Kaolin Aviation has contracted to design and produce firewall-forward (FWF) kits for popular kit-built aircraft, to make the choice of ULPower engines easier, when the OEM airframe manufacturer has not yet developed a FWF installation.
“We realize that most builders don’t want to have to design and fabricate their own engine mounts,” said ULPower US director Robert Helms. “And most don’t want to build from scratch their own cowls and baffling; or do the ancillary engineering under that cowl, either. Though several airframe OEMs already have a ULPower option, Kaolin Aviation has agreed to work with our engine customers, to develop and produce commercial firewall-forward components that will mate with popular airframes not offering a ‘factory’ installation.”
The fully-engineered kits will include everything forward of the firewall: mount, cowl, tuned exhaust, prop, spinner, baffling, and hardware.
The first FWF kit will allow use of the ULPower 6-cylinder 520-size engines on the Van’s RV4, where a 320-size legacy engine is usually found. Lighter, smoother, and more-powerful, with FADEC and lower fuel burn (plus the flexibility of burning Avgas or mogas up to E15), the 520 maintains the legacy engine’s direct-drive, air cooled reliability and simplicity, while putting 180 horsepower to the prop.
“The advantage,” Helms notes, “is that the customer can order, knowing that he is going to get properly-engineered parts; and he won’t have to design or weld anything.”
Kaolin plans on offering a 4-cylinder kit for the Sonex family in the near future, and is prospecting for a customer. Other FWF kits will be developed to answer customer demand.
UL 260i 97hp @ 3300rpm 160 lbs
UL 260iS 107 160
(aerobatic) 107 165
UL 350i 118 173
UL 350iS 130
UL 390i 140hp @3200rpm 222 lbs
UL 390iS 160
UL 520i 180 @ 3200 238 lbs
UL 520iS 200