Subaru, Fuji (Japan)

Subaru is the brand name for automobiles built by Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.) of Tokyo, Japan. Fuji was founded on 7/15/53 as a successor to the well-known Nakajima firm, which built nearly 30,000 aircraft from 1917 through 1945. Fuji built aircraft, initially under license from Beech Aircraft and Bell Helicopter, but later of their own design; e.g. the FA-200-160 Aero Subaru powered by a Lycoming O-320. Most Subaru auto engines since 1966 have either four or six cylinders and are liquid-cooled and horizontally opposed.

It must be borne in mind that Fuji and Subaru do not authorize the use of Subaru engines or parts by any company, nor do they represent or warrant that their engines are suitable for use in aircraft of any kind. Any company modifying Subaru auto engines for aircraft use is not affiliated in any way with Subaru. This is the policy by most of the auto manufacturers whose engines have been adapted and converted for aircraft use. In the experimental aircraft community, these engines are generally classified as "Alternative Engines". Everyone dealing with them must appreciate that they are classified as experimental when they are not type certificated by the governing national authority. No Subaru conversions have been type certificated in the US.

Websites for what are called "Alternative Engines"; i.e., those based on automobile, motorcycle, marine engines, etc. (and not designed specifically as aircraft engines), are listed here. Subaru engines are among those considered. Moreover, specific Websites may be found by use of search engines; e.g., Google and Yahoo. Articles on various aspects of Alternative Engines can be found in KP1/00, 2/00, 8/01, and 9/01.

Contact Magazine Website.

Kitplanes Magazine Website.

Mike Kraus' Homebuilt Homepage, under "Vendors".

Ron Wantajja's Sea and Sky Aviation Page.

Ultralight News Website.

Jake Crause's Homebuilt Airplanes Website.

Eric Ulmer's Homebuilt Aircraft Engine Directory.

Subaru engines known to have been converted to light aircraft engines are listed below with notes about their previous auto usage, where available. The format will be to list all of the engine designs first, and then to list the firms that are now or formerly had been converting Subaru engines for aircraft propulsion, with links to the conversion firms that are reported in the usual format of this Compilation Website for details of their particular conversions.

Aircraft applications of Subaru engines by converters other than those listed on separate compilation pages are given for the specific Subaru auto-engine models below. These applications come from various Websites (including, "Jane's All the World's Aircraft", "Kitplanes" magazine and the EAA's "Sport Aviation" and "Sport Pilot & Light Sport Aircraft" magazines. These sources do not always identify a conversion person or firm.

Initially, Subaru engines were converted for use in homebuilt, experimental, non type-certificated light aircraft by individuals or very small firms. Articles giving details and problems encountered with such conversions can be found in KP3/01, 4/01, 5/01 by Tom Wyatt and in KP4/04, 5/04, 6/04 by John Larsen. These modern Subaru auto engines generate their maximum power at engine rotational speeds much greater than those for most engines developed specifically for aircraft. Accordingly, Subaru conversions generally require reduction of propeller rpm from that of engine rpm; i.e., they make use of Redrives, or as they will be called here, Propeller Speed Reduction Units (PSRU's). There are three basic types of PSRU's; mechanical gearboxes, chain-drive to an offset shaft, and belt-drive to an offset shaft. All achieve propeller rpm suitable for obtaining maximum power with efficient propellers that have tip speeds low enough to avoid excessive noise. In this Compilation, "reduction", "redrive" and "PSRU" have been used interchangeably with "gearing", independent of the means of reduction; i.e., "geared to 0.549" simply means that the prop rpm is 0.549 of the engine rpm, but not necessarily by mechanical gears.

The first Subaru conversion found by the Compiler was by Yuichi Ohnishi of Japan. He was reported (J70-71) to have converted a "Fuji-built Sparu (sic) 1000cc, 55 hp horizontally opposed, liquid-cooled motor-car engine". This must have been a Subaru EA-52 engine, which was used to power his Ohnishi OG-2 light aircraft.

