Air Plains Services, which specializes in extreme performance upgrades for a variety of general aviation aircraft models, has added three engine upgrades approved through supplemental type certificates (STC) for Cessna single-engine piston aircraft to its existing range of STC-approved engine upgrades.
The new STC upgrades consist of a 260 hp upgrade for Cessna 182 S and T model aircraft, a 260 hp upgrade for Cessna 182RGs, and a 180 hp upgrade for Cessna 172R models.
These upgrades can be installed at the company facility in Kansas or shipped as a complete kit anywhere in the world, company officials note.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and support for adding more options to our range of engine upgrades and these three, the 260-horsepower upgrade for S and T model 182s in particular, are going to satisfy a lot of the global demand for better performance for these popular aircraft,” said Mike Kelley, founder and owner of Air Plains.
Cessna 182S/T 260 hp
The engine upgrade for Cessna 182 S and T models uses a new Lycoming IO-540 260 hp engine for a 13% increase in power over the original 230 hp engine.
The upgrade can use the existing three-blade propeller to save cost or use a new McCauley propeller. The existing propeller governor is converted to 2700 RPM and the upgrade comes with a new tachometer, company officials note.
Performance enhancements include a 10% takeoff distance reduction and a 20% increase in rate of climb.
The new engine weighs essentially the same as the original so there is little or no reduction in useful load, and no airframe modifications are required, company officials add.
Cessna 182RG 260 hp
The retractable gear Cessna 182 now has a second engine upgrade option from Air Plains, this one using a 260-hp Lycoming IO-540 engine. Air Plains can install the upgrade in Kansas — no airframe modification needed — or ship it anywhere in the world as a complete kit, ready to be installed by your local mechanic, company officials said.
The kit includes a new McCauley three-blade propeller and spinner, a new electric fuel pump, governor, tachometer and fuel flow/manifold pressure indicator. A new Slick dual magneto replaces the D2000 magneto which is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
With the new fuel-injected engine, owners will have access to 25 more horsepower for improved takeoff distance, climb and cruise speed. Fuel injection also improves fuel economy while eliminating the chance of carburetor ice, and it eliminates the horizontal carburetor, resulting in a more reliable, even fuel distribution, company officials explain.
Cessna 172R 180 hp
The new 180 hp STC for Cessna 172R models is similar to Air Plains’ existing 180 hp upgrade and not only increases performance, but increases the useful load by 100 pounds, Air Plains officials said.
Since the upgrade uses the original engine, there are no airframe modifications required.
The kit includes a new propeller, tachometer, airspeed indicator, and fuel flow/EGT indicator.
In the past year, Air Plains celebrated delivery of both its 2,500th 180 hp XP upgrade for Cessna 172s and its 500th 300 hp XP upgrade for Cessna 180s and 182s.
The three new STCs were originally developed by Alamo Aerospace and purchased by Air Plains.