German engine manufacturer Wankel Rotary is studying the development of a multi-fuel rotary engine for aircraft and helicopter applications.

Wankel says that the variable installation position (VIP) engine will be able to run on avgas, kerosene, diesel, natural gas, methanol or hydrogen, and will offer substantial weight savings over today's piston engines. The company is proposing a family of engines, ranging from the single rotor VIP-1050, generating 48kW and weighing 38kg dry, to the four-rotor, 192kW VIP-4200, which weighs 69kg.

The company says that it does not have the funds to develop the engine on its own, but is hoping to make a start by becoming a partner in a UAV programme with its existing 40kW LOCR-407 SD engine, which it describes as a forerunner of the VIP family.

Source: Flight International