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Continental IO-520 Vs. IO-550

Updated: May 14, 2023

The benefits and increased performance offered for the Cessna 180 and 182 aircraft by either the Continental IO-520-D engine or the IO-550-D engine are impressive, with a few differences.

The IO-520-D engine generates 300 horsepower at an RPM of 2850, which is allowed for 5 minute intervals. On take off, at full throttle, 300 horsepower are available for five minutes, then a power change is made to bring the engine back to 285 horsepower (maximum continuous horsepower).

The IO-550-D engine generates 300 horsepower at 2,700 rpm, and has no limitations. The basic difference between the IO-520 engine and the IO-550 engine is the stroke of the piston within the cylinder, the 550 being longer, thus creating more cubic inches, and 300 sustainable horsepower through increased torque.

Both the IO-520 and 550 engine is fuel injected, equipped with a new starter, Bendix 1200 series magentos, harness and plugs, heavy duty non-congealing oil cooler, high capacity oil pump, VAR crankshaft, Heavy crankcase (7th Stud), integral oil filter and Continental Warranty.










Maximum RPM

2850 RPM

2700 RPM

Time Between Overhauls

1900 HRS

1900 HRS

Fuel Consumption*

15-16 GPH

17-18 GPH

*75% Power at 5,000 FT


For more information on engine upgrades contact Air Plains today. Phone: 1-800-752-8481

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