Liberty Tests Rotax Turbo

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Liberty Aerospace is gathering opinions from prospective customers about a version of the XL2 powered by an 115-hp turbocharged Rotax 914 engine. Marketing Director Randy Burnley said there is demand in Europe for the quiet, mogas-powered aircraft and it was decided to try the configuration out. He stressed that no decisions have been made on whether to go ahead with the aircraft, which would be fully certified in the standard category, an expensive and time-consuming process. "We just want to see what people think of the idea," he told AVweb at the US Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. He said the turbo Rotax offers some important advantages over the conventionally powered version.

The turbo will take the XL2 to the flight levels where the disadvantage of the lower-powered engine (10 hp less than the Continental-powered version) is erased. The Rotax uses less fuel and is much quieter than the conventional mill. Liberty will make a decision on whether to proceed with certification this year.

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