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Continental A-40 Gathering Planned for AirVenture 2023

a-40 airplanes

At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this summer, vintage aircraft owners will celebrate 90 years of general aviation powered by the very first horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, the Continental A-40. If you fly behind a horizontally opposed engine today, it all started with the A-40. When the Continental A-40-2 engine was introduced in 1933 it changed everything — this little 37-hp engine gave birth to general aviation as we know it today and completely changed the affordability and accessibility of flying. Flight schools could afford to purchase, operate, and maintain aircraft powered by these little engines, and still turn a profit.

As the world’s first horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, it also launched a whole new powerplant design platform that is still in production today with nearly a million engines produced. For six long years, the A-40 was the only engine of its kind available to light aircraft manufacturers like Piper, Taylorcraft, and Heath. More than 2,500 airplanes were built during the height of the Great Depression, all powered by the dependable A-40 engine. The compact size of the A-40 also led to more streamlined designs, enabling four-place, 200-mph airplanes.

With fewer than 30 flying A-40 powered airplanes remaining in North America, the opportunity to see more than a dozen of these rare aircraft is a unique event. This will be the largest gathering of A-40 engines in the last 60 years. The Vintage Aircraft Association is hosting this reunion and visitors will have the opportunity to see these airplanes in Vintage parking, and on the Vintage Plaza. Visitors will also be able to closely inspect a cutaway A-40 in the Vintage hangar to learn more about the engine and its incredible legacy.

A-40 owners and pilots are encouraged to join this reunion by contacting Mark Stewart for further details and information.

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