Continental Motors History
UK aviation company Multiflight is delighted to be a main distributor for Continental Motors and to be associated with a company with a reputation as a world leader in the development of aviation products.
Continental Motors’ leadership in aircraft piston engines goes from the A-70 radial engine that created a new level of reliability and smoothness, to the Voyager aircraft engines that were able to circumnavigate the globe without refueling.
The origins of the company Continental Motors date back to 1905 when the four-cylinder, four-cycle L-head motor that was operated by a single camshaft was introduced. The following year, 1906, saw the Type “0” 45-hp engine developed to power aircraft.
In 1929 the A-70 radial, seven-cylinder engine was launched to power aircraft, followed by the A-40 four-cylinder engine, powering the successful J-3 Club in 1930. The A-50 was added to the line-up in 1938 to power the Piper Cub and Taylorcraft.
In 1939 Continental Motors built aircraft engines that were used in British and American tanks. In 1945 the six-cylinder E-185 was developed for Beechcraft Bonanza.
In the 1950s the A-65 was developed into the more powerful C-90 and eventually into the 100-hp 0-200. The latter engine powered one of the most important aeroplanes of all time: the Cessna 150, which is one of the most produced civilian aeroplanes.
In the 1960s Continental Motors brought turbo-charging and fuel-injection to general aviation and the IO-520’s applications expand to dominate the market.
Setting new efficiency targets for piston engines, Continental Motors produced the TSIO-520-BE for Piper Malibu in 1984, and in 1986 the Rutan Voyager, powered by a liquid-cooled version of Continental’s IO-240, was the first piston-powered aircraft that circumnavigated the world without refueling.
Continental Motors was chosen by NASA in 1997 to develop and produce a new 200-hp engine: GAP, which operates on Jet-A fuel. A couple of years later, in 1999, Continental Motors developed and tested its first FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control)-equipped engine.