WELLINGTON, Kansas – Air Plains Services, which provides extreme performance upgrades for a variety of general aviation aircraft, recently sold its 500th 300-horsepower 182XP engine upgrade, this one for a Cessna 182 owner in Kansas City.
“This was special for us, not only as the 500th 300-horsepower upgrade, but because it ended up sparking a tip-to-tail aircraft refurbishment by the owner and was our most complete aircraft project in our more than 40-year history,” said Mike Kelley, founder and owner of Air Plains Services. “While a lot of our upgrade engines are shipped as complete kits for installation to other parts of the world, this one was installed at our shop in Kansas so there is an added measure of pride for our team.”
The owner, Mike McRobert, was so pleased with his upgrade, he renumbered his airplane to N182AP for Air Plains.
“Every time I looked to add something, I would ask ‘how much’ and Air Plains would always give me a good estimate, and a quick update if anything changed, which rarely did,” McRobert said. “Air Plains cost estimates were solid and allowed me to make good decisions. Air Plains was always fair, and I could not be happier.”
The Air Plains 182XP engine upgrade for this project consisted a completely new firewall-forward assembly centered on a new Continental IO-550 engine with a three-blade Hartzell Scimitar prop.
In addition to the Air Plains 182XP 300-hp kits for Cessna 180 and 182 model aircraft, the company also sells and installs 180-hp engine upgrades kits, the 172XP, for Cessna 172 models, with more than 2,500 of those sold around the world – more than 3,000 total XP kits.
Air Plains also performs an array of scheduled maintenance and inspection activities, custom airframe and interior work specializing in custom avionics panels, engine analyzer installations, ADS-B solutions, airframe repair, and complete tech support.
Air Plains offers more than 500 PMA spare parts, including many hard-to-find part numbers, company officials note.
Another Air Plains product is the INPULSE ADI system that enables the aircraft owner to use 91-octane unleaded automotive fuel (MOGAS) in some high compression engines.