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Continental A40


Continental A40


The 37 hp (28 kW) A40 was introduced in the depths of the Great Depression. At the time there were a number of small engines available but all suffered from either high cost, complexity, or low reliability. A carbureted four-cylinder, horizontally opposed, air-cooled aircraft engine, it was developed especially for use in light aircraft.  The A-40 addressed all those shortcomings and was instrumental in the production of light aircraft in the difficult economic constraints of the period. The A-40-4 introduced an increase in power to 40 hp (30 kW). The engine later inspired the A-50 and subsequent engines.


The A40 featured single ignition until the A-40-5 version, which introduced dual ignition. All engines in this family have a 5.2:1 compression ratio and were designed to run on fuel with a minimum octane rating of 73.


Produced between 1931 and 1941, the entire family of engines had its certification terminated on 1 November 1941. Engines produced before that date are still certified, but none can be produced after that date.



Single ignition, 37 hp (28 kW) at 2550 rpm, dry weight 144 lb (65 kg)

Single ignition, 37 hp (28 kW) at 2550 rpm, dry weight 144 lb (65 kg)

Single ignition, 37 hp (28 kW) at 2550 rpm, dry weight 144 lb (65 kg) Featured cadmium-nickel connecting rod bearings.

Single ignition, 40 hp (30 kW) at 2575 rpm, dry weight 144 lb (65 kg), Steel backed connecting rod inserts

Dual ignition, 40 hp (30 kW) at 2575 rpm, dry weight 156 lb (71 kg)


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Type: 4-cylinder air-cooled horizontally opposed aircraft piston engine
Bore: 3.125 in (79.3 mm)
Stroke: 3.75 in (95.3 mm)
Displacement: 115 in³ (1.9 L)
Length: 27.9375 in (710 mm)
Width: 26.4375 in (672 mm)
Height: 20.4375 in (519 mm)
Dry weight: 154 lb (69.9 kg) dry with carburrettor and magnetos
Valvetrain: One intake and one exhaust side-valve per cylinder with a flathead valve design.
Fuel system: CMC Stromberg NA-82 carburetor
Fuel type: minimum 73 octane
Cooling system: Air-cooled
Power output: 40 hp (30 kW) at 2,575 rpm
Specific power: 0.35 hp/in³ (15.3 kW/L)
Compression ratio: 5.2:1
Specific fuel consumption: 0.72 lb/hp/hr (0.439 kg/kW/hr)
Oil consumption: 0.025 lb/hp/hr (0.0153 kg/kW/hr)
Power-to-weight ratio: 0.28 hp/lb (0.45 kW/kg)



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