aero-News today:
http://aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=video ... cd1379e015


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:00 am 
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Thanks for the link, C162. And Mike Kraft (Lycoming) confirms for us that the IO-233 is not (yet) ASTM compliant nor is it a Part 33 (Certified) engine yet (which will come after ASTM compliance). ASTM paperwork was just beginning as Oshkosh ended, according to Kraft.

Kraft also confirms that this engine is to be serviced at their 'Authorized Service Centers'. As stated in their ASC qualifying standards: "Have exclusive authorization to work on new Lycoming products such as the iE2 Engine Series and IO-233 LSA engine." While this may provide more service options than Rotax engines currently enjoy, these ASC's - established beginning in 2009 - are certainly not yet everywhere. E.g. I did a search for one of FL's major cities (Jacksonville - pop. 1,000,000) and found three Lycoming ASC's in all of N Florida, the closest one being 100+ miles away. Forget about your local A&P being able to provide authorized service on this engine, e.g. while it's under warranty.

Interestingly, Kraft suggests that the electronic ignition system developed for the 233 may in time migrate to their O-320 and O-360 engines.

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