Ethanol-Friendly Aircraft Engine

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Aircraft Engine Services, which hopes to begin selling the REV 220 and REV 300 V-6 aircraft engines next year, says the mills will tolerate a nip of ethanol. AES head Luc de Gaspe Beaubien said the engines, which are finishing certification testing at their manufacturer, Rotax, in Austria, will be certified to burn automotive gasoline with 10 percent ethanol content (matching current trends). There are currently no aviation engines permitted to use ethanol/blended gasoline. De Gaspe Beaubien also told a press conference that the engines are performing well and he expects 2007 to be the watershed year for them. De Gaspe Beaubien remains tight lipped about the aircraft manufacturer he says will be the launch customer for the high -revving (6,000 rpm at max power) engines. Introduced in 2003, the engines, which were originally planned to be part of the Rotax line, are FADEC-controlled and will be shipped with dual alternators and a two-stage air conditioning compressor. Rotax will make the engines but they will be sold through AES. They'll weigh about 570 lbs, a little less than the 300 horsepower TIO-540 made by Lycoming. De Gaspe Beaubien said they'll have 2,000-hour TBO and offer turbine-like operation and smoothness.