A Swiss startup is poised to bring to market a new rotary piston engine, further broadening the pallet of products that can run on fuels other than hard-to-find avgas.
The company, Mistral Engines, was created in 2001 by a group of pilots and aircraft owners who were convinced there is a market for a new general aviation engine offering greater reliability, longevity and compactness and a more favorable power-to-weight ratio and multi-fuel capability than today´s powerplants. It employs 24 people.
Unlike engines planned by other manufacturers like Austro Engine and troubled Thilert of Germany, the liquid-cooled, electronically controlled Mistral family will run on mogas, or unleaded 95 octane automotive gasoline, rather than diesel fuel. Moreover, its Wankel rotary piston design gives it a maintenance cost advantage over standard piston engines, since it has 95% fewer moving parts, says Philippe Durr, a marketing and production veteran who took over the privately held company in September and will be charged with guiding it toward series production. The targeted time between overhaul is 3,000 hours.
The full story read at Aviation Week