Real World Solutions, Inc
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This is your source for all the latest updates on Tracy Crook's continuing development of the Mazda 13B rotary (Wankel) engine found in the 1986-1999 RX-7 and the 2004 & later RX-8 (Renesis engine).
Real World Solutions Inc. was formed for the purpose of developing cost effective information and products for converting the Mazda rotary engine for aircraft use. (We are NOT a "fire wall forward" manufacturer, however.) The rotary is uniquely qualified for this use due to its high power-to-weight ratio and reliability at high power settings.
The main obstacle to using this engine is the lack of an appropriate intake and ignition system. The stock Mazda fuel injection is not appropriate due to its bulky size, high weight, and intolerance for aviation fuel. It is not too difficult to adapt a variety of carburetors to the engine but this leaves us without ignition, since the EFI also controlled this function. It is possible to use the distributor from early model (1985 & earlier) RX-7s, but these were very tall and usually would not fit under the cowl of most airplanes.
To address this problem, our first product was a dual ignition controller, which was used with the stock crank angle sensor and coil assemblies used on 1986-1992 Mazda RX-7s. This, along with three Mikuni motorcycle carburetors, was flown on our RV-4 test-bed aircraft for four years (650 flight hours) with great success. Equipped this way, the 1988 RX-7 engine (13B) developed approximately 160 hp. The development and performance of this configuration is documented in detail in our conversion manual, Aviators Guide to Mazda Rotary Conversion.
A desire for more horsepower and better economy at higher altitudes led to the development of our second product, the EC1 dual fuel injection controller. Designed specifically for aircraft use, this controller combines the usual benefits of fuel injection (better mixture control, higher power, etc) without the drawbacks of automotive EFIs when used in aircraft.
The Oxygen sensor used in virtually all auto EFI systems is not compatible with aviation fuel, which has a high lead content. On long trips away from home, this is frequently the only fuel available. Our engine controllers do not require the use of an oxygen sensor so this is not a problem. In addition, we think that flight critical systems like ignition and fuel injection should be redundant. Our controllers are dual systems, in that they contain a backup controller which can be selected by the pilot in the event of a failure of the primary system.
Flight testing of our EC1 began in June 1998, and it performed well. Power increased to 180 hp and fuel economy at high altitude was measurably improved. In July of 1999 the EFI/Ignition Controller was updated and is now being produced as the EC2. This is the version we are currently flying. Follow the hyperlink for details.
In order to keep installation costs to a minimum, the EFI/Ignition Controller was designed to work with the stock Mazda fuel injectors, fuel rails, and pressure regulator; however, other manufacturer's components may be used. The stock Mazda intake manifold is too large to be used in most aviation applications, so in the interest of economy, which is a major factor in all our products, we published plans for building a lightweight, low profile manifold out of pieces of the stock manifold. These plans are available in the Mazda Papers.
After flying about 800 hours and experiencing some dissatisfaction with the Ross PSRU we were using, we decided to design our own gear reduction drive. The first production unit was installed on our airplane in 1999 in time for the 2,200 mile round trip to Oshkosh. We have subsequently delivered over 100 gear drives to satisfied customers. Take a minute to look at our customer listing - our track record for delivering as we promise is unsurpassed in the industry. Additional information is available on the PSRU pages.
We do not currently plan to become a firewall forward supplier of engines. Rather, we intend to supply everything that the average experimental airplane builder needs to build up his (or her, one can only hope for more women in this field) own engine installation. If you don't want to get your hands dirty tinkering with the innards of a rotary, we can steer you to several sources of excellent overhauled long block rotary engines ready to have our systems bolted on. If you have questions or suggestions about products you'd like to see for the rotary, give us a call, or send us email.
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