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Continental Motors

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Teledyne Continental Motors
Type Operating Division
Founded 1905
Headquarters Mobile, Alabama
IndustryGeneral Aviation, Commercial Aviation, and Defense Industry
ProductsO-200, IO-240
ParentTeledyne Technologies

Continental Motors is a corporation in Mobile, Alabama, USA, that produces aircraft engines. They are currently part of the Teledyne conglomerate, and properly known as Teledyne Continental.

The company produced engines for various independent manufacturers of automobiles, tractors, and stationary equipment (i.e. pumps, generators, machinery drives) from the 1920s through the 1960s.

The company had two major production plants located in Michigan, in the cities of Muskegon and Detroit. The Detroit plant closed in 1965.

Continental Motors also produced Continental branded automobiles in 1932/1933 based upon the 1931 De Vaux, a product of the De Vaux Motors Corporations of Oakland, California, which had been using body dies left over from the former Durant produced by Durant Motors until 1930.

File:Continental AV-1790-5B.JPG
Restored Continental AV-1790-5B tank engine at the American Armored Foundation Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia.

Although Continental is most well known for its light aviation engines, they were also contracted to produce the air-cooled V12 AV-1790-5B gasoline engine for the U.S. Army's M47 Patton tank and the diesel AVDS-1790-2A and its derivatives for the M48 Patton and M60 series main battle tanks.

Company history

1905 Continental Motors is born with the introduction of a four-cylinder, four stroke cycle L-head engine operated by a single camshaft.

1906 Type "O" 45 hp (34 kW) engine is developed to power aircraft.

1929 A-70 radial, seven-cylinder engine is introduced.

1930 A-40 four-cylinder engine is introduced.

1938 A-50 is added to the lineup to power the Piper Cub and Taylorcraft.

1939 Continental builds aircraft engines for use in British and American tanks.

1945 Six-cylinder E-185 developed for Beechcraft Bonanza.

1950s A-65 developed into the more powerful C-90 and eventually to the 100 hp (75 kW) O-200. The latter powered a very important airplane design milestone: the Cessna 150.

1960s Turbocharging and fuel injection are brought to general aviation. A turbocharger allows the engine to power the aircraft to a higher altitude where the air is thinner. This can occasionally allow the aircraft to fly above a storm, which is a major safety benefit. Fuel injection allows the aircraft to perform aggressive maneuvers without suffering the fuel starvation that a carburetor may incur. The IO-520's applications expand to dominate the market.

1972 6-285 Tiara 285hp@4000 (4.875x4.625 = 406cuin) and 6-320 320hp high output engines dropped after 1978.

1984 TSIO-520-BE for the Piper Malibu. It sets new efficiency standards for light aircraft piston engines.

1986 Powered by a liquid cooled version of the IO-240, the Voyager is the first piston-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the world without refueling.

1997 NASA selects Continental to develop and produce GAP, a new 200-hp piston engine that operates on Jet-A fuel. This is in response to 100-octane aviation gasoline becoming less available in the face of decreased demand, as a result of smaller turboprop engines becoming more prevalent due to their long service life.

1999 Continental develops and tests its first FADEC-equipped engine.

Source; excerpt and wikified from official site.

2008 Teledyne Continental's new president, Rhett Ross announced that the company is very concerned about future availability of 100LL avgas and as a result will develop a diesel engine in the 300 hp range for certification in 2009 or 2010.[1]

Continental Motors continues to build engines for aircraft as a division of Teledyne Technologies Company.

Automobiles using Continental engines


Foss, Christopher F. [1974]. Jane's Pocket Book of Modern Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles. Collier Books, 45-49. 73-15286. 

External links

Teledyne Continental Motors TCM official site
"Flying With Forty Horses" by Chet Peek - Book covering the story of the Continental A-40, the engine which revived the struggling aviation industry during the Great Depression

See also

de:Continental Motors fr:Continental Motors sv:Teledyne Continental

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Continental Motors".