Experimenter

APR 2015

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.

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30 Vol.4 No.4 / April 2015 UNDER THE COWL WE HAVE RECENTLY written several times about the possibilities to increase the power output of four-stroke Rotax engines. Most tuning kits increase the engine power by adding a turbocharger to the original "atmospheric" engine. There are other ways to boost engine performance that are currently used less in avia- tion applications but that are similarly ef ective. Mechanical supercharging or forced induction are the magic words when compressors are not driven by engine exhaust gases but rather by the engine mechanically. Flygas Engineering is located just outside of Bologna, Italy. The young and dynamic company owner, Stefano Gamberini, is a well-known engine tuner in Italy; his specialty is performance tuning of aircraft engines. He tunes existing stock Rotax engines but also is building his own high-output powerplants. Stefano was very active in the car racing fi eld where he worked closely with car engine developers and since 1992 has of ered forced- induction tuning kits for cars, boats, and now lastly, for airplanes. In addition to supercharging the Rotax 912 ULS engine, Flygas is supercharging an ancient two-cylinder, air- cooled, fl at Citroen engine and is adding a fuel-injection system to it. Flygas is of ering a similar fuel-injection system for all four-stroke Rotax aviation engines. For those engines, Stefano also is of ering tuned induction manifold solutions, a second alternator, and a Fly-Safe electronic injection system, which is operated parallel to the original carburetors. This system allows switching from original carburetors to the Fly-Safe injection system in fl ight only by pulling a single lever in the cockpit. Flygas is currently fi ne-tuning its own liquid-cooled, fl at-four engine with a patented two-stage mechanical supercharging sys- tem that is capable of delivering almost 300 hp even at high altitudes. This engine will be used in unmanned reconnaissance aircraft for military purposes. Although this engine has great simi- larities with the Subaru four-cylinder automotive engines from which it is derived somewhat, Flygas is manufacturing most of the parts. Actually the original Subaru engine is incredibly similar to a Lancia automotive engine. For Subaru EA81 automotive engines, Flygas Power Tuning for Rotax 912 Engines Forced-induction tuning for Rotax 912 four-stroke engines BY MARINO BORIC Stefano Gamberini temporarily mounted his forced-induction tuning kit on a Rotax 912 engine for demonstration purposes. Note the different oil tank manufactured to customer specifi cation. Photography by Marino Boric

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