The next Subaru conversion found was by Nihon University of Japan for their N-70 Cygnus motorglider. They were reported (J74-75) to have converted a Subaru EA-61 engine for this aircraft.

The next known conversions are by Taylor Aero Industries. This firm was founded by famous U.S. light-plane designer C.G. Taylor and his son, Bruce Taylor, later in the 1970s to build their Taylor Bird lightplane. The Taylors are reported to have converted "1400cc" (EA-63), "1600cc" (EA-71), and "1800cc" (EA-81 or EA-82) engines. Jane's AWA (J81-82) reported that Subaru conversion details were included with Taylor Bird plans sold by the Taylor firm.

Moulton Taylor (no relation to C.G. and Bruce Taylor) designed, built, and sold plans for the Coot amphibian. At least one Coot was powered by a converted Subaru ER-27, but it is not known by the Compiler whether Molt Taylor, himself, was involved in the engine conversion.

Subaru engine conversions have been popular with gyroplane builders. There are many companies providing plans and kits, as well as Subaru conversions. A great deal of information concerning Subaru use can be found on the Popular Rotorcraft Association Website. From their home page, click "info" on their heading toolbar and then click "Rotorcraft Companies" on the left-column toolbar. The kit manufacturers and the associated engine converters are listed in the information on that page. Engines listed include the Subaru EA-81, EA-82, EJ-22, and EJ-25. Other perspectives on Subaru conversions can be found on the Jodel/Subaru1 Webpage, Jodel/Subaru2 Webpage, and the Jodel/Subaru3 Webpage.

Individual and small shop activities like these exist today, but there are now firms like Crossflow, Eggenfellner, Maxwell, Stratus, and Rotary Air Force, which are not only converting the engines, but are building and selling firewall-forward experimental (but still non-certificated) engine packages. These packages are designed specifically for straight-forward mounting on popular aircraft and rotorcraft kits; e.g., by Lancair, New Glasair, Van's Aircraft, Zenith for aircraft and Rotary Air Force for gyroplanes. Details of these are given in the entries for the separate companies offering the conversions.

Four-Cylinder Subaru Engines

OL-60 - - {2.835 / 2.362 / 59.6} / {72 / 60 / 977}

These are EA-52 ( ~ 55hp) engines used in 1966-1970 Subaru automobiles.
Converter: Ohnishi (Japan).
Application: (Japan) Yuichi Ohnishi OG-2.

OL-66 - - {2.992 / 2.362 / 66.4} / {76 / 60 / 1089}

These are EA-61 ( ~ 60hp) engines used in 1969-1971 Subaru automobiles.
Converter: Nihon University (Japan).
Application: (Japan) Nihon University N-70 Cygnus.

OL-83 - - {3.346 / 2.362 / 83.1} / {85 / 60 / 1362}

These are EA-63 ( ~ 75hp) engines used in 1978-1980 Brats and 1977-1989 sedans.
Converter: Taylor Aero Industries (US).
Application: (US) Taylor Aero Industries Taylor Bird.

OL-97 - - {3.622 / 2.362 / 97.4} / {92 / 60 / 1595}.

These are EA-71 ( ~ 90hp) engines used in 1975-1976 sedans.
Converter: Taylor Aero Industries (US).
Application: (US) Taylor Aero Industries Taylor Bird TA2.

OL-109 - - {3.622 / 2.638 / 108.7} / {92 / 67 / 1782}.

