The X-AIR is commonly available with four engines from Rotax-Bombardier of Austria, the Australian produced Jabiru engine, the HKS from Japan and the Hirth engine.
Rotax engines are the worldwide recognised standard for Ultralight aircraft, with the available options being the 52 HP "503" or the 65 HP "582", the 75HP "618" (Now out of production) and the 80HP Rotax "912". The Rotax 503 is air-cooled, while the 582 & 618’s are liquid cooled, all engines feature dual electronic ignition, electric start, reduction gear boxes to improve propeller efficiency and carbon fiber Brolga ground adjustable props.
The Rotax 503 and 582 engines are two strokes designed to run on normal automotive fuel mixed with two-stroke oil similar to motorcycles. Hence there is no need to go in search of aviation fuel, which makes the X-AIR less dependent on airfields and aviation fuel supplies. The Rotax 912 is a 4 stroke engine running on regular unleaded car fuel.
The fuel tank capacity of just over 59 liters gives a comfortable endurance of at least 3 hours at normal cruise with a 1/2 hour reserve.
The X-Air can also be fitted with the Australian made Jabiru four cylinder four stroke engine. The Jabiru engine produces 80 horsepower and consumes approximately 15 liters of fuel per hour, whilst the Jabiru is an expensive option it is still worthy of consideration. The HKS engine has been successfully fitted to several aircraft overseas, but to date we have none flying in Australia.
Our personal recommendation on engine selection is the Rotax 582. The 582 engine bolts to the X-Air without modification, it is economical, has exceptional performance (1000 ft/min climb one up, 750 ft/min climb two up), and is supplied with oil injection as standard. The cheaper Rotax 503 producing 52 HP offers very good performance and economy one up but it seems to suffer a bit with two heavy pilots reducing the climb performance to about 500 ft/min.