Texas Skyways’ Newest Winner Available Soon

by HPA · May 2, 2012

Texas Skyways Logo

Boerne, TX-They’ve done it! After several years of meticulous designing, extensive pro- totyping, and thorough testing, Texas Skyways latest and most exciting engine mod- ification is the installation of the famed Continental Top Induction, Tuned Injection 310 Horsepower IO- 550-N engine into the newer Cessna 182 S & T aircraft. The modification will include installing a Hartzell three blade “Buccaneer” propeller with an 82” diameter.

Results of the modification on Texas Skyways’ own 182S have surpassed even their expectations. They consistently achieve impressive 400’ takeoff rolls with a rate of climb of over 1800 FPM and top speeds in excess of 200 MPH. The flight is extremely smooth, quiet, and vibration free. Remarkable? Yes. Extraordinary? Definitely. Exciting and inspiring? Without a doubt!

When you are looking for power, performance, and return on investment, Continental is the answer. In their modification, Texas Skyways switched the Lycoming IO-540 and heavier IO- 580 engines for the lighter weight, more powerful Continental IO-550. With the Continental, you enjoy additional benefits such as ease of maintenance, less expense at overhaul time, and a very modern engine as used in the Cirrus, Lancair and Cessna 400 Corvalis TT.

The engine has six point vibration isolators, not just the standard four points. The engine mount is extremely rigid, eliminating the harmonics of the engine and mount. The vibration isolators can do their job without having to contend with engine, airframe, and mount harmonies.

The Continental engine sits 7.5” further rearward than the Lycoming. This reduces the overhang load on the firewall while the CG moves forward about one inch. The 7.5” hub extension on the Hartzell Buccaneer prop allows the rearward positioning of the engine. With this design and positioning, there is ample room for maintenance and the engine fits with only minor cowling modifications.

The conversion price from Lycoming to Continental will be more than overhauling the Lycoming but it will be far less than trading for a new Cirrus or Bonanza. You will see a return on investment through lower maintenance costs, longer TBO, better engine performance, and improved gas mileage. And you’ll certainly get to your destination faster.

With the fleet of Cessna 182 S and T models aging, and the Lycoming engines nearing TBO and crankshaft AD deadline, Texas Skyways has another real winner – one that will bring your aircraft to a new level of performance, power, and innovation.

Contact Texas Skyways to pre-order your modification today! Call 1-800-899-7597 for more information or check us out on the web at www.txskyways.com.

See the video of what Texas Skyways does, here.

The below video shows a demonstration between a Cessna 182 with an O-470 and a Texas Skyways modified Cessna 182 with an O-550 engine.

How it Started

One of my best friends in high school, (Doug Gray) was a private pilot. He offered to take me up for a flight in a 1967 Cessna 150, N6228S. We took off from Calhoun, Georgia, and he took me on a scenic tour of the area, I was hooked. I later found out that my English teacher, (Jan Haluska) was also a flight instructor and the school was offering a ground school course the next year, which he taught, along with flight training with the goal of becoming a private pilot. I managed to talk my dad into funding the training, at the time the total cost was right around $500. Cessna 150 rental rates where $12 an hour, and the 172 we used for cross country was $15 an hour including fuel.

Training Begins

It started August of 1977. The fall semester rolls around, and I am enrolled in ground school, and if memory serves me, we met twice a week. First came the paperwork for my student pilot certificate, which at the time was included with the 3rd class medical. I loved ground school, especially learning navigation, plotting courses on the sectional, again this was before iPads and GPS, so we did a lot of dead reckoning and VOR navigation for cross countries. At the end of the course, I made an 83% on the Private Pilot written exam, remember this was before we had the question-and-answer books that on future test I would consume before taking a written.

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The fun really began on August 22, 1977, it was my first flight. To my surprise we used the same Cessna 150, N6228S that my friend Doug Gray had taken me for a ride in. The Cessna 150 had a standard VFR instrument panel, with one NAV/COM, and one VOR CDI. No intercom, so no headset, at the time I didn’t know what I was missing. I didn’t get my first headset until I started my instrument training in 2003. I was a big guy, I was 6’ 4” and weighed 245 lbs. but I do not remember being uncomfortable in the 150 even with the instructor in the right seat.

First flight lasted .8 hours, and we accomplished orentation, shallow turns, stability, and effects of flight controls. Over the next few months we added steep 720’s, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, S-turns, emergencies, landings, (short field, soft field and normal).


At this point I want to talk about a training experience that still stands out. We were close to solo and were practicing takeoffs and landings. Turning base to final Jan got very upset at the way I was cross controlling the aircraft. Cross control is when you are in, say a left turn, and use opposite rudder to line the nose up with the runway. So, he had me depart the pattern and head east to the practice area, and climbing up to 5500 feet MSL, he had me slow down to just above stalling speed, start a left shallow turn and add right rudder. As the airplane stalled I had the strangest sensation, no roller coaster has ever come close, instead of blue sky in the windscreen I was looking at brown ground, and as far as I could tell we were upside down, through the terror of the moment Jan talked me out of the spin, controls neutral, oposite rudder, pull slowly out of the dive. As we leveled off he asked me what altitude we were at, as I remember it was around 2,800 feet MSL. Then he asked me what would happen if I experenced this on base to final in the traffic pattern. The answer was obvious, I would be a pile of wreckage off the end of the runway with a very short-lived aviation career. Needless to say this cured my cross-control tendencies.

Another training event the sticks out in my mind was the first time we did takeoffs and landings at the High School runway. The runway was 1,500 feet long, not sure of the width, but it seems like we had about 5 feet on each side of the wheels when on the center line of the runway. Landing from the south you also had to go between a cutout in the trees to be able to stop in time on the runway. After getting confortable landing here every runway since seemed huge. I remember landing at Chattanooga (KCHA) on a night cross country and commenting to Jan, that I felt like I could of landed sideways on the runway, it felt that large.

Very soon after this I started wearing old shirts to all my flight lessons, the reason for this occurred on February 8, 1978. The lesson that day was stalls, takeoffs and Landing. As we were taxing back in Jan told me it was time for my first solo. I was very excited, and after some last minute advice from Jan, including watch for floating on landing the plane will be light with him not in the right seat, complete 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop. It was a blast, and at the end of my shirt was shorter in the back because Jan cut the tail out of it signed and dated my solo [an aviation tradition]. Total flight time accumulated on the day of my solo was 18.1 hours. I was now officially a pilot with solo priveleges.

In my next article I start cross country training, when Jan decided that it would be best accomplished this in the 172. Checking out in N5970R was like moving into a 747, this started a love affair with one of my faviriote planes to date. Since this time I have flown over 900 hours in many different models of the 172 and feel like I am stepping into an old friend every time.

More about Randy here: https://www.flyhpa.com/team/randy-delong/


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