Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.
Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/434207
42 Vol.3 No.12 / December 2014 UNDER THE COWL ECU. After a short turn of the ignition key, with the OAT at 30°C, the engine went alive almost instantly. ECU checks take place at 2200 rpm; that consists of switching between the two independent channels and basically comparing the engine numbers. This ECU check is only doable if the optional two-channel ECU is installed. In flight, both chan- nels of the ECU are active, each controlling separate igni- tion coils and spark plugs. After the engine start, the engine stabilized at just under 800 rpm at idle, and after barely five minutes, coolant and oil temperatures were in green. During taxi to the runway, I was impressed by the quiet, smooth-running engine and pleasant exhaust sound. At start, as well as in flight, the engine responded very quickly to different throttle settings, without the engine show- ing any uncertainties or inertia (delay) after the throttle change. At full-throttle (WOT) straight and level flight, the noise level increased considerably, and I could hardly dis- tinguish the noise from that of a Rotax engine. I liked the engine most at a speed of 100 mph (160 kilometers/ hour), where the engine rotated at 2,400 rpm with a MAP of 24 inches Hg. The display indicated a consumption of 2.9 gph (11 liters) at that power setting. The average of the previous flights was indicated with 2.84 gallons/ hour (13 liters). At low throttle settings below 2000 rpm, the engine sound was pleasantly unobtrusive and not annoying. At these speeds, you could clearly hear the sound of the slowly revolving, direct-drive engine. While taxiing on the ground after land- ing with open doors, I loved the engine sound. Even with- out a special absorbing silencer, the engine was quiet. For me, the engine was almost too quiet. Alain Dejager laughed, saying, "So far we were able to solve all engine problems; we are going to fix even this one for you." D-MOTOR'S HISTORY The history of D -motor engines crosses at its beginning with another Belgian engine manufacturer, ULPower. Both engines originated with the Belgian Masquito M80 heli- copter project that was originally powered by a two-stroke Rotax 582 and later by the Jabiru 2200. Since those engines were not strong enough, in 2004, D -motor and ULPower developed their own engines for that project. A few shareholders of Masquito Aircraft founded ULPower Aero Engines. Other Masquito technicians founded Mascotte, the com- pany that developed the Masschi 105 engine. In 2006 that company took over the Masquito project and continued with it until 2008. Later, D -motor was established and the project was resumed. The LF26 debuted in 2010 in Brus- sels, Belgium, and at AERO Friedrichshafen in Germany. That same year the engine had its maiden flight in an X-Air microlight. D -motor plans to raise the company's registered capital to $4 million through an agreement signed in April 2014 with a Chinese investor and distributor of the D -engine products in Asia. Currently, the six-cylinder engine is flying on the company's own test aircraft in Belgium, and since June, on board of the German EDM Aerotec CoAX 2D/2R helicopter where it has logged 100 flying hours. As of September 2014, the temporary retail price of the LF39 is $19,900, according to the U.S. importer, Doc Bailey. According to Doc, the price includes the muffler, mounting hardware, coolant lines, and dual ECU—basically everything but the battery, prop, and radiator. The first six-cylinder engines are now on the way to European aircraft manufacturers. For more information, visit www.D -motor.eu . Marino Boric, EAA 1069644, is an aeronautical engineer and holds a private pilot license in Germany with commercial and instrument ratings (CPL/IFR). He also fl ew as a military pilot. Photography by Marino Boric This is the all new double ECU used on the LF39 engine (standard on LF39, optional on LF26); the "B" channel is in use. When the two-channel ECU is installed, the engine panel will look like this; note the two (left and right) ECU channel selector buttons.