When we first looked at ULPower engines we asked ourselves ‘why should we consider ULPower Aero Engines?’ Our visit to the factory in Belgium was only the end of a detailed journey of understanding this modern aero engine. We have flown ULPower and been impressed with our first-hand experience through the USA Zenair fleet (5+ years of a UL350iS in a factory demonstrator) and also from friends who have represented ULPower in other territories who seemed to be more than happy with the products ability to deliver on its promises. The biggest compliment we got from the users we spoke with before and since being a ULPower agent reflects that the ULPower engine starts so easily whether hot or cold, warms up to take-off temps quickly, and then runs smoothly and quietly.
We know that our clients are looking for an engine range that offers power options from 97 to 200hp. We also know that the move to ECU controlled, fuel injected engines is upon us all – and that means better fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and no carb-ice! Modern cars are ECU controlled, fuel injected and most of us are unlikely to even consider carburetted engines in our cars anymore!
Furthermore, we know that the increasing complexity of aircraft engine installations has caused concern amongst those in aviation, where ‘simple is preferred’ for a long time. So, we were also looking for engines without turbo or intercoolers (which add weight, heat and maintenance). ULPower met those points and more, so we put together a list, which we are pleased to share with you here…
|ULPower Feature||What it means in practice…|
|ECU managed engine priming||The ULPower ECU automatically injects additional fuel into cylinders on a cold engine to prime until engine reaches sustainable rpm making start up easy and simple (use 10% – 30% power position on start up)|
|Single button starting||No choke, no mixture control, and no need for a ‘start power’ button… Just a single engine start button – one finger operation! The start button is wired directly to the integrated starter with starter relay mounted on the engine, making troubleshooting starting easy if ever needed.|
|Powerful starter motor||The ULPower 1.2kw starter motor and large starter gear makes starting easy (140amps draw at start). By integrating the starter relay to the starter motor assembly wiring is easy. This is a Bendix type starter, so no sprag clutch to wear/replace or worry about. Should you need to replace the starter it is a simple job – usually only needing the top cowling removed!|
|Rev limiter||The ULPower ECU rev limiter will prevent damage to your engine from over-revving, giving the user peace of mind and a protected engine. (set to 3300 rpm)|
|Low parts count||No water pump, no coolant radiator, no coolant hoses, no expansion tank, no overflow bottle, no external oil reservoir, fewer hoses and connections, no gearbox, etc; makes for a cost-effective engine which is easy to install and maintain.|
|Air, oil and fuel cooled||Each cylinder head has an integrated, pressurised oil line, taken from the main oil gallery, to provide enhanced cooling of vital components, increasing lubrication of push rods and valve guides for cooler running and longer life. Furthermore, the Cylinder head and cylinders have massive cooling fins for heat dissipation.
Pistons receive additional oil to their underside through dynamic oil dispersion from customised con-rods.
The fuel injection is done in a manner that provides additional cooling to the cylinder head – right where it matters most – at the valve seats!
Engine runs relatively cool for an injected engine thanks to the use of appropriate design.
Oil cooler with integrated thermostat is optional, but recommended in most installations – a ULPower mounting kit is available.
