For company history and information on the earlier Cessna models, check out the Cessna node.


Cessna 172-K "SkyHawk"

GROSS WEIGHT .........................  2,300 LBS

SPEED:
  Top Speed at Sea Level .............    139 mph
  Cruise, 75% Power at 9000 ft .......    131 mph

RANGE:
  Cruise, 75% Power at 9000 ft .......    615 miles
    38 gal. No Reserve                    4.7 hours
                                          117 mph

RATE OF CLIMB AT SEA LEVEL ...........    645 FPM

SERVICE CEILING ...................... 13,100 ft

TAKE-OFF:
  Ground Run .........................    865 ft
  Total Distance Over 50 ft Obstacle .  1,525 ft 

LANDING:
  Landing Roll .......................    520 ft
  Total Distance Over 50 ft Obstacle .  1,525 ft

EMPTY WEIGHT: (Varies w/equipment) ...  1,245 lbs

BAGGAGE: .............................    120 lbs

WING LOADING: (lbs/sq ft) ............   13.2
POWER LOADING: (lbs/HP) ..............   15.3

FUEL CAPACITY:
  Total* .............................     42 U.S. gals
  Useable* ...........................     38 U.S. gals
 
OIL CAPACITY**: ......................      8 U.S. quarts

PROPELLER: Fixed Pitch (diameter) ....     76 inches

ENGINE: (Lycoming) 150 rated HP at 2700 rpm, 0-320-E2D

PRINCIPLE DIMENSIONS:
  Gear Seperation ....................  7'2 "
  Propeller Max Diameter .............  6'4 "
  Centerline to Chord ................  8'4 "
  Tail span .......................... 11'4 "
  Wing span .......................... 36'2 "
  Length ............................. 26'11"
  Height*** .......................... 8'9.5"
* Weight of unuseable fuel is included in empty weight
** Weight of oil is NOT included in empty weight
*** Maximum height of airplane with nose gear depressed and an optional flashing beacon installed.


History: The Cessna 172 (and models thereof) are the best-selling aircraft of all time. Known for their reliability, dependability, and ease of flight, they are accepted for use as trainers, business vehicles, and recreational vehicles. Their exceptional handling in 'dangerous' situations also makes this plane one of the safest.

That's right. This is the perfect plane.

Appearance: Almost everyone has seen this airplane; either flying over their house on a sunny afternoon, or lined up row upon row at an airport. They sport a single engine on the front of a boxy cabin, with a large tail and top-mounted wings. The whole shibang usually seats 4 with room for cargo, and is mounted on a tricycle landing gear.

Reputation: Cessna happened to stumble upon the best aircraft design, and mass-produced it. The Cessna 172 handles well in a stall, without a tendency to either get into a deep spiral or a spin. It is more difficult to put a Cessna into a spin than other planes of it's type, and it is very easy to pull out of one. And these are features built into the design of the aircraft; they are not automatic computerized controls that make this magic happen. It is, quite simply, the superior construction of the airplane.

Similar: The Cessna 182 is often confused with the 172. This is mainly due to the fact that the two planes are almost identical in appearance.
Overview of the Cessna 172 aircraft

The 172 Cessna Skyhawk is one of most reliable, sturdy planes in the General aviation business. "The Skyhawk aircraft is an all-metal, single-engine piston, high-wing monoplane with a four-person seating" (http://skyhawk.cessna.com), with fixed landing gear, as well as sufficient luggage space in the tail empennage. However, one should not carry a full load of 4 passengers and any cargo in a 160 or 170 Horsepower model. It is capable of both day and night VFR and IFR. New 2001 standard models start from approximately $144,000, although models from the 1960's are still very common in flight today.

The Cessna Skyhawks are notoriously good for their safety record, and take effort to stall, and much more effort to put into a spin. They fly straight & level flight pretty easily and decently, as well. This is all mostly attributed to its solid aerodynamics, airframe design, and high wing structure. Thus, they are good aircraft for new flight students, and are very widely used in flight instruction. The Civil Air Patrol also exclusively uses the Cessna 172 for their air search & rescue and emergency services missions, for reasons including their reliability, stability, and good view (with the wings above the cockpit).

Cessna Skyhawks are extremely popular aircraft, and are used for recreational and business purposes, although it is more common for recreation and flight training use. Most airports with rental craft with have Skyhawks available, but prices will vary greatly. The 172s use 100LL (Low Lead) Aviation Fuel, one of the few fuels left with lead in it. The Skyhawk is by far Cessna's best selling model.

I have personally soloed in a Cessna 172 at the Civil Air Patrol's National Flight Academy at Fort Pickett, VA. I must say that it is a very nice aircraft to handle, easy to learn with, comfortable, and reliable. I have always enjoyed flying in the 172s and it would probably be the aircraft I'd buy if I had the money.



Statistics

  • Wing Span - 36 ft.
  • Wing Area - 175.5 sq ft.
  • Length - 26 ft. 11 in.
  • Height - 8 ft. 11 in.
  • Cabin Width - 39.5 in.
  • Cabin Height - 48 in.
  • Cabin Length - 142 in.
  • Standard Empty Weight - 1,600 lb.
  • Ramp Weight - 2,457 lb.
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight - 2,450 lb.
  • Landing Weight - 2,450 lb.
  • Maximum Useful Load - 857 lb.
  • Fuel Capacity - 56 gal./53 gal. useable
  • Fuel Type - AVGas 100 LL (or AV100, but not recommended)
  • Oil Capacity - 8 qt.
  • Maximum Speed (sea level) - 123 knots
  • Cruise Speed (80% power at 8,000 ft.) - 122 knots
  • Rate of Climb - 720 Feet Per Minute
  • Service Ceiling - 13,500 ft.
  • Stall Speeds (flaps up, power off) - 51 knots; (flaps down) - 47 knots
  • Takeoff Roll - 945 ft.
  • Landing Roll - 550 ft.
  • Wing Loading - 14.1 lb./sq. ft.
  • Power Loading - 15.3 lb./hp.
  • Range (80% power, 8,000 ft.) - 580 naut. mi. --- (60% power, 10,000 ft.) - 687 naut. mi.
  • Engine - Lycoming IO-360-L2A, four-cylinder opposed, fuel-injected, 160 bhp at 2,400 rpm
  • Propeller - McCauley two blade, fixed pitch, 75" diameter



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