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Air Plains Services Introduces Second PMA Airbox for Stock Cessna 172s

Updated: Mar 6

Air Plains PMA airbox, Cessna 172N, 172P

WELLINGTON, KS (March 5, 2024) – Air Plains Services, a world leader in general aviation engine and avionics upgrades, has followed its recent announcement and gained a second PMA for new-build Cessna 172 airboxes, this time for a short airbox designed to fit Cessna 172N and 172P models with the original O-320 Lycoming engine. In December, the company announced approval of a new PMA long airbox for Cessna 172 I, K, L, and M models with the factory original O-320 engine.

Air Plains has produced improved PMA airboxes for its popular 172XP engine upgrades for more than a decade and added new airboxes for Cessna 180, 182 and 188 models in 2020. Compared with OEM airboxes, the Air Plains PMA airboxes feature a number of improvements developed over years of airbox repair and include structural adhesive reinforcements in areas of high stress, a hardened control arm with a thicker cross-section, added nut plates to the front of the airbox to accommodate a Brackett air filter, if installed, all at a much lower price.

“Our airbox business has blossomed in recent years,” said Katie Church, Air Plains president. “The success of our original 172 airbox designed for the upgraded 180hp Lycoming engine prompted owners of other models to ask about an option for their aircraft and we responded. “The key for us is that we do the design and production on-site, so we monitor every step of the process,” Church said. “Our years of experience results in a high quality airbox at a price considerably lower than the OEM option.”

The Air Plains part number is APS0552164-4 and is approved for Lycoming O-320-H2AD and O-320-D2J engines on the Cessna 172N and 172P airframes.

Improvements include:

  • Use of a structural adhesive reinforcement in the highest stress areas, distributing stress between the skins and preventing common cracking and collar separation issues;

  • A collar flange made of a stronger, heat-treated alloy: ​

  • Corrosion-resistant steel shaft and oil-impregnated bronze bushing which eliminates the risk of needle ingestion by the engine;

  • A more robustly welded heat duct assembly that is riveted and bonded to the side skin;

  • Four-corner fuel drain holes instead of the standard two allow fuel drainage from any attitude on the ground, preventing airbox fires when over-primed;

  • The air filter is held on with screws, eliminating the troublesome quarter-turn fasteners;

  • Integrated nut plates can mount a Backett™ BA5110 filter using its hardware or can mount any other filter with the screws included with the airbox;​

  • The airbox features Air Plains’ improved carburetor heat arm manufactured from hardened steel and a larger bearing area for the clamp, reducing the wear from the cable clamp.  ​

  • Smart design and manufacturing produce a better airbox without adding to aircraft weight.


The company also produces PMA airbox accessories such as collars, gaskets and adjustable attachment brackets. Air Plains manufactures and inspects all its parts, including all its airboxes, onsite at the company’s machine shop.


For more information about the new PMA bracket (including model eligibility) or any of Air Plains other products or services, call 1-800-752-8481 or +1-620-326-8904, or visit For online shopping, visit Air Plains web store at  

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