|Factory standard oil cooler with brackets and integrated thermostat||No need to ‘work out your own installation solution’ – unless you want to! The oil cooler kit comes with thermostat, radiator, bracket, fittings, anti-vibration mounts and connections…. (personalised kits available) Stainless steel braided hoses may also be included, if required.|
|Factory oil coolers with AN/JIC-8 or AN/JIC-10 fittings as standard||No need for adapters here and adapters there. Industry standard AN/JIC-8 (4-cylinder) AN/JIC – 10 (6-cylinder) fittings make installation quick, easy, and reliable.|
|AN/JIC -6 fuel fittings as standard||No need to hunt far and wide for your fuel fittings – these standard fittings make installation a breeze and give access to the widest range of fuel fittings for aircraft on the market. Fittings can be supplied with engine.|
|Compact and robust ECU||A compact, aluminium bodied ECU (RTCA/DO 160D compliant) with high-quality MIL-DTL-38999 connectors allows the ECU to be fitted easily on the supplied anti-vibration mounts. The ECU is electrically robust, allowing it to share a common electrical system with the airframe. Although, recommended to be installed behind the firewall, it may, where necessary, be fitted FWF (ensure temps <65C). The ECU connectors are rated for 500 mating cycles.|
|Analogue or CAN BUS outputs||The standard ECU provides digital output, using a choice of RS232 or CAN-BUS protocols of RPM, Air Pressure (pre-air filter, integrated to ECU), Manifold Air Temperature, Oil Temp (taken from the main gallery), Fuel Flow (choice of duty cycle or pulses per litre), Throttle Position, ECU Temperature and ECU power condition. Fuel Pressure and Oil Pressure may be added as an option to the ECU (standard on new UK orders). Fuel Pressure and Oil Pressure may also be, along with other senders (EGT, CHT, Manifold Air Pressure, etc) routed to an analogue input on your EFIS or converted to digital signals (for example CAN-BUS) with the customised ULPower converter box, or a third-party box such as the GRT EFIS.|
|A complete engine in a box||ULPower engines come complete with exhaust and many of the items necessary to get you up and running – speak to us about exact configurations.|
|Single or dual fuel pumps||You choose, based on your mission, your needs and your budget one or two fuel pumps provided with mounting brackets. Fuel pumps can be replaced individually and configured with individual pre-filters for prolonged life and safety. We quote dual pumps as standard, but can remove a pump from the configuration if required.|
|Single or dual ECU||You choose based on your mission, your needs and budget. Dual ECU requires a duplicate set of senders and double wiring loom. The engine will run on BOTH or EITHER ECU. The ECUs are RTCA/DO 160D compliant. NOTE: A dual ECU option is much more than a dual lane ECU. These are separate ECUs each capable of taking over complete operation of the engine without entering limp mode.|
|Fuel consumption data output as standard||No need to add fuel cubes, the ECU outputs fuel consumption data as standard.|
|Additional bearing support||In addition to the main 7 shell bearings on the 6-cylinder and 5 shell bearings on the 4-cylinder engines a substantial ball bearing type thrust bearing is housed at the prop shaft end of the crankshaft, giving increased crankshaft support, reducing wear through increased axial stability. The thrust bearing can be accessed for maintenance/repair without breaking the crankcase.|
|Boxer type construction||Compact, proven, easy access for maintenance.|
|Dual ignition with remote mounted coils||Redundant ignition systems with coils which are mounted in a location away from heat and vibration of the engine for longer life. These are substantial coils and they come with mounting brackets where needed.|
|Cooling ducts supplied as standard||Making installation easy. Just trim to size and add baffle tape/rubber if needed, holes are pre-cut and ready to fit.|
|Direct-drive with a single piece machined and hardened crank shaft||Pressed crankshafts can ‘slip’ – especially as horsepower is increased. The single-piece, machined and hardened ULPower crankshaft carries the power directly to the prop shaft (mounted to the crankshaft with a splined connection) with no risk of a slipped crank. Direct drive ensures that all power is transmitted to the prop, without mechanical losses along the way, resulting in lower rpm required for power output.|
|Crankshaft seals accessible without breaking the crankcase||The simple, easy access design for the crankshaft seals makes for easy maintenance, ensuring that should they need to be changed maintenance time and costs are kept down to a minimum.|
|Prop shaft interchangeability||If you need a longer or shorter prop shaft – or a different Bolt Hole Circle (BHC) for your prop – the prop shaft itself can be changed quickly and easily with minimal, affordable, special tooling. The replaceable propshaft concept allows reduced weight installations without prop-spacers and with a choice of BHCs such as SAE1, SAE2, SAE6, D, B, etc to match the required propeller.|
|Commonality of parts||Having such a range of engines, it is important to keep the spares inventory and hence spares costs low.
