Rotax is the brand name for a range of internal combustion engines developed and manufactured by the Austrian company BRP-Rotax GmbH & Co KG (until 2016 BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co. KG), in turn owned by the Canadian Bombardier Recreational Products.
Rotax four-stroke and advanced two-stroke engines are used in a wide variety of small land, sea and airborne vehicles. Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) use them in their own range of such vehicles. In the light aircraft class, in 1998 Rotax outsold all other aero engine manufacturers combined.
The company was founded in 1920 in Dresden, Germany, as ROTAX-WERK AG. In 1930, it was taken over by Fichtel & Sachs and transferred its operations to Schweinfurt, Germany. Operations were moved to Wels, Austria, in 1943 and finally to Gunskirchen, Austria, in 1947. In 1959, the majority of Rotax shares were taken over by the Vienna-based Lohner-Werke, a manufacturer of car and railway wagon bodies.
In 1970, Lohner-Rotax was bought by the Canadian Bombardier Inc. The former Bombardier branch, Bombardier Recreational Products, now an independent company, uses Rotax engines in its ground vehicles, personal water craft, and snowmobiles.
Rotax engines designed specifically for light aircraft include both four-stroke and two-stroke models.
Current models are:
- Rotax 912 series, four-stroke
- Rotax 914 series, four-stroke
- Rotax 915 series, four-stroke
- Rotax 582 UL, two-stroke
Historical models no longer in production include:
- Rotax 275, two-stroke
- Rotax 277, two-stroke
- Rotax 377, two-stroke
- Rotax 447 UL, two-stroke
- Rotax 503 UL, two-stroke
- Rotax 532 UL, two-stroke
- Rotax 535 certified two-stroke
- Rotax 618 UL, two-stroke
The company also produces unbranded engines, parts and complete powertrains for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). Uses include motor bikes and scooters, with complete engines including the and . Motorcycle manufacturers using Rotax engines include Aprilia, BMW (F and G series), Buell and KTM.
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- "Bombardier Recreational Products & Vehicles - BRP USA". brp.com. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Gunston, W.; "World Encyclopaedia of Aero Engines", 4th Edition, Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1998, Page 170.
- "Company history up to 1969". Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "The Glaser-Dirks DG500M". aopa.org. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Gschossmann Dominik. "Kart Engine Business of BRP-Powertrain". rotax-kart.com. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Gschossmann Dominik. "we build your engine - Home". rotax-oem.com. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Startseite". BRP-Rotax. Retrieved 24 September 2015.