BIGGER AND BETTER! ROTEC RADIAL ENGINE'S NEW HOME.
THE 7 CYLINDER R2800 NOW HAS A BIGGER BROTHER A 9 CYLINDER R3600
Since our beginnings in 2000 our Radial has gained ever increasing market acceptance which translated to steady growth over the past five and a half years.
As sales and demand for the R2800 engine and associated products increased so did the need for our production capacity to increase. This growth pattern translated into Rotec Aerosport commissioning more specialised machinery and associated technical staff; which by the end of 2004 stretched to the limit the premises and facilities at the time.
We started with a couple of machines in 2000 and in less than 5 years now have a shop full of designated CNC equipment, which in the original premises almost spilt out the door with not one square foot of floor space in our original factory wasted.
The last straw came when we had to pull down our store room to create more area to assemble engines. We completely ran out of room and it was time to look for larger premises.
After much searching and planning we found an ideal premises for relocation. The facility is 4 times the size of the previous plant and will allow for growth and expansion for both administration and manufacturing of the engine, the engine components, parts inventory, assembly, engine testing including in house dynometer, packing and finally shipping out product.
Located in DeHavilland Road there is an aviation connection as the road is directly on the flight path of the main run way of Morrabbin Airport and and can be considered as being the continuation of the run way.
The move itself was a daunting undertaking undertaking which began with sorting and packing all the small items - this was the easy part!
The big plant and equipment, with its weight, delicate computers and electronics provided for a logistic nightmare to lift, move and re-install. These nightmares to date have not completely dissipated for a good nights sleep.
During this period, and for a short time after, we were occupied in ironing out all the "bugs". Despite these "bugs" there was only a minimal disruption to the production schedule. Our decision to move over the quite holiday or end of year period was justified and the benefits of the move were apparent immediately with a lift in the comfort level and a dramatic lift in moral.
R3600 - Rotec's 9 Cylinder Radial:
By mid January 2005 we completed the move and with the additional space began to seriously contemplate the introduction of a Rotec R3600 a 9 Cylinder Radial engine.
By late January 2005 we had four definite orders for the R3600, with the confidence of knowing that the 5th Order would be forthcoming, we fully committed to the first production run of six R3600's (one for Rotec and 5 for Clientele).
The R3600 predominantly shares existing R2800 componentry but it's still a different beast requiring separate tooling, parts inventory, assembly, development and testing. Despite the R2800 and R3600 power-plants being separate entities; in the majority, parts once machined, can be allocated to either the R2800 or the R3600.
By June we had the first R3600 running on a "static" test bed with testing continuing through to July. The results of this testing provides us with full confidence in this new power plant.
Please review all the latest news on the R3600 here - you'll even find a video clip with sound to show off this awesome piece of machinery.
We are now committed to an appearance at Osh 2005 and will unveil the new R3600 at this fly in; the R2800 will also be there. Paul's looking forward to catching up with, or meeting up with, all of you that are going to Osh this year
Pty Ltd would like to thank all its staff, customers and companies for
there commitment and on going support to our company in 2004. In return
we look forward to supplying aviation product of the highest quality for
many years to come.
Rotec would like to apologise for the delay in getting your sent material uploaded to the project pages. We've finally updated and tidied up the project pages with a large input of material. Ten pages in all were affected - some new, some showing good progress and some with exciting news of taking to the skies with their R2800 equipped craft. We urge all to browse these pages and as always report back on typos, broken links, spelling mistakes or any other problems.
Those of you who have accumulated new material please send it to Jim now.
The current production status is at the final stages of a batch run. Assembly of the engines from this batch has started and the first few engines will be leaving the factory late next week; thereafter, there should be a stream of engines leaving the factory to their new owners scattered all round the world.
The activity in the last few weeks has been hectic with final checks on all parts, final arrangements and checks on tooling, making arrangements for packaging and shipping etc. All this contributing to the delay in getting the web site updated.
There are still a few engines left from the current batch so if you need a powerplant for your project now would be a good time to place your order to not only avoid delays (the next batch of engines is scheduled for release in April 2005) but to also avoid a price rise that we have scheduled for early 2005.
On the development front we have just finished design work on the 9 cylinder R3600.
We are now looking for potential backers to forward order on this engine. We are looking for 5 clients who are prepared to purchase on the basis 25% deposit 25% half way through the production and 50% (or the balance) prior to delivery. In return for helping us in this manner the price will be pegged at $18,750USD Ex Factory and each engine will carry an extended warranty along with extended factory support. If you are interested in participating in this exciting new development please contact Jim.
Here is a quick breakdown on 9 cylinder Rotec Radial:
Interested? Drop Jim a line.
Ever increasing customer demand for the R2800 in recent times has lead Rotec to increase its manufacturing capability through the introduction of additional CNC plant to its fabrication shop.
The first of
the two new machines installed and tooled was a Luganamatic Dyna path
20 tool vertical CNC machine centre with a live 4th axis. And the second,
a fully automated 8AGS gear shaping machine. These two machines along
with the employment of additional skilled staff will further reduce the
lead time between batches.
Installation, commissioning and tooling up of this new equipment took far longer than anticipated causing delays in the delivery of the current batch. Rotec Aerosport would like to apologise for delays and advise that all engines from the last batch are being assemble. Some have already left for their new homes with the remaining well into assembly and due to be tested and shipped over the next 2 weeks.
Current batch being assembled
The good news is twofold: Firstly, we are back on track albeit a month late, secondly; the new found speed that's now available will enable us to produce in larger engine numbers per batch with shorter periods between batches.
The next production run is well under way and is on target for the scheduled completion in September 2004.
