Mazda Rotary Engine

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Lendo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
814
Location
Brisbane
Charlie, right-on weight is the killer for the Rotary, apart from any installation issues and dependable PSRU.
George
 

Powersport Aviation

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
4
Well, good to see the back and forth here on this. I disagree with the idea that dependability is an issue. A poorly designed or cobbled together PSRU may not be dependable, but that is the fault of the designer or cobbler. We have had absolutely no issues with our PSRU at all, and have now 20 years of flying it. Weight is only an issue if you try to put the engine in an airframe not designed for that weight. Our total installed weight is 325 lbs. If anyone wants real information just contact me and I will answer questions. [email protected]
 

Powersport Aviation

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
4
View attachment 91180 I am amused by the comments made by many on this forum by those knowing of the wankel rotary only through hearsay. Ignorant comments like those made by Starflight and several others make obvious that they don't know this engine, and for reasons I can't fathom want to pass on malicious gossip. Many people make similar comments about 2 strokes, and they are wrong as well. (I can be considered quite knowledgeable about 2 cycles having done engine work for world championship GP bikes.)
First thing to note is the sad loss of Powersport. They were the first group to do a full aircraft worthy conversion. Their mazda based package was the first, and to my knowledge the only automotive conversion ever considered by Van, (Richard Vangrusvigen) to sell as a firewall foward alternate to a lyc for his kit aircraft. Powersport partner Steve Beckham flew back from Osh in their wankel powered RV-4 side by side with Van's demonstrator RV-4. They stopped at the same airports to re-fuel during the trip. the Powersport conversion used LESS fuel at every stop all the back to Oregon. Powersport's Superlight engines weighed in at 178 pounds FF with radiators, but without the exhaust. That engine was p-port intake and exhaust and in the final version produced over 200 dyno proven HP at 6900 RPM. There are many reasons that business efforts can founder that have nothing to do with the quality of the products offered. In the case of Powersport it was the death of one of the founding partners in a non engine related accident. There are several people in the process of developing a new reduction drive. I wish them well. Most of the naysayers have never even seen one of thes engines run. Enjoy,
Bill
Powersport Aviation: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,052
Location
Alaska
Powersport Aviation: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”
Do you have a rundown of what you offer or a website I can look at?
I will be in the market to start building up an engine in 12 months or so from now, my biggest concern is a tested reliable psru I can trust.
 

Lendo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
814
Location
Brisbane
The original Powersport Partners did remarkable things with the Mazda Rotary development. I know it was sold off but to who I can't remember, but I've heard no more until now. As an aircraft engine with PSRU, it's remarkable. If the Cast Iron housing could be replaced with lighter iron and with a center bearing and Ceramic seals, Direct Injection and correctly sized Peripheral ports - this engine would be hard to beat for weight power and reliability.
George (down under)
 

Lendo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
814
Location
Brisbane
It seems Raytech bought the original Powersport Rights which includes the name - don't know what's happened from there, but would like to know.
George
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,952
Location
Pocahontas MS
Powersport v2 (the one that was actually available for sale) was a decent package, but back in the 1990s when I filled out their survey at OSH (was there, did that, still have the T-shirt), I pointed out that trying to sell any experimental engine at Certified Lycoming prices is doomed to failure (unless of course your name starts with Jan & ends with felner).

To Powersport Aviation, Are you saying that the Powersport rotary engine package is still in production and available for purchase?
 

sming

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
192
A quick google search pull up this 2017 link, updated in october 2020!?
 

Armilite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,613
Location
AMES, IA USA
armilite, Nothing is free, but if you want cheap rotary and light, go a single rotor, fixed ignition, belt reduction drive, carburetion, and P port. 100 HP or 150 HP with a turbo but that complicates a simple system, increases weight and cost. All these have already been done, but depends on your capabilities and desires. Cost, Rebuilt engine in AUD P port and single rotor $5000, Belt reduction drive $1500, Rads $800, then carby and ignition possibly $500. (Rotec in OZ) Alloy end plates are an expensive luxury unless you fly weekly and weight is critical.
===========================

Nothing is Free, and I don't expect it to be! Like I have said, most people can't rebuild their 2 Stroke or 4 Stroke Engines, so there not going to Build a Wankle Rotary either!

About any FWF Rotary Engine Setup, even a Single Rotor will Cost you $10,000+ today, even if you can put it all together. The main issue for over 30+ Years with Rotary's was finding a Good Prop Reduction that could handle that 7000rpm.

For 95% of Part 103's and Kitplanes was also its WEIGHT. The much Smaller and Lighter Mazda 10A could make 106hp! But Nobody made light Weight Housing for it back then. Wankle made (2) different Aviation Engines, that were lighter than the Mazda Car versions, but once again, they were still too Heavy for Part 103 and most Kit Planes, and were more COSTLY than the Rotax's. I have seen, I think it was the 80hp Wankel put on a T-Bird I. ALL Planes have an MTOW, and the vast majority of Part 103 & Small Kitplanes have a Max 660 lbs MTOW, and putting on a Heavier Rotary Engine means less Useful Load, less Fuel Carried for bigger planes.

