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Mon, Aug 04, 2003

Eggenfellner Engines -- Looking Big

If you don't know the name Eggenfellner Engines, you probably don't hang around with RV-ators* a lot. The guys who build and fly Dick Van Grunsven's RV-series kits have a lot of engine options, including sweetly-priced Lycomings from Van's, but Eggenfellner has a particularly good reputation with them.

According to their website, Eggenfellner has sold 298 of its converted Subaru engines - "Egg motors" to the initiated - to RV builders. That's a significant chunk of the market, especially when you consider that Van's actively discourages the use of anything but Lycoming motors.  Now, Richard Van Grunsven himself has expressed a limited degree of admiration for the Eggenfellner package, but he and his company remain firmly in favor of the well-known Lyc.

The completeness of the package and its low cost (the basic firewall forward, less propeller, is about $17,000) are two major attractions. There are other reasons than the purely practical. Many people who are attracted to experimental aviation are also attracted to new developments in engines. And because an RV aircraft is such a well-known, proven commodity, it's very hard to make a significant improvement in the airframe. All this tends to lead a significant minority of experimenters onto the trails that run off the Lycoming reservation, into the territory of experimental engines.

Whatever the reason, enough builders have opted for Eggenfellner package, that Eggenfellner has been able to raise its corporate profile at Airventure this year. In a cunning example of leveraged marketing, Eggenfellner gave booth space to a number of customer airplanes, and let his customers sell the engines for him. This has been very effective, with a number of sales booked during the show.

The Eggenfellner conversion works well with two modern, composite propellers, the lightweight, certified MT-Propeller, and the experimental and ultra-lightweight Quinti. These are available through Eggenfellner, at a substantial discount.

*RV-ators are not some kind of strange aquatic reptiles from the slimes of Okeefenokee, Them's alley-gators. RV-ators are guys who fly, build, eat, sleep and dream Van's RV aircraft.



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