These are EA-81 and/or EA-82 engines used in 1980-1989 Brats, 1985-1991 XT coupes, and 1980-1999 sedans. They have the same bore and stroke as the six-cylinder ER-27; see J96-97 to present.
Converters: Aerotek Performance Products (Canada) for a 1/2 conversion; Reductions (Canada); Rotary Air Force, RAF (Canada); Sub4 Aeromotive, Ltd. (New Zealand); I'm Fly'n Manufacturing, LLC (US); MDB Aerospace (US); NSI Propulsion Systems, Inc. (US); RAM Performance (US); Stratus 2000, Inc. (US); Subie-Lyc Engine Systems, Inc. (US); Taylor Aero Industries (US).
Applications: (Australia) Tomair Cobra Arrow. (Canada) Paxman Northern Lite Viper P3/A; Rotary Air Force RAF 2000 gyroplane; Ultravia Pelican PL. (US) Airdale; Anglin J-6 Karatoo; Barnett Rotorcraft J4B, J4B2 gyroplanes; Gyro-Kopp-Ters Midnight Hawk, Mosquito Hawk gyroplanes; Joe Souza Bandit Two Place, Super Bandit gyroplanes; North American Rotorworks Pitbull II, Pitbull SS gyroplanes; Rotor Hawk Falcon gyroplane; Taylor Aero Industries Taylor Bird TA3; Viking Dragonfly [C-FRWC].
Also, see Converters.

OL-111 - - {3.461 / 2.953 / 111.1} / {87.9 / 75 / 1820}.

These are EJ-18 engines used in 1989-1996 Impreza models.
Converter: None found.
Application: None found.

OL-122 - - {3.622 / 2.953 / 121.7} / {92 / 75 / 1994}.

These are EJ-20WRX engines are used in 2002-present WRX sedans.
Converter: Crossflow Aero Corp. (Canada).
Applications: See Crossflow.

OL-135 - - {3.815 / 2.953 / 135.0} / {96.9 / 75 / 2212}

These are EJ-22 engines used in 1990-1994 Legacy models and the 1999-2001 Impreza. They have the same bore and stroke as the six-cylinder EG-33; see J96-97 to present.
Converters: Crossflow Aero Corp. (Canada); Reductions (Canada); Rotary Air Force, RAF (Canada); NSI Propulsion Systems, Inc. (US); Stratus 2000, Inc. (US); Subie-Lyc Engine Systems, Inc. (US).
Applications: (Canada) Rotary Air Force RAF 2000 GTX 2.2 SE FI gyroplane. (Ukraine) Aerokopter 000 ZA-6 San'kr. (US) Air Command International Elite Tandem, Side-by-Side gyroplanes; Groen Brothers American Autogyro SparrowHawk gyroplane; Barnett Rotorcraft BRC 540 Coupe gyroplane; Rutan Vari-Eze; Vortech Hot Rod helicopter.
Also, see Converters.

OL-150 - - {3.917 / 3.110 / 149.9} / {99.5 / 79 / 2457}

These are EJ-25 engines used in 1999-present Forester, Impreza RS, Legacy, and Outback models; 2001-present SUS models; and 2003-present Baja models.
Converters: Rotary Air Force, RAF (Canada); Eggenfellner Aircraft, LLC (US); Maxwell Propulsion Systems (US); NSI Propulsion Systems, Inc. (US).
Applications: (Canada) Rotary Air Force RAF 2000 GTX 2.5 SE FI gyroplane. (US) Barnett Rotorcraft BRC 540 Coupe gyroplane; The Golden Butterfly gyroplane; Groen Brothers American Autogyro SparrowHawk gyroplane; Vortech Hot Rod helicopter.
Also, see Converters.

Six-Cylinder Subaru Engines

OL-165 - - {3.622 / 2.638 / 163.1} / {92 / 67 / 2672}

These are ER-27 ( ~ 180hp) engines used in 1988-1991 XT sports coupe. They have the same bore and stroke as the four-cylinder EA-81 and EA-82.
Converter: Unknown for OL-165 Application.
Application: (US) Moulton Taylor Coot amphibian.

OL-185 - - {3.512 / 3.150 / 183.1} / {89.2 / 80 / 3000}

These are the EZ-30 engines used in 2001-present Legacy and Outback models; also known as the H6-30 engine.
Converter: Eggenfellner Aircraft, LLC (US).
Applications: See Eggenfellner.

