First run in 1947, the Continental C90 and O-200 are a family of air-cooled, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder, direct-drive aircraft engines of 201 in³ (3.29 L) displacement, producing between 90 and 100 horsepower (67 and 75 kW).
The C90 was introduced in 1947 as a follow-on to the A65, which had been in production since 1939. Many of the designs powered by the C90 are upgraded variants of earlier A65 powered designs, such as the Piper J-3 Cub and PA-11 Cub Special, Aeronca 7AC, and Luscombe 8A. The engine was developed from the earlier O-190 by increasing the stroke 1⁄4 inch.
This engine family is considered to be dependable, according to both industry publications and the FAA.
While the C90 is approved for takeoff power of 95 horsepower (71 kW) for 5 minutes, the designation derives from its continuous power rating of 90 hp (67 kW). As noted above, certain models of the C90 replace the usual carburetor with a fuel injection system. In addition, there are models which provide for the installation of a controllable pitch propeller and one, the C90-12FP, designed for pusher installation. While slightly less horsepower than the O200, many floatplane operators prefer the performance of the C90 over the O200, due to its higher torque at lower rpm. This is primarily due to the C90's camshaft design. The C90 is also known by its military designation of O-205.
Though the C90 was superseded by the O-200, and many of the designs utilizing the O-200 had gone out of production by 1980, with the 2004 publication of the United States Federal Aviation Administration light-sport aircraft regulations came a resurgence in demand for the O-200. The light-sport aircraft standard is for small, simple single- and two-seat aircraft for which the O-200 is well-suited.
The O-200 is an updated and upgraded version of the engine, achieving increased power of 100 hp (75 kW) as a result of higher maximum rpm. The standard and most common model of the engine is the O-200-A; the -B model is designed for pusher installation, the -C model provides for the installation of a controllable pitch propeller, and the -D model is a lightweight model designed for Light Sport aircraft.
With 23,949 Cessna 150s built, this type is the most common application for the O-200.
In a cooperative venture, Rolls-Royce produced these same designs in England, under separate certification, with model designations beginning RR, e.g. the Rolls-Royce RR C90-12FH is the equivalent of the Continental C90-12FH; the Rolls-Royce versions are "directly interchangeable with the equivalent models manufactured by Continental." The Rolls-Royce O-200-A powers the Beagle B.121 Pup 100, the Bölkow BO 208 C Junior, the Avions Robin DR 220, and the Morane-Saulnier MS-880.
Formula One racer Sharp Nemesis, designed and flown by Jon Sharp, was powered by a 'stock' O-200. Between 1991 and 1999, the plane won 45 of the 48 events in which it was entered, as well as winning three Louis Blèriot medals, four Pulitzer Trophies, and setting 16 speed records in its class. In one of those records, Nemesis was clocked at over 290 mph (467 km/h). By contrast, the O-200 powered Legend Cub cruises at 95 mph (152.9 km/h).
IOL-200 / Voyager 200
O-205 / Rolls-Royce O-200-A