Bombardier To Launch GA Engine Line


Details Still A Big Secret…

Look out Lycoming and get ready Continental, Bombardier is apparently pushing its way into your sandbox. Bombardier, which makes Rotax engines for light and ultralight aircraft, has developed a line of engines aimed squarely at the mainstream GA market. A very cryptic statement from the company says the “engines will deliver what pilots and aircraft manufacturers have been demanding for over 30 years.” Which, of course, depending on who you ask, could be anything, but might imply a line of mid-horsepower, certificated engines with advanced electronic controls that run on unleaded fuels, weigh less, last long and require little maintenance … then again, maybe not. Bombardier plans to offer its definition at a formal unveiling July 29 at EAA AirVenture 2003 … but you may find out sooner. According to AVweb’s sources, technical details of the engines are a closely guarded secret, but Bombardier will lift the lid a little during a media-only briefing May 16 in Orlando. Word is, however, that while media outlets will be let in on some of the details of the new engines at the Orlando meeting, they may be asked not to publicize them until the public debut at Oshkosh, or just before. While Bombardier has managed to keep this apparently ambitious development project under wraps for years, it remains to be seen whether the aviation press can be equally disciplined.

…Rotax Business Remains The Same

The new engines will be built in Austria and distributed through a newly formed company called Bombardier Aircraft Engine Corporation. It will operate independently of the existing engine business, which will keep right on making its popular line of small engines for ultralights and light aircraft. The company has reassured manufacturers, service outlets and end users that it’s business as usual for supply, service and support and that the new engine company will not overlap the Rotax market. This announcement comes a month after Bombardier reshuffled its corporate deck and decided to sell off its Recreation Products division, under which the aircraft engine operations fall. The sale of the snowmobile, boat and ATV subsidiary will help shore up finances at the aerospace and railway products arms. The company’s Web site says preparations for that sale are progressing. The Bombardier family, which founded the company to build snowmobiles, is said to be interested in buying back a chunk of the old family business.