In general, all of the ULPower engines share the same fuel pumps, fuel filters, senders, prop shafts, valves, rocker-arms, cam-followers etc
260/390 share the same push-rods, pistons, cylinder heads
350/520 share the same push-rods, pistons, cylinder heads
260/350 share the same outline crankcase (larger bearing on the 350 for the larger crankshaft)
390/520 share the same crankcase
|High throughput, front mounted oil pump||The readily accessible, high flow rate oil pump pumps 28 litres per minute at 3000 rpm for the 260, 35 litres per minute at 3000 rpm for the 350 and 53 litres per minute for the 390/520, at up to 3bar (rpm dependent and over-pressure regulated) ensuring both lubrication and cooling of vital parts of the engine.|
|Compact fuel rail||Ease of maintenance and minimal exposure of fuel to heat during the passage over the engine, reducing risk of vapour propagation. Ensures easy access to injectors. It is hard to imagine a tighter fuel rail.
|Easy to troubleshoot.||20 to 30 minutes and the engine can be tested for all systems. Not only is there a free software programme to read out the ECU but also a number of field testing tools for practical troubleshooting should it be needed.|
|Pre-wired ECU maintenance port||Low cost connection dongle cable (+/- €150) connects directly to the maintenance port on the loom and uses the ULPower software suite (free to download from www.ulpower.com ) to read your ECU for troubleshooting/maintenance.|
|No electronics mounted to engine||Not only do ULPower engines have a compact aviation spec ECU (RTCA/DO 160D compliant), they are also designed so that electronic components that may be affected by heat are mounted away from the engine – including the ignition coils. This provides a flexible installation and long electronics lifetimes.|
|Simple, reliable, efficient ECU Map.||Using just airbox temperature, oil temperature, air pressure, throttle position and rpm, the ECU has a standard map to 18,000ft. Ignition timing and fuel quantity is then calculated and managed multiple times per second.|
|Optional Fuel Pump Control Relay||During your pre-start checks, the FPCR, under ECU control, will shut off one or both pumps (installation dependent) after 15 seconds of being powered, but no start button being pressed. This prevents unnecessary battery drain and fuel pumping. In the event of an un-commanded engine stop, the FPCR will stop the fuel pump(s) after 15 seconds, or when the ECU is shutdown. This provides additional safety in the event of an accident. The FPCR is currently less than £20.00.|
|Shielded wiring loom||Each individual wire in the easily accessible and repairable wiring loom is shielded. Wire gauge is in excess of the required section for long life and reliable signal propagation.|
|Solid lifters||Providing valuable feedback during maintenance for early detection of wear which may be hidden by the use of hydraulic lifters. No need to carry out oil purging during initial installation. No risk of the many issues related to air and debris in hydraulic lifters.|
|Wet-sump||Ease of installation. No long oil lines to consider. No purging required. Oil checks are simple – no ‘burping’ to check oil levels required. Allows you to go flying quicker!|
|Wet sump can be removed for inspection (by qualified personnel)||The Sump itself can be removed to inspect the ‘insides’ of the engine without breaking the crankcase. This should only be done by qualified personnel – but it can usually be done on the airframe and save time and money in identifying or ruling out issues should they occur.|
|24 MONTH STORAGE and 3-YEAR WARRANTY||The ULPower range of engines are shipped for 24-month storage, and come with a 3-year warranty. We all know that it takes time to fit and run an engine, and often paperwork can delay getting in the air. Knowing that you have a full 2 years storage and 3 years warranty (both start from date of purchase), gives you peace of mind.|
We will add to this list over time, but we hope that it helps you to understand why we are pleased to represent ULPower Aero Engines in the UK, Ireland, Iceland and West Africa.
You can read all the manuals for ULPower engines on the official website http://ulpower.com/en
You may want to look at http://ulpower.news/ which is not a sales site – but more of an information site.
Whether you are looking at an engine for a new project, or to re-engine you current aircraft, we are happy to work with you as a long term partner in aviation. You are welcome to come and chat about your engine needs, take a look at our demo engine and have a cup of tea and some biscuits, just do arrange a time to make sure we are available!
Jonathan and Patricia Porter
+44 (0)7502 593 671