Austro Successfully Tests the AE80R Rotary Engine
The AE75R single-rotor Wankel engine has 75-hp output at 7,000 rpm out of 24.64 cubic inches in displacement as it was shown at the ILA 2012 fair in Berlin, Germany. The engine was further developed and refined and is now the Austro Engine AE80R, developing 80 hp. The updated and modernized engine will probably look very similar to this AE75R engine that already has a built-in fuel injector on the intake port. (Photos by Marino Boric)
By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
January 15, 2013 - After two and an half years of development, Austro Engine successfully tested the all-new AE80R Wankel engine on January 8 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. The 80-hp rotary/Wankel cycle engine was successfully fired and tested on the Austro Engine test bench.
The AE80R is a radical redesign of the original MidWest rotary engine purchased by Diamond Aircraft Industries, which successively transferred the engine rights to its Austro Engine subsidiary.
This newest Austro Engine Wankel features several radical improvements over the single-rotor AE50R (55-hp) and AE75R (75-hp) engines, including a twin FADEC (full authority digital engine control) fuel injection system that will significantly reduce fuel consumption of traditionally "thirsty" rotary engines.
Additionally the new engine adopts a new "no loss" lubrication system that has extremely low oil consumption. The crankshaft of the new engine also uses pressure oil lubricated slide bearings instead of ball bearings used in the AE50R. The AE80R descends directly from the AE75R (liquid and forced-air rotor cooled), but the new engine features only an oil/liquid cooling system.
The new single-rotor engine core will have an estimated target weight of 59 pounds and a power output of 80 hp, according to Austro Engine.
The complete gross engine weight (firewall forward, less propeller) was not yet communicated, but it is estimated to be between 100 and 110 pounds, and the engine displacement is supposed to be 24.64 cubic inches as in the AE75R engine. The engine is designed to power small manned or unmanned aircraft.
The AE50R Wankel engine with 15 cubic inches displacement and 55 hp weighs 61 pounds and is installed in numerous Sleicher ASH 30/ASH 31 motor-gliders and Schiebel Camcopter S-100 UAVs. It was first shown in action during the 2010 German ILA fair.
Austro Engine has been manufacturing Wankel engines in Austria in Wiener Neustadt since 2003, and the 1,000th AE50R series engine was produced in November 2012.
Christian Dries, chairman and owner of Diamond Aircraft, said the AE80R has the potential to become a leader in the extremely weight-sensitive LSA and ultralight markets. "The engine has no vibration and therefore it is ideal to power UAVs with highly sensitive equipment," he added.