Engine manufacturer Rotax is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
The company, which claims it now sells more aircraft engines than all its competitors combined, was formed in Germany in 1920 as Rotax-Werk AG and has since gone on to revolutionise the recreational engine industry, building engines for aircraft, boats and snowmobiles.
Now BRP-Rotax and based in Austria, the company will produce special centenary versions of the 912iS and 915iS engines, including special service packages.
"We proudly look back at the last 100 years of our company history and we look forward to the challenges of the future," said Peter Oelsinger, General Manager BRP-Rotax. "We do not rest on our laurels of the past but we will enrich the market with latest technologies and new products.”
Rotax was founded in Dresden, but after a take-over operations were transferred to Schweinfurt in 1930. During WWII, the factory was moved again, this time to Wels, Austria. In 1947, it was relocated yet again to Gunskirchen, where it remains today.
Canadian company Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) bought Rotax in 1970. Bombardier sold the recreational division in 2003, after which BRP became a stand-alone private company until 2013 when it went public. Rotax's sister brands under the BRP banner include Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Evinrude and Johnson.
Rotax has sold more than 190,000 engines including more than 50,000 four-stroke motors. The Rotax aviation range includes the 912 series (introduced in 1989), 914 turbo (1996) and the fuel-injected 915iS (2015).
Most recreational and light-sport aircraft manufacturers offer at least one version of a Rotax engine as standard fit, including:
- Aeroprakt (Foxbat)
- Alpi Aviation (Pioneer)
- Australian Lightwing
- Flight Design
- Icon Aircraft
Rotax engines have also been fitted to the SeaBear twin amphibian recently imported in to Australia by adventurer Mike Smith.
Rotax has been represented in Australia by agent Bert Flood Imports for more than 35 years.