For decades RotorWay has manufactured its own powerplant. Through numerous developments over the years, the RotorWay engine today is one of the most advanced in the general aviation sector. Significant advances were introduced with the Exec 162F, and have been further refined into the A600 Talon.
The most significant technical advance incorporated into RotorWay engines has been FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control). The FADEC system controls the powerplant, providing it with the correct fuel, air, and ignition ratios required for optimum performance with minimum fuel burn.
The FADEC system includes Primary Sensors monitoring ignition, throttle position and manifold pressure. RotorWay's FADEC system has two ignition sensors hooked to the main central processing unit (CPU); a unique safety feature in the general aviation sector. For load, the FADEC uses throttle position, but should this sensor fail the CPU is programmed to read the manifold sensor to determine the correct air to fuel ratio.
Secondary sensors include fuel pressure, fuel flow/consumption, ambient air temperature, engine temperature, and barometric pressure. These sensors are used for fine-tuning, modifying the fuel/air mix based on local conditions such as temperature and elevation. Each of the secondary sensors have default settings. For example; the default setting for barometric altitude is 3500ft. Since most flying is done between 0ft and 7000ft, losing this sensor will not cause a great concern. However, a failure of this sensor would immediately be drawn to the pilot's attention on the cockpit digital display. If operations at a high altitude were required, the pilot should consider a change of plans under these circumstances.
In the unlikely event that both the throttle position and the manifold sensor fail, or if there was a total loss of the main CPU, the FADEC will automatically transfer to a secondary electronic control unit without engine interruption. This is a completely redundant system with its own throttle position sensor. It uses redundant injectors that are positioned in the plenum.
There are a number of reasons why RotorWay have moved their engines to electronic fuel injection. The air/fuel ratio is delivered with much greater accuracy, resulting in better fuel economy and much more even power levels between the four cylinders. This in turn means greater longevity and improved reliability for all the engine components. Fuel adjustments are fully automatic.
Since the Exec 162F, and further improved in the Talon, RotorWay engines utilise a coolant/oil integrated heat exchanger. This engine coolant system and oil sump/heat exchanger have been engineered for maximum performance, light weight, and longevity. Due to the system efficiency, minimum operating temperature is attained within minutes of start-up, and the correlation of oil and coolant temperature is kept very consistent.
This system incorporates a combined sump tank and oil cooler manufactured wholly from aluminium. Engine oil is drawn from the sump tank into the oil pump where it is pressurised to circulate through the filter before entering the engine case. This circuit is constructed from braided, stainless steel reinforced hoses. Gravity then drains the oil from the engine back to the top of the sump tank. It then flows over the heat exchanger where it is cooled by the recirculating engine coolant.
A precision machined aluminium inline manifold contains a standard automotive thermostat to control the coolant flow. The thermostatic housing also has a controlled port that feeds coolant into the inlet of the heat exchanger in the oil sump tank. This system enables the oil temperature to be further controlled, for example allowing the temperature to increase to operating temperature after engine start, by restricting the flow of coolant through the heat exchanger.