Good day house, I'm trying to understand if I should use the Volkswagen golf mk1 (60hp) engine for my ultralight projects.. All advise will be greatly appreciated.. ♥️

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You need to define what you mean by safe. As it is this is too broad and a matter of opinion. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Nov 15, 2022 at 14:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you verified that the weight of your aircraft will still fall into the ultralight category with this engine? I don't know the weight of this particular engine but my guess is that it's on the heavy side. $\endgroup$
    – jwh20
    Nov 15, 2022 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to meet ultralight weight limits in a specific country, such as the US? $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2022 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


I'd be very surprised if even a stripped-down Golf Mk. 1 engine (even starter and alternator removed, magneto installed) would allow your ultralight to meet weight limits with pilot and fuel aboard. The Golf Mk. 1 is a liquid cooled engine, and while I can't find a listing for the bare engine weight, it surely is much heavier than the air cooled two-stroke and four-stroke engines commonly installed on ultralight aircraft. The coolant and lubricating oil alone would weigh almost half what a small Rotax engine would, and never mind the cast metal block and head, pistons, rods, and crankshaft, camshaft and cam drive parts.

If you really want to use an automobile engine, you might investigate how much power you can get from the small air cooled engines in a Citroen 2CV, Honda 500 or 600 Coupe, or other mini-car from the 1960s or 1970s. The only liquid cooled automobile engines I can quickly think of that might come close to allowing you to make weight limits are the 1 liter 3 cylinder from the early Geo Metro (which was built by Suzuki for GM), or (but with many more weight-increasing bits) the 1 liter Eco-Boost engine from the Ford Fiesta of the past ten years or so.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .