Continental Offers Drop-In Prime IO-370 For Lyc-Powered Skyhawks


At AirVenture this week Continental announced a new STC to install its Prime IO-370-D3A3 engine into Cessna R and S-series C172s—a retrofit that could actually cost less than overhauling the Lycoming IO-360 it replaces.

The Prime IO-370-D3A3 delivers 180 HP, includes roller tappets and comes with a recommended TBO of 2200 hours that extends to 2400 hours for high-utilization aircraft. The STC includes the engine, a Bendix impulse coupled ignition system (to provide improved starting and reduced magneto maintenance, Continental says), a starter, fuel system and associated STC paperwork to complete the installation on Cessna 172s currently using a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine. The STC is priced at $27,226 and comes with a two-year warranty.

The Prime-series Continental in later-model Skyhawks could have sizable appeal to fleet and flight school operators. This spring Piper announced that its Pilot 100-series PA-28 trainer will be equipped with the Continental Prime engine, an aircraft that’s aimed directly at flight schools.

Larry Anglisano
Larry Anglisano is a regular AVweb contributor and the Editor in Chief of sister publication Aviation Consumer magazine. He's an active land, sea and glider pilot, and has over 30 years experience as an avionics tech.

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  1. This sounds very interesting, as my club is looking at replacing an engine in our 172SP this winter. What exactly classifies an airplane as a “high-utilization” aircraft? Also, do you know if this requires a core exchange? I’d be interested to know more about the ignition system, starter and fuel system that they include. Researching…

    • >> What exactly classifies an airplane as a “high-utilization” aircraft?

      40 hours per month of engine operation.