Engine Arrived

My engine arrived today! This is the Rotax 915iS engine, and as I described in an earlier post, this particular engine is used with just 12 hours on the clock. Even though I bought it locally, it was inspected by Lockwood Aviation down in Florida, as they are currently the only shop on the east coast that is authorized for heavy service on these engines. I wanted to be sure this engine was in good shape, and they gave it a full inspection and test run, noting their work in the engine’s logbook.

The engine came off a Magni gyrocopter in a pusher configuration, which added a cooling plenum to direct air from a scoop to the cylinders. The plenum is visible in the picture, it’s the white fiberglass part between the gearbox and the intake manifold with “Rotax” written on it. I have to remove this plenum for my application, since cooling air comes from in front of the engine rather than above. Otherwise, this engine is ready to mount to my airplane, once I receive the firewall forward kit. I wound up buying this engine a little earlier than I needed, but it was an opportunity that wasn’t going to wait for me. For now, the engine is preserved and it will be ready for me when I need it.

The firewall-forward (FWF) kit is on order with TAF, but I don’t yet have an estimated delivery date. I know the kit is coming from Johannesburg since I had to order a custom kit, so that’s at least 2 months away, probably closer to 3, given the holidays and slowdowns due to the pandemic.

While I wait for the FWF kit, I have to figure out where and when to mount this engine. I’ve made arrangements to lease space at my local airport in a shared hangar, and the manager says I can use his hoist. That saves me the trouble of having to find or buy a hoist, but it also means I have to bring my plane to the airport to mount the engine. From reading through other builders’ blogs, I know there’s a lot of plumbing and electrical work to do once the engine is mounted — work that I’d rather do at home, since renting space at the airport isn’t cheap.

This engine is not too heavy (~186 pounds according to the data sheet), so as an alternative, I could probably buy a light duty hoist from Harbor Freight, like something made for a motorcycle engine or similar. If anyone has recommendations or opinions on either course of action, please let me know.


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