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Rotax Engines to Iranian Bombs

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Rotax Engines to Iranian Bombs

Old 26th Oct 2022, 22:34
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Rotax Engines to Iranian Bombs

Some time ago there was a spate of thefts of Rotax engines from some GA airfields. Maybe some of these found their way to Iran, to be converted into flying bombs. So with the latest happenings in the Russia / Ukraine war, be prepared to lock up your planes a bit more securely.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 04:24
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Originally Posted by scifi View Post
Some time ago there was a spate of thefts of Rotax engines from some GA airfields. Maybe some of these found their way to Iran, to be converted into flying bombs. So with the latest happenings in the Russia / Ukraine war, be prepared to lock up your planes a bit more securely.
My understanding is the Iranians are using Chinese made 2 stroke engines in the drones.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 07:49
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I guess anything is possible but clearly the number of drones produced necessitates some predictable supply chain.
Whoever is stealing those engines doesn't do it on an industrial level.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 08:11
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An engine designed by the Austrian company Rotax was discovered installed in one of Russia's Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drones that went down over the Black Sea earlier this month. Rotax says it has launched an investigation into its engines powering Iranian drones. The delivery of such hardware to Iran violates European Union sanctions banning the export of items with both civilian and military purposes, such as vehicle parts. Identical sanctions are imposed by the European Union against Russia, as well.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...d-over-ukraine
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 08:53
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Other sources mention the use of Limbach engines in Iranian drones, I even saw a rumour of them being copied in Iranian factory.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 16:43
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Originally Posted by scifi View Post
Some time ago there was a spate of thefts of Rotax engines from some GA airfields. Maybe some of these found their way to Iran, to be converted into flying bombs. So with the latest happenings in the Russia / Ukraine war, be prepared to lock up your planes a bit more securely.
Many believe that the thefts started about the time Rotax started acting on embargoes against Turkey, who were using them in armed drones that country was using against the Kurds. Those drones were subsequently sold to the Ukrainians.

So more likely the stolen British Rotax engines have already gone to Ukraine, and were at-least being used by the good guys.

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Old 27th Oct 2022, 17:09
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The use in the Iranian drones, many of which have limited operating lives, means that anyone making duplicates doesn't have to work as hard to provide longevity. Getting the correct materials and surface treatments is not so critical if an engine needs to run for 10-100 hours vs 1000-2000 hours. On that basis the Iranians would have little difficulty making duplicates while keeping the cost down. The Turkish drones are likely for long-term loitering surveillance and would need much more durability - they may be operated 12-24 hours a day for months on end.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 19:33
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Here in the arctic tundra, we have to keep an eye out for Iranians buying snowmobiles for the Rotax engines
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 07:20
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
Other sources mention the use of Limbach engines in Iranian drones, I even saw a rumour of them being copied in Iranian factory.
That wouldn’t be difficult since a Limbach is basically a VW Beetle engine. I’m sure that an engine from a scrap Beetle could be easily turned into a serviceable drone engine.
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 15:05
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
That wouldn’t be difficult since a Limbach is basically a VW Beetle engine. I’m sure that an engine from a scrap Beetle could be easily turned into a serviceable drone engine.
I'm flying behind an 80 HP Aerovee, so basically a VW bug motor. But it is bored and stroked out to 2180CC and has a bunch of specialized parts to aviationize-it, like an accessory plate and a prop shaft. Sure it could be done but I think a scrap beetle motor would be pretty low on power for its weight.
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 20:26
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
I'm flying behind an 80 HP Aerovee, so basically a VW bug motor. But it is bored and stroked out to 2180CC and has a bunch of specialized parts to aviationize-it, like an accessory plate and a prop shaft. Sure it could be done but I think a scrap beetle motor would be pretty low on power for its weight.
34 hp, if memory serves.
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 21:29
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
I'm flying behind an 80 HP Aerovee, so basically a VW bug motor. But it is bored and stroked out to 2180CC and has a bunch of specialized parts to aviationize-it, like an accessory plate and a prop shaft. Sure it could be done but I think a scrap beetle motor would be pretty low on power for its weight.
Back in 1998, i briefly owned a share in a Evans VP1. It had a peacock-conversion VW Camper engine (1830cc versus the Beatle’s1600.) With 60KG me on board, it climbed at 500 fpm and cruised at 75mph.
What weight payload (warhead) do these things carry? I assume these things are basic and small, say basically a RC, GPS guided VP1 type aircraft with a warhead rather than pilot, so performance would be unspectacular but adequate. (Although given the low speed, probably fairly easy to shoot down.)
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 00:10
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The smaller ones (Shahed-136 ) carry upto 110 pounds of explosive, but they can also carry an observation platform when not being used on one-way missions
Wikipedia says it uses this engine https://www.militarydrones.org.cn/md...-p00583p1.html produces 50hp and claims the Shahed overall weighs in at 440 pounds. That all seems a bit much for an 8 foot span/ 11 foot length, but https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HESA_Shahed_136 and is backed by https://en.defence-ua.com/weapon_and...pecs-4207.html
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Old 2nd Nov 2022, 16:17
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Is this going to be the latest excuse to repel those pesky visitors, NO you cannot in case you are selling engines to Iran.
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