The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955, more 172s have been built than any other aircraft. It was developed from the 1948 Cessna 170 but with tricycle landing gear rather than conventional landing gear. 
Cessna Aircraft Company has delivered more than 43,000 Cessna 172 airplanes to date. This makes it the best-selling, most widely flown airplane ever built. It also has a reputation for being the safest general aviation aircraft available. 
The aircraft has been characterised from being the ‘work horse of the air’ to the ‘family sedan of the skies’; underpinning the fact that this aircraft is a sold, dependable, affordable and reliable single engine aircraft . It has a solid resume on payload and range of short haul, general no-nonsense aircraft. 

How did this phenomenon come about to take the title of the most successful aircraft in its class? 

This outstanding aircraft for the private general aviation market, has entrenched itself in this market, by being up to the task for the general aviator. It has during this run oof production earned the title, not branded, but earned the name SKYHAWK. 
The 172 started as a variant of the Cessna 170, essentially a tail dragger. Cessna looked to improve the 170, and set up a version called the 170C , with a 145 HP Continental O-300-A engine, and larger elevations and angular tail fin. 
Still not satisfied the engineers modified it again changing from a conventional landing gear to a tricycle landing gear configuration. With this new modification, Cessna decided it was different enough to have its own model number. 
So, they modified it again, changing from a conventional landing gear to a tricycle landing gear configuration. With this new modification, Cessna decided it was different enough to have its own model number. And so the 170C became the 172. The 172 went through test flights and certifications in June 1955. 
Cessna quickly started building 172s. They delivered the first production models in 1956, with a price tag of $8,995. It was popular almost immediately. To keep up with demand, Cessna built 4,195 172 aircraft over the next five years. They built over 1400 in 1956 alone. The Cessna 172 debuted with the following specs: 

Original Model Cessna 172 Specs 

Maximum Speed: 131 MPH 
Cruise Speed: 125 MPH / 491 SM / 3.9 HRS 
Vne (Never Exceed Speed): 160 MPH 
Rate of Climb at Sea Level: 660 FPM 
Service Ceiling: 15,100 Feet 
Takeoff Performance 
Ground Roll: 725 Feet 
Total Distance over 50-FT Obstacle: 1650 Feet 
Landing Performance 
Ground Roll: 680 Feet 
Total Distance over 50-FT Obstacle: 1115 Feet 
Stall Speed (KCAS) 
Flaps Up, Power Off: 58 MPH 
Flaps Down, Power Off: 52 MPH 
Gross Weight: 2200 Pounds 
Standard Empty Weight: 1290 Pounds 
Useful Load: 910 Pounds 
Baggage Allowance: 120 Pounds 
Wing Loading: 12.6 Pounds/Sq.Ft. 
Power Loading:15.1 Pounds/HP 
Fuel Capacity (Total): 39 Gallons 
Oil Capacity: 8 Quarts 
Engine: Continental O-300 / 145hp 
Propeller: 76 Inch (diameter) / Fixed Pitch 
Electrical System: 14-volt with Generator 
Wingspan: 36 Feet 
And though everyone knows the Cessna 172 as the ‘Skyhawk’ today, that name didn’t come into use until late 1960. Whilst Cessna was prepping the 1961 model, the 172B, they wanted to offer a ‘deluxe’ option. It would include full exterior paint instead of the standard partial paint stripes and enhanced avionics. The deluxe model was dubbed the Cessna 172 Skyhawk. And from that point on, Cessna 172 and Skyhawk became a recognised brand. 
In 1996, the continued evolution produced the 172R. It featured many interior improvements, including better soundproofing, a multi-level ventilation system and a standard four-point intercom. The 172R was also the first 172 to sport a factory fitted, fuel injected engine, the 160 hp Lycoming IO-360-L2A. 
In 1998, Cessna released the 172S. They changed out the engine for a 180 hp Lycoming IO-360-L2A. This model has stayed Cessna’s primary production model since 1998. 
From 2007, the 172S began coming standard with the Garmin G1000 avionics package, and leather seats. As of 2009, the Cessna 172S Skyhawk is the only 172 model in active production. Here are the current 172S specs: 

Original Model Cessna 172S Specs 


Length: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m) 
Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m) 
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m) 
Wing Area: 174 sq ft (16 sq m) 
Wheelbase: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) 

Cabin Interior 

Height: 48 in (1.22 m) 
Width: 40 in (1.00 m) 
Length: 11 ft 10 in (3.61 m) 
Maximum Passengers: 4 

Baggage Capacity  

Baggage Capacity 
Weight: 120 lb (54 kg) 
Volume: 30 cu ft (0.85 cu m) 


Maximum Ramp Weight: 2,558 lb (1,160 kg) 
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 2,550 lb (1,157 kg) 
Maximum Landing Weight: 2,550 lb (1,157 kg) 

Usable Fuel Capacity 

Weight: 318 lb (144 kg) 
Volume: 53 gal (201 l) 

Operating Weights  

Basic Operating Weight: 1,641 lb (744 kg) 
Useful Load: 917 lb (416 kg) 
Maximum Payload: 909 lb (412 kg) 
Full Fuel Payload: 599 lb (272 kg) 


Maximum Cruise Speed: 124 ktas (142 mp/h, 230 km/h) 
Maximum Range: 640 nm (736 m, 1185 km) 


Takeoff Distance: 1,630 ft (497 m) 
Ground Roll: 960 ft (293 m) 


Landing Distance: 1,335 ft (407 m) 
Ground Roll: 575 ft (175 m) 


Maximum Operating Altitude: 14,000 ft (4,267 m) 
Maximum Climb Rate: 730 fpm (223 mpm) 
Maximum Limit Speed: 163 kias (187 m/h, 302 km/h) 
Stall Speed: 48 kcas (55 m/h, 89 km/h) 


Manufacturer: Textron Lycoming 
Model: (1) IO-360-L2A 
Power Output: 180 hp 


Manufacturer: McCauley 
Description: 2-blade metal, fixed pitch 
Current values range from, new, $370,000 to $425,000, and second hand, from $60,000 to $150,000 with avionic upgrades . 
Lister Hughes Ltd 
Tagged as: Aviation
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings