Cylinder Features

  • Continental Aerospace Technologies™ manufactures cylinders for the most popular piston engines in general aviation. Whether you are flying behind a Continental®, a Titan™ Experimental or a Lycoming®* engine, we have the right cylinder for you. Whether your plane is experimental or certified, we have the right solution for you, at the right price, and without compromise regarding quality, reliability or performance.

    Continental® innovates year after year, investing heavily in research and development, manufacturing equipment, and quality control. We are proud of our history that goes back to 1905 and of our future.

    Since 1905, Continental® has been manufacturing cylinders for its engines. Building technical and engineering expertise year over year, Continental® now offers cylinder kits for three main engine brands in general aviation: Continental®, Continental Titan™ experimental engines, and Lycoming®* engines.


    Continental® Engines Cylinder Features

    When Continental® sets out to manufacture a highest-quality cylinder possible, we start with metallurgy, the tools to cast the heads or forge the barrels, and the process of seating heads and barrels together. Our cylinders include the best steel and aluminum materials. They are precision machined to the tightest tolerances and assembled with custom designed computer operating systems. Lastly, our cylinders are tested under extreme conditions in advanced engineering test cells and high-performance aircraft. Continuous improvements in manufacturing technology and advanced manufacturing process control have enabled Continental® to hone in on the center of the tolerance band.

    Cylinder Barrels

    Cylinder Barrels start out as high-grade aircraft quality, through-hardened 4140 forged steel. Then the cylinder bores, for our higher horsepower Continental® engines (300-500 series), go through a thru-hardening process which gives the cylinder barrels excellent resistance to wear and greater durability at higher temperatures.


    • Plateau honed finish created by a two-step hone process resulting in less friction, more contact area, and enhanced hone pattern.

    Cylinder Heads: Computers Meet Experience

    While we have been manufacturing cylinders for over 114 years, we use the latest computer-controlled equipment throughout our manufacturing process. We use the latest CNC and milling machines, extensively use computers for quality control processes and record keeping, and last but not least, have created custom computer-controlled equipment to increase the precision of critical operations like barrel to head assembly.


    Pistons are designed to be extremely wear resistant and use the best alloys to ensure longevity and heat resistance and dissipation.


    • Advanced anti-friction graphite coated piston skirts enhance break-in during initial startup and reduces wear.
    • Cast in place steel ring carrier maintains integrity of top compression ring seal.

    Continental Prime™ Cylinders for Lycoming®* Engines

    The Continental Prime™ cylinders for Lycoming®* engines are approved by the FAA for use in certified engines and airframes. Continental Prime™ parts are manufactured in the same OEM manufacturing plants where our Continental® parts are born. Continental Prime™ parts benefit from the same exceptional raw materials, manufacturing processes and quality control procedures.

    Angle Valve Cylinders: An Alternative to Lycoming®* Cylinders

    Prime™ Angle Valve Cylinders for Lycoming®* engines offer an impressive list of benefits:

    • Increased critical aluminum wall thickness.
    • Plateau bore surface finish (NiC3 coated cylinders or Steel barrel cylinders).
    • Optimized interference fit between steel barrel and aluminum head.
    • Molybdenum-faced top compression ring.
    • Tru-Bore Valve Guides.
    • High-chrome alloy exhaust valve guides.
    • Calibrated intake port (for balanced air flow).
    • Casting surface texture for heat dissipation.
    • Shell mold casting.


    Looking for Angle Valve Cylinders for your Lycoming®* engine? Now you can order Continental Prime™ Angle Valve cylinders for your 360, 540, or 720 series Lycoming®* engine. They are designed for reliability, endurance and performance and will fit your engine perfectly. The FAA has approved the Continental Prime™ cylinders and the National Aviation Authorities across the world accept them for use in their country. Our Angle Valve cylinders benefit from the industry leading warranty offered on all Continental® products and are priced extremely aggressively.

    If you are looking for peace of mind, reliability, performance, and the right price, look no further, the Continental Prime™ Angle Valve Cylinders were designed for you!

    Continental Prime™ Parallel Valve Cylinders Features

    • Increased critical aluminum wall thickness.
    • Plateau bore surface finish (NiC3 coated cylinders or Steel barrel cylinders).
    • Optimized interference fit between steel barrel and aluminum head.
    • Molybdenum-faced top compression ring.
    • Tru-Bore Valve Guides.
    • High-chrome alloy exhaust valve guides.
    • Calibrated intake port (for balanced air flow).
    • Casting surface texture for heat dissipation.
    • Shell mold casting.


    Heritage With a Future: Optional NiC3 Cylinder Coating

    NOW Available for Angle Valve or Parallel Valve Prime™ Cylinders for Lycoming®* engines.

    Continental® has been innovating and leading the industry for over 114 years. Today, we bring to the market a new revolution: Nickel Silicon Carbide coating of our cylinders for Continental®, Lycoming®* and Titan™ Experimental engines.This process offers corrosion resistance, abnormal or premature wear resistance, increased strength, and a warranty extension of five years or TBO. If you fly less frequently than you wish or if you are based in a region where maritime or humid climate is prevalent, the NiC3 optional coating should be your only choice!

    The Coating Process
    Cylinders are coated with the NiC3 compound via electrolysis. An electrolytic nickel matrix is prepared, to provide perfect adhesion to the surface of the cylinder wall. Within this matrix are suspended minute particles of silicon carbide, which are almost diamond-hard. These particles are spread evenly throughout the matrix and provide exceptional resistance to wear. The resultant coating becomes an integral part of the cylinder wall, and provides an extremely low friction coefficient, thus increasing the mechanical performance of the cylinder itself.

    NiC3 Cylinders Better Performance
    Nickel Silicon Carbide is a chemical compound coating of Nickel and Silicon Carbide, a strong ceramic. It is much harder than steel, with performance attributes that first appeared in the engine cylinders of sports and race-cars. Continental® now offers nickel silicon carbide (NiC3) as an optional coating across its entire range of cylinder products. The increase in performance, wear-resistance and cylinder lifetime are among the many reasons more owners and operators are choosing NiC3.

    Better Protection Against Corrosion
    Piston engines used infrequently are more prone to internal corrosion, since the oil layer left following operation slowly fades away over time through lack of use. A cylinder coated with NiC3 actually absorbs and retains a layer of oil, keeping the cylinder surface coated much longer than a standard uncoated surface. This greatly increases the protection against corrosion in engines that are not used regularly.

    Greatly Improved Surface Integrity
    Since aviation engines breathe ambient air, moisture can enter as a result of daily variations in temperature. NiC3 coating enhances and protects surface integrity and provides a strong barrier against corrosion, while improving cylinder performance. The coating process is performed under strictly controlled conditions, with consistent and uniform coverage of the entire cylinder.

    Industry Leading Warranty
    Our full range for Continental® engines, Titan™ Experimental & ASTM-certified engines and FAA-Approved Continental Prime™ cylinders for Lycoming®* engines with the optional NiC3 coating.

    In addition to the standard warranty (2 years or 1,000 hours, whichever comes first), these premium cylinders are backed by an additional warranty extension covering the cylinder barrels for abnormal wear and/or corrosion for 5 years or TBO, whichever comes first. More peace of mind to you!

  • * Lycoming® is a registered trademark of Textron Innovations Inc. Any reference to Lycoming® or associated trademarks, word marks, and products is only for purposes of identifying engines with which Continental® parts are compatible, or for which Continental® offers maintenance services. Continental® parts compatible with Lycoming® engines are aftermarket parts and are not original equipment parts. Continental® is not connected to, affiliated with, or sponsored by, or endorsed by Textron Innovations Inc. or Lycoming® Engines, a Division of Avco Corporation, or any of their affiliate companies.

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