180 conv banner

Air Plains 300HP C-182 H thru R



Air Plains performance upgrade delivers exhilarating performance with increased cruise airspeed and rate of climb. Upgrade your Skylane to achieve the thrilling performance you always dreamed of. Once you feel the extra horses the only thing you will wish for is that you had done the upgrade sooner. 

Upgrading your Skylane to deliver 300 horsepower could not be any easier. The upgrade will exceed your expections in performance and reliability.

Air Plains sales team and technical support provides assitance before the purchase all the way to your flying. 




IO 520 DThe benefits and increased performance offered by either the 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) and integral oil filter.

Powerplant IO-520-D IO-550-D
Manufacturer Continental Continental
Engine Model IO-520-D IO-550-D
Horsepower 285 HP 300 HP
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    


Learn more about Fuel Injection

Fuel Injection or Carburetor  

While both fuel injection and carburetors have been used in the aircraft industry for decades the debate conintues on which is better. Cessna begin using fuel injected 470 and 520 cu. in. engines in 1960 in Cessna 210's and Cessna 182's. As different models of aircraft were added to production they were equipped with fuel injected engines. 

Cessna chose the Fuel Injected engines for horsepower and economy. Fuel injection provides even distribution of the fuel to all cylinders since a fuel nozzle is placed in each cylinder and fed individually with a line from the flow divider valve. In carbureted engines the fuel is introduced into the induction system at the carburetor venturi thru a single nozzle and then must make its way along a circuitous route to be introduced into the cylinder for combustion. The result of this circuitous route is that some cylinders get excessive amount of fuel and some get an insufficient amount of fuel.

Fuel injection allows the engine to perform to its full potential. A Fuel injected engine from Continental will produce 300 Hp for both the IO-520 and the IO-550 engine. An engine built as an O-520 or O-550 engine is de-rated and will produce significantly less horsepower. A side note to the fuel injected vs carbureted discussion, Continental has never produced a carbureted O-520 or O-550 engine. Continental engineering determined that the most efficient was to operate the high horsepower engine is with fuel injection.

Beside a more efficient engine, another big advantage to fuel injection is the potential of carburetor ice is eliminated. Carb ice is caused by rapid expansion of air as it passes thru the venturi in the carburetor which in itself cause’s the air temperature to decrease. That temperature drop is enhanced by atomization of the fuel which is introduced to the air at the same point. On engine’s that have the carburetor suspended from the induction system like the O-470 and O-520 engines the creation of carb ice can be a significant problem. On days of high humidity and 50° F frost may form on the induction system just above the carburetor. Cessna 180’s and 182’s are actually approved in the owner’s handbook to operate with partial carb heat during takeoff, climb and cruise.

So what does Air Plains do to a Cessna 180 or 182 to change it from a carbureted O-470 engine to a fuel injected IO-550 engine? The airframe has some slight changes made to accommodate the change to fuel injection. The O-470 Engine is removed and replaced with 300 Hp IO-520 or IO-550 engine. Along with a new engine, Air Plains installs a new 3 blade propeller and propeller governor.

A fuel reservoir tank is added to provide a constant supply of fuel to engine in all attitudes. This fuel reservoir tank is installed in every Cessna single engine aircraft that has fuel injection installed. These would include restart 172’s, 182’s and 206’s.

Instead of beating on the firewall with a hammer to provide clearance for the high capacity oil pump and the engine driven fuel pump, Air Plains installs a small relief panel in the firewall. An electric fuel pump is added to the aircraft which aids starting and serves as a backup to the engine fuel pump. The result is a smooth running, fuel efficient engine system that is designed to give many years of safe operation. There are no excuses and no compromises with a fuel injected engine.



All propellers have been matched to provide the best combination of airframe, powerplant and application. 

Propeller PHC-L3YF-1RF PHC-L3YF-1RF D3A34C401 MT
Manufacturer Hartzell Propeller Hartzell Propeller McCauley Propeller MT Propeller
Model /F7691 /F8468A()-6R /90DFA MTV-9-D
Engine Model IO-520-D, IO-550-D IO-550-D IO-520, IO-550-D IO-550
Blades 3 3 3 3
Diameter Max. 78 80  82  
Diameter Min. 77 78  80  
Pitch Range 11.1-26.8 13.2-31  11.2-28.5  
Preferred Application Land Seaplane Land Land




Air Plains 300 HP offers substantially increased climb and cruise performance.

APS 300 HP Performance
IO-520-D IO-550-D
Cruise Airspeed 175-180 mph 180-185 mph
Rate of Climb (S.L.) 1400-1500 fpm 1700-1800 fpm
Service Ceiling 24,000 feet 24,000 feet



Explore the options as a Skylane owner and choose what best fits your needs. 

Option One: Complete kit with engine installed at Air Plains Services. Have the installation performed for one flat fee by the mechanics that know this upgrade best. Typical turn around time is three to four weeks. 

Option Two: Complete kit with engine installed by local mechanic. Purchase the 300Hp kit with engine and have your local mechanic perform the installation. Air Plains provides a complete package including step by step installation instructions and detailed drawings for a seamless installation. Technical support by Air Plains staff is available, if needed. Typical field install is 160 man hours.

This STC is EASA Approved.

Approved for float plane application contact Air Plains for preferred installers. 

Air Plains 300 horsepower has been developed from experience in modifying and maintaining other Cessna aircraft at our facilities for nearly 40 years. The standardized kit, installation instructions, blueprints, and continued airworthiness manual safeguards procedures and standards for installation and maintenance of your 'new' Skylane... no matter where you choose to have the upgrade installed.

Kit Accessories

Kit Accessories

Air Plains all inclusive kit changes slightly between each model to accommodate changes in the original airframe design. Whether installed at our facility or shipped to your local mechanic for installation, Air Plains 300 Horsepower engine upgrade will be delivered as an all-encompassing kit. 

  • Fuel reservoir tank, accessories and installation hardware
  • Fuel Pump
  • Hartzell Scimitar three blade propeller and new logbook
  • Polished spinner assembly 
  • Engine isolator mounts with bolts (four)
  • Manifold pressure/fuel flow gauge 
  • Throttle mixture cable assemblies
  • Check valve 
  • All new fuel and oil lines and scat-hoses
  • Baffle mod components 
  • New prop governor
  • Placards 
  • Hardware, switches and clamp kit 
  • STC Authorization, Drawings, and Installation Instructions
  • Click to download Air Plains 300HP Brochure  
  • Optional(additional charge applies): New Seaplanes West engine mount 

All kit parts are manufactured at our facilities where we maintain close control on fabrication and production. Parts are FAA-PMA approved in order to ensure the best quality and most complete upgrade kit is received.


callout top2

CALL 1.800.752.8481 or CONTACT US