Show me a Single or Twin, Mazda Rotary Engine that is turning 7000rpm using a Belt Drive on an Airplane? As far as I know, NO USA Part 103 or any Kitplane Airframe Manufacture has ever adopted any Rotary Engine. Have a few individuals in the World put some successfully on their Kitplane, Yes! But they spent a lot of TIME in R&D and probably more $$$ to do it. Out of about 8 Billion People today in the World, I would bet that Number of People using a Rotary on any Type of Aircraft is less than 100.

This is Home Built Airplanes which means USA Part 103 Ultralights and mainly Small Kitplanes of which 90% of them only need 25hp to 100hp! Most of them Planes can't handle the Rotary Engines WEIGHT! The larger 10% of Kitplanes also still may Face Engine Weight issues. I know of only (1) Large (6) Seat kitplane in the World, and there are very few (4) Seat Kitplanes also, most of the bigger (2) Seat Kitplanes still have Weight Limits to use these Type of Engines.

Mazda Rotary Engine prices out of Kitplane Magazine. Are they cheaper than Lycoming or Continental Engines, Yes.
MAZDA ROTARY PRICES.jpg
 

Armilite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,613
Location
AMES, IA USA
For reference: roughly the same map area, showing Lycoming dealers...
View attachment 91048
================

Those Mazda Dealerships that Sell Cars/Trucks and PARTS, also have mechanics. Lycoming Dealers who Sell them, don't always Work on them. Do a search for AP's in that same area who WORK on CERTIFIED AIRPLANE ENGINES and you will find more hits.
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,052
Location
Alaska
Most of them Planes can't handle the Rotary Engines WEIGHT!
apples to apples, how do you compare that with this?

Yes, that's a fantastic start. Lycoming O-360 and 3.0 Subaru conversion with PSRU both came in at about 475 lb firewall forward, so a far cry from the much lower published engine dry weights.
You probably shouldn't put a P&W985 on a Kitfox and you probably shouldn't put a little 2 stroke engine on a Beaver, but you don't judge those engines based on those installations, you base them on installations they are designed for, right?

There have been successful installations in RVs, various Canards, and I think Lancairs, all of which are well matched airframes for this engine and you wouldn't consider putting a 25hp engine on them so it isn't even discussed.......

My specific use case is a scratch built(first non kit) Zenith 750 Super Duty
Designed for up to roughly 230HP

Prototype had the IO-375 and there is a popular Honda Viking powered one built as well.
 

Armilite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,613
Location
AMES, IA USA
apples to apples, how do you compare that with this?



You probably shouldn't put a P&W985 on a Kitfox and you probably shouldn't put a little 2 stroke engine on a Beaver, but you don't judge those engines based on those installations, you base them on installations they are designed for, right?

There have been successful installations in RVs, various Canards, and I think Lancairs, all of which are well matched airframes for this engine and you wouldn't consider putting a 25hp engine on them so it isn't even discussed.......

My specific use case is a scratch built(first non kit) Zenith 750 Super Duty
Designed for up to roughly 230HP

Prototype had the IO-375 and there is a popular Honda Viking powered one built as well.
===============================

Those Planes you mention also fall into that less than 10% Bracket of Larger Aircraft. Lancair's, I don't think are even being Sold as a Kit anymore are they? When was the last Canard Aircraft you seen being even Built, let alone with a Rotary? Don't get me wrong, I like the Rotary engine, had (3) RX7's. Even had a 13B Turbo Engine I thought of putting into a Long Ez. But Married, Kids, Job, No Space, got in the way, so it didn't happen. As I said, there is probably less than 100 being used in the World out of 8 Billion People, and it's really probably less than 50.

With all the technology we have available today, with 3D CAD Modeling on Home Desktops, with Home CNC Machines, that we don't have a purpose built Rotary Engine for Aircraft use. 90% of the Home Built Aircraft made need less than 100hp. A Rotax based 670, 2 Stroke makes that easy!

Aircraft with a Rotax Rick 670, 2 Stroke in it.
670 AIRCRAFT.jpg
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,052
Location
Alaska
Ok, I may just be confused, no offense intended of course :) but this is a rotary thread, so the other 90% isn't really an issue here, it is the 10% or even the tiny fraction of that 10% that could or does want to use a rotary right? Why distract from the purpose of the thread with all the other noise?
 

