Air Plains Services Announces 172XPα Advanced Instrument Panel Kit Designed for its 180hp Engine Upgrades

Air Plains Services says their popular 180hp engine upgrade for Cessna 172s – the 172XP is about to get even better.

The company is now offering an Advanced Instrument Panel Kit – the 172XPα – developed specifically for Cessna 172 owners either planning to upgrade with its 180hp STC, or for the more than 2,500 172XP upgrades already in operation. The new avionics panel, like the engine upgrade, can be installed by Air Plains at its Kansas facility or shipped as a complete kit for local installation.  

“Our engine upgrade customers almost always consider adding a new instrument panel as well to really complete the upgrade experience for legacy Skyhawk airframes,” said Katie Church, president of Air Plains. “That led us to develop a new, advanced panel kit, available to be shipped along with the engine upgrade, that’s easy for your mechanic to install at the same time, giving the customer essentially a new airplane at a fraction of the cost of a factory model.”

The 172XPα Advanced Instrument Panel Kit arrives wired, interfaced, plumbed (pitot-static), and configured for the Air Plains 172XP 180hp engine upgrade STC SA4428SW and STC SA2196CE, if applicable. The instrument panel will be test fit for instrumentation, powder-coated and laser engraved, with pilot holes pre-drilled for final fitment and installation.

The installer will need to finish the remaining installation items in the aircraft including antenna, magnetometer, coax cabling, mic/phone jacks, radio & transponder rack, leveling, and return to service. Mechanics will find Air Plains technical support quick and easy to access for any questions that come up during the process.

The 172XPα Advanced Instrument Panel Kit includes:

  • Avidyne IFD540 GPS/Nav/Com*
  • Avidyne AMX240 Bluetooth Audio Panel w/ 4 place Intercom
  • Dual Dynon HDX 10” PFD & 7” MFD
  • Dynon EFIS-D10A Backup Flight Instrument
  • Dynon ADS-B In Traffic and Weather
  • Dynon Mode S Transponder with 2020-Compliant ADS-B Out
  • Dynon Com Radio
  • Dynon Autopilot
  • Dynon Engine Monitoring
  • Air Plains Custom Pilot & Copilot Instrument Panels

* IFD540 may be substituted for IFD440 or IFD550.

Flight schools that want to take advantage of the performance enhancements of the 180hp engine in a training environment will see an added payoff with the 172XPα advanced instrument panel kit since it meets all the requirements under FAA FAR 61.129(j) for a Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) needed for a commercial pilot rating.

“Training academies are finding benefits in the 180hp upgrade that set their programs apart from the competition, such as greater reliability, more efficient operation, fleet standardization, better aircraft performance, and, with the Gross Weight Increase, they now have a true four-place trainer,” Church said. “With the Alpha avionics upgrade, they can offer a wider range of training programs in one airframe, and they get a trainer that meets a student’s idea of 21st century flying.”

Expert avionics panel fabrication, a company specialty, is key feature of the Air Plains 172XPα.

“We take the guesswork out of fabricating the panel,” Church said. “Most maintenance facilities do not have the capability to fabricate and powder coat an instrument panel. With the 172XPα, we deliver a new, modern panel to your mechanic for final fitment and installation.”

Church said another benefit of adding the 172XPα advanced instrument panel kit to an Air Plains engine upgrade order is it can be installed at the same time the mechanic is installing the engine with no need to wait on other parts or vendors to complete the project.  

“You didn’t get your airplane for it to be worked on,” Church said. “If you’re planning on a new Air Plains 180hp upgrade, get the most out of your planned downtime during your engine upgrade and leave the maintenance facility with an essentially new 172.

“Over our 45 years in business, we’ve sold more than 2,500 180hp engine upgrades to customers worldwide, making it one of the most popular engine upgrades around. And with our new 172XPα Advanced Instrument Panel Kit, it just got better.”