For nearly a decade, the Africair Group of Companies, including Tropical Aviation Distributors and Propel Aviation Sales & Services, have been retrofitting Cessna Skyhawks with Continental Diesel engines. Our first conversion was performed in Germany as we transformed a standard 2001 Lycoming-powered Skyhawk to embark on a demonstration tour throughout East Africa. Propel Aviation disassembled and containerized N390SP, a Cessna 172SP, and shipped it via seafreight to Hamburg, Germany.
Upon arrival in Hamburg, our team of technicians reassembled the aircraft, performed our first retrofit 1.7 engine installation under the guidance of the Continental Motors factory technicians, updated the graphics, and put the aircraft on the German aircraft registry.
Back then, the retrofit installations were not FAA certified, so we formed a German holding company and hired a qualified German CFI to fly the aircraft with our sales personnel.
From Europe, our team spent nearly two months showing the aircraft to customers in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. By the end of our tour, we had orders for a fleet conversion sale in Egypt and two more retrofit orders for a flight school in Ethiopia.
In September of 2005, we converted a Lycoming-powered Cessna 172R to the 1.7 Continental Diesel Engine and Tropical Aviation Distributors conducted a demo tour with N872CP throughout the Caribbean and portions of South America.
Our personnel have performed retrofit installations and upgrades in Egypt, South Africa, Germany, and Guadeloupe and have exported retrofitted aircraft from Miami to Iraq, Ethiopia, Angola, Libya, Colombia and other countries. Propel, is an EASA and FAA Certified 145 Repair Station, and an authorized Cessna Service Station. Propel has 10 licensed mechanics (4 with IA authority) and 2 mechanic’s assistants.
Between our organizations and personnel, we have 8 Technicians that have attended the Continental Motors factory training and 6 pilots with significant time in the Continental Motors retrofit products. We have contracted pilots for in-country training for months at a time to support program implementation. Our employees speak French, Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Arabic, Hindi, Farsi, and Swahili and we have liaison offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nairobi, Kenya, and a team of Field Service Engineers based in Abuja, Nigeria.
One of our most recent success stories is the rebirth of the Angolan Air Force training academy. In 2013 Africair sold a fleet of six new Skyhawks to the Angolan Air Force. Propel Aviation converted all six to the Contiental Diesel 2.0 engine to enable them to revitalize their training program. The program involved in country reassembly support, training and pilot training as well. To date the fleet has logged over a thousand hours and the training is scheduled to start increasing this year.
Regardless of the application, Africair, TAD, and Propel can retrofit, upgrade, or support your Continental Motors equipped product and are uniquely qualified to do so. With the backing of AVIC Corporation, and the support of Continental Motors, Technify Motors has brought new stability to an outstanding line of Continental Motors engines. We look forward to a bright future and hope to supply you with or support your Jet-A powered aircraft.