Engine Introduction 2012

The Factory recommended engine choices are the Rotax 912,912S and 914. Other engines proposed or flying in the Europa are:

The Midwest Rotary engine 100hp
The Continental 0-200 fitted with lightweight starter alternator, and electronic ignition.
NSI Subaru engine, direct drive, also fitted with a PSRU (Reduction gears).
RAM Subaru Based on EA82 block
Jabiru 2200 4 cylinder (80hp) - UK agents ST Aviation - US agents Jabiru USA Flight Center
Jabiru 3300, 6 cylinder (100hp) - UK agents ST Aviation - US agents Jabiru USA Flight Center
Sauer 90bhp Believed to be flying in Austria.
BMW twin cylinder boxer (90hp)
Wilksch’s diesel (120hp) - Wilksch Factory, Europa installation nearing testing in Kit 443, G-ORRPC
Limbach 2000 EO
JPX4TX (90hp)
Able and Great Planes VW conversions
ULPower 260 - Europa install being developed in G-BWUP (2012)

A summary of the main choices available and their relative merits is given below. See the files on individual engines.:-

Subaru – too heavy, NSI (the company producing the engine/gearbox package) had a poor customer relations record. The installation, including spare parts, is no longer available.
BMW – Torsional vibration problem proved insurmountable after exhaustive development work.
Mid West Rotary – very smooth and light but excessive fuel consumption and very difficult to set up to run smoothly at all rpm’s. NO LONGER AVAILABLE
Wilksch Diesel -Many original design patents and very fuel efficient. Cheap to run due to much cheaper jet fue but it is just too heavy for the Europa. The radiator adds significantly to the frontal area increasing drag. May have future for the replacement of Lyco/Continentals.
Lyco/Continental – too heavy and high fuel consumption.
Jabiru – Originally seen as an alternative to the Rotax. It is simpler being air cooled and cheaper than the Rotax. The 3300 has a higher power output but this is at 3300rpm which is too high for the prop to use efficiently so the performance advantage is negated. Being air cooled the fuel efficiency is slightly down on the Rotax. Major cooling and reliability issues have become apparent over time. See the notes in the Jabiru section.
ULPower 260 Installation in a Europa is under way. Air cooled and fuel injected. Package price a little lower than comparable Rotax.
Rotax – still the most suitable engine for the aircraft if rather expensive. As Ivan Shaw said ‘there is more work in developing the engine for the airframe than designing the airframe in the first place.
912 – (80hp) Very fuel efficient but a little underpowered for the Europa especially at max weight with high density altitudes. Using a VP prop helps to extract maximum power at take-off without affecting cruise performance.
912S – (100hp) The extra 20hp make all the difference making this the first choice for most Rotax users. Make sure the higher power starter is installed to help prevent kickbacks on start due to the higher compression ratio.
914 Turbo – (115hp) Yet more performance but at a very high price and increased complexity. The best engine for those who operate at high density altitudes. However the 912S with a VP prop will give adequate performance up to density altitudes of at least 10,000ft and will comfortably exceed Vno at low altitudes.

I. F. Rickard 2012