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Air Plains Services Adds Three New Engine Upgrade Options for Cessna Pistons

SANTE FE, NM (Sept. 15 2018) – Air Plains Services, a world leader in extreme performance upgrades for a variety of general aviation aircraft models, today announced at the AOPA Regional Fly-In in Santa Fe it has added three engine upgrades approved through supplemental type certificates (STC) for Cessna single-engine piston aircraft to its existing range of popular STC-approved engine upgrades.

The addition of these three STCs gives Air Plains one of the industry’s widest ranges of engine upgrades for Cessna’s most popular single-engine piston aircraft. As with all Air Plains engine upgrades and spare parts, these upgrades can be installed at the company facility in Kansas or shipped as a complete kit anywhere in the world.

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.

“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. “Air Plains is known for expert customer service and our experience with engine upgrade STCs comes from years of doing our own installations, as well as providing ongoing support for customers who choose to do the installation themselves. Customers for these new STCs can expect the same level of expertise and commitment to total customer satisfaction.”

The engine upgrade for Cessna 182 S and T models uses a new Lycoming IO-540 260 hp engine for a 13 percent 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.

Performance enhancements include a 10 percent takeoff distance reduction and a 20 percent 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.

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. 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 take-off 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.

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 lbs. 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.

“We are very excited about adding these new upgrades to our product range,” Kelley said. “This means more options and more opportunity to get the most out of your airplane for years to come.”

In the past year, Air Plains celebrated delivery of both its 2,500th 180 hp XP upgrade for Cessna 172s and its 500th 300hp XP upgrade for Cessna 180s and 182s. The three new STCs were originally developed by Alamo Aerospace and purchased by Air Plains.

For more information, visit us at or call 800-752-8481 or (outside the U.S.) +1-620-326-8904.

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