The economics of ownership have changed a lot over the past ten years, with owners getting retrofit options that were the stuff of dreams a decade ago. And enough time has passed that even models that we might still think of as current generation no longer are, and they are starting to get some retrofit pathways, too.
The Cessna 172 Models R and S have been around for some time now, and the G1000 equipped models for more than 10 years. Some of them are equipped with what now seem like older avionics and many of them have engines that have already been overhauled at least once. For owners and operators—many are owned by flight schools—Continental and Garmin launched upgrade programs that will surely spark some interest.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 22, 2019 — Continental Aerospace Technologies has launched an STC program to retrofit its Prime IO-370 D3A3 engine into Cessna R and S series C172s. The Prime engine will replace the powerplant in Skyhawks outfitted with the Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine at a cost of $27,226. That figure, Continental points out, is competitive with many field overhauls of the original engine. Not only will owners get a brand new 180-hp engine instead of an overhauled one, but they will get extras, including roller tappets plus a recommended TBO of 2,200 hours, which can be extended to 2,400 hours “for high utilization aircraft,” Continental said.
Standard with the STC package are the engine, the Bendix impulse coupled ignition system, which Continental says gives improved starting performance and lower magneto maintenance, a new starter, fuel delivery system and all the STC paperwork that goes along with it.
On the pilot’s side of the firewall, Garmin has introduced a new program to retrofit the G1000 NXi panel into both the R and S models of 172 Skyhawks (as well as the Cessna 206 and others).
Included with the G1000 NXi upgrade is a host of new capabilities, including the support of ADS-B In traffic and weather information, SurfaceWatch ground operations utility, display of NEXRAD weather, Garmin’s very cool Vertical Situation Display, en route IFR charts and VFR sectionals. The panel also boasts Connext wireless cockpit connectivity, the overlay on the HIS of geographical maps, and visual approach guidance (perhaps our favorite feature) and more.
Garmin is taking orders for the G1000 NXi upgrade and expects to start delivering the systems for the Skyhawks (and other new models) in August. The list price is $28,995, along with a $4,000 software and Letter of Authorization price for the package from Textron Aviation.