After roughly eighteen months of building the Rans S20, my confidence in my skills was at an all-time high.  I had overcome numerous challenges and learned new building techniques such as working with aluminum and fabric covering.  However, as I now venture into the engine section of the build, I realize that I’m starting over – none of the skills I have developed thus far are of much (if any) value whatsoever, aside from a the benefit of increased confidence.

Although, I had been fairly satisfied with my plan to purchase the Rotax 912is fuel injected engine, over the past few months I began to question that decision. Another S20 builder in Kansas purchased (and installing) the Edge Performance engine EP912STI, which is a 3rd-party modification of the original Rotax line of engines. The EP engine offers a number of interesting benefits but the current number of total installs (as compared to the Rotax 912is) is limited. Additionally, the current TBO is 1200 hours versus 2,000 hours for the 912is.

The actual process of purchasing the 912is was more complicated than I expected, but I know it’s the result of a number of my own issues. Once again, the experience of stepping into something new like this is forcing me to deal with all my character flaws, such as doing thorough research, making decisions and sticking by them, and not trying to turn business relationships into friendships. What should have been an easy and fun experience, I let drag on for months and did not take decisive action. However, I did finally make the decision to move forward with Lockwood Aviation Supply and purchase the engine and major components. After a number of conversations with several builders locally, Rans, and two US Rotax Distributors, I ultimately purchased the 912is from Lockwood Aviation Supply. Lockwood’s business size, support, and reputation were the three factors that drove my decision. In addition to the engine, I purchased the oil cooler, radiator, oil can, ring mount, and a few other parts. Of the two, I have selected Lockwood Aviation Supply in Sebring Florida.

My purchase process began in late March and finished on August 11th when the 912is arrived at my house! Lockwood shipped the engine within two days of receiving my check without shipping costs! Today, the 912is is sitting in my garage and will be installed once the S20 is painted.

Time Spent- Sanding: 28 hours, 30 minutes
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