Armilite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,613
Location
AMES, IA USA
Ok, I may just be confused, no offense intended of course :) but this is a rotary thread, so the other 90% isn't really an issue here, it is the 10% or even the tiny fraction of that 10% that could or does want to use a rotary right? Why distract from the purpose of the thread with all the other noise?
========================

Well, you brought up the 2 Strokes, just as another brought up Subaru.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,952
Location
Pocahontas MS
Armalite, I don't know what country you're looking at, but here in the USA, there are a bit north of 33,000 homebuilts. Almost a third of those are RV-Xs, *all* of which require 100 HP or more. We still need to add all the other 'large' models (*way* too many to list) that require Lyc/Cont engines. So I'd have to think that the 10% number is just a bit low; at least for the USA.

There are small rotaries out there, but they tend to be pretty pricey, largely because of low volume production (sound like aircraft engines?). If Mazda follows through with their range extender engine, that would be a good source.

The guy flying something with a relatively high stall speed, powered by a 2 stroke without a really smart engine controller to manage mixture, timing, and oil feed, surely has trouble walking. I know I wouldn't be able to move my legs without them bumping into stuff...
 

Lendo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
814
Location
Brisbane
I'm sure that there are many on HBA that would like to see a Light 100hp to over 200hp Rotary Engine development, with reliable PSRU from either Raytech or other associated developer.
However we need transparency of what's available, not just statements claiming their Powersport. We need all the details, what it consists of in terms of configuration, weight and pricing. There are people on HBA that are very knowledgeable on what constitutes the latest in innovation for the Rotary engine and I'm lucky to be in contact with some of them, but I can't discuss IP developments.
George
 

Armilite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,613
Location
AMES, IA USA
Armalite, I don't know what country you're looking at, but here in the USA, there are a bit north of 33,000 homebuilts. Almost a third of those are RV-Xs, *all* of which require 100 HP or more. We still need to add all the other 'large' models (*way* too many to list) that require Lyc/Cont engines. So I'd have to think that the 10% number is just a bit low; at least for the USA.

There are small rotaries out there, but they tend to be pretty pricey, largely because of low volume production (sound like aircraft engines?). If Mazda follows through with their range extender engine, that would be a good source.

The guy flying something with a relatively high stall speed, powered by a 2 stroke without a really smart engine controller to manage mixture, timing, and oil feed, surely has trouble walking. I know I wouldn't be able to move my legs without them bumping into stuff...
==============================

RV7charlie:

Yea, there are Go-kart Production Rotarys, but they fall between too little hp and too expensive also. Most Ultralights and Small Kitplanes need 25-100hp. A Mazda conversion is your best option for 100+hp. But as far as I know, Nobody has been making a Purpose Built Aircraft Engine from them. You have to build it yourself.

There are many hundreds of thousands of planes Flying with 2 Strokes that either Premix their Gas or have Oil Injection, No management is needed. To maintain that High-Speed Stall is Good for a 2 Stroke, it keeps the rpms up. Its people going from high rpm to idle or low rpm fast is what causes problems.

At one time in the Hey Days of Kitplanes there were 750+ Airframe manufacturers who may have made multiple Models in the World per Kitplane Magazine back then. If they Avg just 50 aircraft a Year, 750 x 50 = 37,500 a year x 40 years = 1,500,000 made in the World and we know that isn't True. But those 750+ Airframe Manufacturers dropped real fast and are down to less than 350 now for many Years. That's Gliders, Trikes, ParaPlanes, Part 103 Ultralights, KitPlanes, etc. As I said, 90% of them used less than 100hp Engines. Vans has been one of the Biggest success stories with many Models. Their website shows 9 models. A Percentage of them KitPlanes made have been wrecked, neglected, and Scrapped, many are still sitting in Garages in pieces never finished for 20+ Years, some kits are sitting in Boxes not even opened, etc!

Going by Airframe Manufactures 750 x 10% = 75 that might make an Airframe that used a 100+hp Engine. Today, they say about now down to 350 x 10% = 35. Can you Name 35 Manufactures whose Planes are being made today that use 100+hp?

Continental Engines was going Broke and was being Sold to a Chinese firm, never heard if the Deal went through. Compact Radial was sold to the Chinese over a year ago, and I heard Hirth might be sold to them also.

"Van's Aircraft is the leading designer and manufacturer of kit aircraft, with more than 10,000 flying aircraft and a wide selection of available models." Part of Van's success was they used Certified Engines and many of the early Models were Over Powered. Nothing wrong with that, People like Speed. The Lycoming 0-235 and Continental O-200 were their only choice at the time. I don't follow Vans, but it would be interesting to see out of 10,000 planes, which Engines were used.

Challenger says 4000 Aircraft made, how many still Flying after 40 years?

T-Bird says 4000 Aircraft made, how many still Flying after 40 years?

There were about 8000+ MX's made, 2nd success story, but how many are still Flying after 40 years?

These younger kids aren't building Planes, or Hot Rods, or Bikes, even Tree Forts, etc!
 
Top