ULPOWER UL260i Aero Engine
ULPower Aero Engines
Formed in 2006, ULPOWER Aero Engines is a small Belgian company which started as a joint venture by a number of individuals and companies. Their intention is to develop and manufacture a light weight aero engine where power and reliability is priority number one.
This has resulted in the UL260 and UL350 family of engines. Designed as a four cylinder, air cooled, direct drive, multipoint injected and FADEC equipped low RPM engine. To this day several aircraft manufacturers have included this engine in their designs. One could say that the designers have succeeded in their goals.
In 2014 we saw the introduction of a new range of six cylinder model from this company. It is based on the same construction principles and as such they have continued their novel design philosophy into higher powered engines.
ULpower engines are built around proven technology. Multi point electronic fuel injection is used to replace the inefficient carburetors of earlier times resulting in lower fuel consumption, no more carburettor ice with redundant variable timing and dual ignition. The propeller is direct driven reducing weight even more.
This has resulted in an Aero engine with an excellent power to weight ratio suitable for use in ultra light, LSA and other small to medium sized experimental homebuilt aircraft. If you are looking for a modern, non complex (Rotax), light weight, fuel efficient engine then this is the one!
The engine can be fitted with a single or dual Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) and it/they controls all aspects of operation, altitude and temperature compensation, the amount of fuel injected and the timing of the ignition. All of this results in a stable RPM, no icing, lower fuel consumption, easier starting (just press the button and go) and good throttle response. Follow the next link for more detailed information about the ULPower FADEC system.
The choice for a FADEC driven engine was relatively easy: Why design a totally new engine and use magneto and carburettor technology from the last century? As a result carb ice is avoided and fuel economy is much improved, some of the advantages a pilot/owner can live with!
Another manufacturer produces water cooled aircraft engines. As this brings along more complexity, weight and multiple points of failure. ULPOWER has chosen to design an air cooled engine with a large enough fin area suitable for high power in high temperature situations.
ULpower has included a number of modern features in their engines which are very attractive to aircraft builders. Below a list of the most interesting:
- Modern technology four stroke, air cooled, four cylinder opposed engine
- Dual (redundant) electronic spark ignition (variable timing)
- Multipoint electronic fuel injection with automatic altitude and temperature compensation
- Electronic RPM limiter
- Direct propeller drive
- Wet sump forced lubrication with integrated pressure regulator
- Five bearing crankshaft with thrust ball bearing
- Ram air cooled cylinders and cylinder heads
- High fuel efficiency
- No carburettor icing problems
- Perfect cold and hot start capabilities (regardless density altitude)
- Excellent power to weight ratio
- Electric fuel pump and pressure regulator to eliminate vapor lock and facilitate starting even under adverse conditions
The company has continued development into the fuel injected UL350iS (118/150 bhp @ 3300 RPM) and even an 107 bhp aerobatic version (UL260iSA). We have an overview of all their engines in ULpower engine overview.
Six cylinder engines
ULPOWER UL390i Aero Engine
At AERO 2014 ULpower introduced new six cylinder engines ranging in power output from 140 - 160; the 180 - 200 hp range was introduced in 2015. The engines are called UL390 and UL520 and the installed weight is between 101 and 108 kg. Both engines are FADEC controlled and enjoy these benefits too. For more information on these interesting engines visit ULpower. North American visitors may visit their local ULpower dealer.
These engines are available in low and high compression models (between 8:1 and 9.1:1). This enables them to use everything between Mogas RON 95 (maximum of 15 % ethanol) and AVgas as a fuel. Be careful that the high compression engines can not use Mogas RON 95.
These images were taken at AERO in Friedrichshafen (Germany) and show an installed UL260i engine, click them for a slide show.
The video below shows all the internal mechanics of the four cylinder engine, the UL390/520 engines are the same but with two more cylinders and larger displacement.
For more detailed engine and pricing information we refer you to the website of ULpower.