Robert Helms of UL Power gave a short introductory press talk this morning at AirVenture. The company has been making steady inroads to the Experimental Amateur-Built market, right where it wants to be in the North American where certification is too expensive and SLSA is orbiting the airport in light of the third class medical situation.
UL Power offers eight different engine models varying by cylinder count and compression ratio. All are air-cooled, electronically fuel injected with the idea of mating the best of proven, simple horizontally-opposed, direct-drive legacy engine architecture with modern electronic engine management. Mogas is the preferred fuel with up to 15 percent ethanol allowed, avgas is allowed but can eventually lead foul.
One area Helms clarified was lead times on engine orders. Because UL Power accommodates as many installations as possible, ordering an engine involves choosing among four prop flanges and lengths. There are also optional ECU wiring loom differences and alternators, so Helms recommends the builder look ahead, specify where they’ll mount the UL Power supplied ECU (to determine what wiring loom length UL Power should make) and the prop shaft length and type. A lead time of 10 weeks has worked best, says Helms, although some of the most popular combinations could be shipped in two weeks.
To date Helms says UL Power has delivered over 3,000 engines worldwide and approximately 150 powerplants in the U.S., so real-world experience is building with the brand. Newer projects include a reverse rotation helicopter application for an OEM customer which highlights the adaptable attitude UL Power has to meeting customer needs. Browsing the UL Power brochure shows they have more than one engine comparing favorably in weight and power to established brands; if single-lever engine operation is a draw these Belgium-built engines are in the running.