Egimotors Announces 140- to 280-hp Airplane/Rotary Wing Engine
Italian manufacturer unveils experimental powerplant
Egimotors' EGM4x4 engine introduced February 2 in Modena, Italy.
By Marino Boric, EAA 1069644, EAA European Correspondent
February 20, 2013 - Another aviation engine has emerged from Italy, the Egimotors EGM4x4, introduced February 2 in Modena, Italy. The first batch will initially be used for the company's MC-1 helicopter project, but Egimotors owner Egidio Motta said the engines are also designed for use in light-sport and experimental aircraft, autogyros, hovercraft, and air boats and will be sold to OEMs and private individuals.
The 4.5-liter EGM4x4 is a direct-drive, four-cylinder flat engine (112 mm x 100 mm bore/stroke) with four valves per cylinder. Power output ranges from 140 hp at 2,500 rpm to 280 hp at 5,000 rpm. Dry weight is 195 pounds as designed for "rough helicopter use," according to Motta, but it will soon be lightened so that the serial production, bolt-on, wet weight for airplane use will be less than 220 pounds. Weight will include the external oil tank, oil, and oil cooler.
The EGM4x4 engine is air- and oil-cooled; the cylinders and cylinder heads are externally air cooled while engine oil from the dry-sump crankcase is siphoned by a dedicated scavenging oil-pump and fed through an oil cooler before coming to the external oil tank. From there, oil is sent to the engine pressurized by a second high-pressure oil pump. Oil pumps are engine driven and sit on both sides of the camshaft, located below the crankshaft.
The EGM4x4 has four single-aluminum cylinders coated internally with nickel-silicon. Non-moving, outer, visible engine parts are aluminum while internal parts are steel. Two cylinders on each side share a single cylinder head. The four valves per cylinder are actuated via camshaft rods from the central camshaft.
The mixture is ignited by two spark plugs per cylinder. The two air-cooled cylinder heads feature conventional cooling fins and non-conventional internal air passages between the combustion chamber "roof" and the valve/rocker arms "compartment." This means the heads are additionally air-cooled through forced ram-air that flows horizontally through the cylinder heads.
Two redundant engine control units (ECUs) drive two independent ignition and fuel supply systems. The engine has two fuel injectors per cylinder, each system working up to 50 percent capacity; if one malfunctions, the other takes over to supply full fuel.
The basic EGM engine features one 50-amp generator located aft, directly driven by the crankshaft; a second 55-amp, belt-driven generator can be mounted either on the front or rear end of the engine.
The EGM4x4 can be run either on 95 octane auto fuel or on 100LL avgas. To be fully flexible and to make this engine suitable for wide array of uses, Motta said, "The front of the crankcase already has attachment points for the gear reduction unit that we will offer soon for this engine."
Several pre-production units are running on the test bench, Motta said, and the company expects to make a first flight in its MC-1 helicopter in April or May with serial production likely by the end of 2013.
While Egimotors' main activity is the import and sale of Polaris, Victory, and Indian products, the company also has been active for several years in the aviation world with its parent helicopter company, Egicopter. The company first worked with the Russian helicopter manufacturer of the two-place MG-1 and recently acquired that company.
The main problem Egimotors faced with the helicopter project was the engine choice: Over the past two years, the MG-1 was fitted with a Russian Subaru automotive engine conversion and later with a heavily modified, lightened version of a four-cylinder Lycoming. Because the weight tuning process was so expensive and laborious, company officials sought another powerplant.
Motta decided to go "radical" and develop the EGM4x4. He said that other available engines on the market were too heavy, too expensive, or not powerful and durable enough (or the combination of those factors) for helicopter use.
While pricing has not been published, an Egimotors spokesman revealed a firewall-forward "airplane" install for the 140/160-hp version likely at $22,700. The helicopter version would be approximately $24,000. For more information, visit www.Egimotors-Engines.com.