OL-200 - - {3.815 / 2.953 / 202.5} / {96.9 / 75 / 3319}

These are the EG-33 engines used in 1991-1997 SVX sports coupe. They have the same bore and stroke as the four-cylinder EJ-22
Converter: Subie-Lyc Engine Systems, Inc. (US).
Applications: See Subie-Lyc.

OL-205 - - {3.819 / 2.953 / 202.9} / {97 / 75 / 3325}

This is an unknown Subaru engine designation, but may be simply round off of the bore, in mm., of the OL-200 (EG-33).
Converter: Crossflow Aero Corp. (Canada).
Applications: See Crossflow.

Firms known to have offered Subaru conversions for experimental aircraft, now or in the past, and which have a separate page in this Compilation, are:

Crossflow Aero Corp. (Canada) with their Crossflow Website.

Reductions (Canada) without a Website.
(204) 853-7998 .

Rotary Air Force, RAF (Canada) with their RAF Website.

Sub4 Aeromotive, Ltd. (New Zealand) with their Sub4 Website.

Eggenfellner Aircraft, LLC (US) with their Eggenfellner Website.

I'm Fly'n Manufacturing, LLC (US) with their I'm Fly'n Website; see also Mike Kraus' Homebuilt Homepage.

Maxwell Propulsion Systems, Inc. (US) with their Maxwell Website.

MDB Aerospace (US) without a Website.

NSI Propulsion Systems, Inc. (US) without a Website.

RAM Performance (US) with their RAM Performance Website.

Stratus 2000, Inc. (US) with their Stratus Website.

Subie-Lyc Engine Systems, Inc. (US) without a Website.

Firm known to have offered two-cylinder Subaru conversions for experimental aircraft, now or in the past, and which has a separate page in this Compilation, is:

Aerotek Performance Products (Canada), see Ultralight News Report from Sun'n'Fun 1998 for a 1/2 EA-81 conversion.

Firms known to have offered PSRU specifically for Subaru conversions, now or in the past, are:

Aero Kinetics (US) uses chain drives for EA-81 conversions; see SA1/97.
11244 Aero Lane, SE
Yelm, WA 98597
(360) 458-8775

AMAX (Australia) uses belt drives for EA-81 and EA-82 conversions; see KP2/91, SA9/90.

Autoflight (New Zealand), founded by Neil Hintz, uses gearing for EA-81, EA-82, and single-camshaft EJ conversions; see their Autoflight Website.

G.A.P. Industries (Canada) uses planetary gears for EJ-22 and ER-27 conversions with 75 to 250hp, at least, mounted as a tractor or pusher; see their G.A.P. Website.

Marcotte, Guy (Canada) uses gears for Subaru conversions with from 75hp to 250hp; he also builds PSRU for Mazda rotary and large V-8 conversions from auto engines. He has done business since 1996 as Mega Moteur Avancé of Ste. Geneviève-de-Batiscan in Québec; see the Marcotte/Mega Moteur Avancé Website.

RAM Performance (US) uses gears; see KP3/07.

Real World Solutions, Inc. (US) uses planetary gears for EA-81, EJ-22 and EJ-25 conversions; see their Real World Solutions Website. Also, see KP4/01, 4/02, 4/03, 4/05, 4/06, 3/07.

Reductions (Canada) uses belt drives; see KP4/00, 4/01, 4/02, 4/03.

RFI (US) uses cog-belt drives for EA-71, EA-81, EA-82, EJ-18, EJ-22, EJ-25, ER-27, and EG-33 conversions; see KP4/00, 4/01, 4/02, 4/03, and SA11/96.
HC 67 Box 164
Indianola, OK 74442
(918) 823-4610

Ross Aero (US) uses planetary gears for Subaru 1800cc to 3400cc conversions; see KP4/00, 4/01.
8290 S. Wilmot Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706
(520) 747-7877

Rotary Air Force, RAF (Canada) uses belt drives; see KP4/05, 4/06, 3/07.

Stratus 2000, Inc. (US) uses belt drives; see KP4/00, 4/01, 4/02, 4/03, 4/05, 4/06, 3/07.


Updated 12/13/07