A Rotax 912ULS2 engine powers SunDancer. Besides its incredible power to weight ratio (100 hp/ 100 pounds) and miserly fuel burn, the Rotax engine is tops in reliability. Austrian engineering has produced an engine whose exacting tolerances require only O-rings and Locktite - not gaskets -to seal components. In this 6 minute video by AV Web, Paul Bertorelli will give you a peek inside the Rotax aviation engine factory.
Although Michael Tomazin, the North American distributor of Distar aircraft, and I are certificated Rotax repair technicians, we are required to renew our certification every two years. The objective of the two day Rotax recertification program is to refresh our technical knowledge and teach us how to diagnose and repair unusual problems. During the March 2019 course the participants completely disassembled this demo 912ULS engine and reassemble it - with no parts left over. This continuing education is an example of our commitment to ensure outstanding service after the sale.
What do you do when your SunDancer is ready for delivery. but the winter weather is not cooperating? Ascribing to the philosophy that some flying is better than no flying, the owner and Mike met up in Las Vegas during a brief weather window and together logged 18 hours of instruction in the owner's new SunDancer. Final delivery is set for April.
The really cool thing about the MGL Avionics in SunDancer is how the engine communicates with the iEFIS. Instead of a myriad of wires running from the engine to various engine instruments, the engine sensors are wired to a data block inside the engine compartment. The data from the data block (called the RDAC - Remote Data Acquisition Computer) is sent to the iEFIS over a single wire. Changing an engine sensor is as easy as unplugging one wire and plugging in another.
A standard feature with SunDancer (others charge extra for them) are three sets of interchangeable wing tips. The shortest wing tips can be used for cross-country motoring. The tips with winglets are for medium performance soaring. The longest tips extend the length of each wing an additional four feet resulting in a 15 meter (49 foot) span and a 30:1 glide ratio.
It is important to know where the center of gravity is on an aircraft. Loading an aircraft too far forward or aft of the CG may lead to difficulty in controlling it. In SunDancer, the CG is at the position of the pilot's shoulders (the black dot in the diagram). The weight of crew, baggage and fuel is clustered around the CG making it extremely difficult to accidentally get into an out-of-CG situation.
The author of this news page is a SunDancer owner and the webmaster of this site.