Overview of the Year 2003:
This year Rotec took enormous strides in its development. Having now reached its fourth year in production the engine has gained popularity and acceptance far beyond what we, let alone all the pundits out there, would have expected. I guess, it’s a testimony to quality of the engine and the care and pride taken by dedicated professionals who are passionate about their work.
We have made great contacts this year and have tied in with some fine airframe manufacturers, aircraft engineers and designers (CIRCA Reproductions of Canada, Flitzer in the UK, the Hevle Bothers in the USA, Raymond Fowkes of South Africa, Delome Thierry representing France and the Mascarene Islands, Custom Craft in the USA and Franklin Aircraft Engines in the USA). We’ll be looking forward to expanding these horizons even further next year.
All this offcourse would not be possible without you the client who was prepared to purchase an engine. A number of you were kind enough to share the experience with every-one by allowing us to publish your progress on our web page. If you have a look at the website you’ll see an extensive upgrade in this area.
There were many highlights in the year gone by: installation of the new production equipment, the ever improving sales, and the contacts we made and so on; but, the highlight that stands out was the PFA report on Les James’s R2800 equipped Kitfox. This report, being the work of an un-biased third party, goes a long way towards dispelling any doubts about the engine.
With the introduction of the new high speed production equipment (see previous newsletter) Rotec has now dramatically reduced the time span between batches. There is at the moment a short delay between batches; however, its planned to smooth out the production capabilities in such a manner as to eliminate the periods between batches when there’s no stock available. We’ll be testing out the new methods over the next batches.
The collector ring is now available with a dual exhaust. Tested by several people, the reports coming back, were so positive that this may become the standard configuration. The dual exhaust is located such that all contaminants (oil and carbon) are directed away from the wheels.
The accessory gauges are now available in the larger diameter of 3 1/8” at no additional charge. Orders can contain a mixture of 3 1/8” and 2 ¼” diameter.
Testing the Engine:
Ground and flight testing continues and there is little to report as the engine continues to function flawlessly.
After a great deal of speculation and correspondence between us and the builders of vintage aircraft on the subject of the R2800’s capability in swinging an 84” prop. We at Rotec decided to digress from our normal testing to see if the R2800 could swing such a large prop. Here are Paul’s comments on returning back from testing the 84" prop:
The overall conclusion is that the R2800 achieved the required 1800 rpm target with comfort.
This was the sequence: a) we took all the numbers, correspondence on the subject to our prop maker to make an appropriate 84" prop. b) He delivered the 84" prop with a 44" pitch to us c) we tested it.
The final result it that the engine spun up to 1800 rpm without any flat spots. There was some 10% of additional throttle left but the rpm stayed static as this additional throttle was deployed. There was no excessive heat and oil was normal at 1800 rpm.
There are additional considerations:
This should open up the vintage aircraft market right up for Rotec.
As you can tell we are extremely pleased with the results.
Seasons Greetings To All From All Of Us At Rotec.
May you have a Happy Prosperous and Healthy 2004
Despite no official attendance at Osh the R2800 fitted Autogyro did create a sensation. The following is an excerpt from Ron Herron's note to us:
I flew into Oshkosh and also flew a couple of flight demos as well as running the engine every day for the crowd.
If you go to the EAA airventure webpage you will see the autogyro doing a main runway fly-by on Thursday.
was interviewed for a feature article in both "Sport Aviation"
and "Custom Planes". I also did a live EAA radio interview
concerning the Rotec engine. Brian did a couple of forums and gave me
a batch of spec sheets to hand out also.
Well done! Thanks to both Ron and Brian for providing Rotec with much needed exposure.
Furthermore: Rotec wishes to congratulate Ron on wining the following award:
Just a note to let you know that the Rotec/Little Wing won Grand Champion in Mentone, Indiana at the Popular Rotorcraft International Convention. You may want to visit *rotorcraft.com* and see some of the photos posted there. I gave a forum on the engine also.
You may want to forward this to your Dad for the website. The "Grand Champion" award is partially yours! The "Best New Component" award was for my redundant control system.
Rotec Tops Budget with Growth Exceeding Expectation:
Since November of last year sales have taken a dramatic turn upward, so much so that we've already exceeded the next 12 month's budget.
The next batch of engines is due for completion and delivery by late August with all but 4 engines sold. If you are interested in purchasing one of these 4 please do not hesitate in contacting us immediately.
Rotec Appoints Agents:
In line with Rotec's growth we have appointed new agents. The appointments are: one in Israel, one in the Mascarene Islands (who also has exposure into France) and two for the USA.
With increased pressure on production caused in part by the greatly higher than anticipated sales figures, and in part by the appointment of the new agents, Rotec has in the past two months purchased and commissioned new plant and equipment to cater for the increased demand for the R2800 engine.
Two new CNC machines made up the bulk of the new purchases. Firstly the Okuma high speed C-Axis production lathe with a 12 station turret and secondly, the Makino twin pallet fully automatic machine centre containing a 60 tool carousel.
The introduction of the new agents, coupled to the time consuming task of commissioning and programming the new equipment, along with maintaining production schedules, has been a Herculean effort on the part of all Rotec staff. The task is now complete and production speeds have dramatically increased.
With the concentration of effort required to accomplish the above tasks Rotec was not able to have an official presence at Osh 2003 and instead relied on representation by our Agents. However that was not to be and it was left to Ron Herron to display his Autogyro fitted with the R2800. We've also used the advert in Kitplanes to maintain the R2800's presence in front of you the public. We apologise to all of you that expected to see us at Osh 2003 - we'll see you in 2004.
Reports coming back from Osh 2003 have been extremely favorable in praise of Ron Herron's R2800 Equipped Autogyro and the 2 forums conducted by Brian Henneman (our Indiana Agent) and Ron Herron respectively. Look out for more news as it develops.
takes to the skies in the UK: