Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Cessna 172 Skyhawk -
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Type: Civilian

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Information on the 172 Skyhawk

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane. More Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft and it is also probably the most popular flight training aircraft in the world.


The first production models were delivered in 1957 and it is still in production in 2006; more than 35,000 have been built. The Skyhawk's main competitors have been the popular Piper Cherokee, the Beechcraft Musketeer and Grumman Cheetah (both no longer in production), and, more recently, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 Star and the Symphony SA-160.

Early 172s looked almost identical to the 170, with the same straight aft fuselage and tall gear legs, but later versions incorporated revised landing gear, a lowered rear deck, and an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as "Omnivision". The final structural development, in the mid-1960s, was the sweptback tail still used today. The airframe has remained almost unchanged since then, with updates to avionics and engines including (most recently) the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. Production ended in the mid-1980s, but was resumed in 1996 with the 160 hp (120 kW) Cessna 172R and 180 hp (135 kW) Cessna 172SP.

The older Skyhawks were delivered with a 145 horsepower (110 kW) engine, while later versions were equipped with engines up to 180 horsepower (135 kW), though 150 or 160 hp (110 or 120 kW) is more common. A rare modification of engines allowed the installation of a 220 hp Franklin engine.

Cessna 172RG Cutlass

Cessna produced a retractable-gear version of the 172 named the Cutlass 172RG and also produced versions on floats. The 172RG additionally had a variable pitch, constant speed propeller and more powerful stock engine as did the more spartan militarized Cessna 172E that was sold to the US Army as a spotter plane. While numbered and marketed as a 172, the 172RG is actually a variant of the Cessna 175 type.

Reims FR172J and Hawk XP

The Reims Rocket, designated FR172J was produced by Reims Aviation from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, and was powered by a Rolls-Royce built fuel-injected Continental IO-360D producing 210 hp, and driving a constant speed prop. This led to the R172K Hawk XP which was produced from 1977 to 1979 in both Wichita and Reims, and this featured a fuel injected Continental IO-360K (later IO-360KB), derated to 195 hp, driving a two bladed constant speed prop. This aircraft is capable of 131 knot cruise speed, and performs similarly to the Cessna 182. While numbered and marketed as 172's, the R172J and R172K models are actually variants of the Cessna 175 type.


The 172 is a direct descendant of the Cessna 170, which has conventional landing gear instead of the 172's tricycle gear.

The Skyhawk is part of a large family of high-wing, tricycle-gear, single-engine Cessna planes, ranging from the two-seater 150/152 (no longer in production) to the more powerful 182 Skylane, the six-seat 206 Stationair, and the fourteen-seat turboprop 208 Caravan, along with several other models no longer produced.

Military operators

A variant of the C172, the T-41, is used as a trainer with the United States Air Force and Army.

Because of its high-wing design, stability at low airspeeds, and relatively low stall speed, the C-172 is an excellent platform for search and rescue operations, and is the primary platform for the Civil Air Patrol's operations. Some C-172RG's in the CAP Fleet are equipped with the Satellite Digital Imaging System.

In addition, the United States Border Patrol operates a fleet that consists of many C-172's. They are utilized for aerial patrol along the Mexican-American frontier.

* Angola, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Liberia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.

Source: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cessna 172".

172 Skyhawk Specifications

(172R Specs)

Crew: 1
Capacity: 3 passengers
Length: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
Wing area: 174 ft? (16.2 m?)
Empty weight: 1,620 lb (743 kg)
Useful load: 881 lb (401 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 2,450 lb (1,110 kg)
Powerplant: 1? Lycoming IO-360-L2A flat-4 engine, 160 hp (120 kW) at 2,400 rpm
Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0319
Drag area: 5.58 ft? (0.52 m?)
Aspect ratio: 7.32
Lift-to-drag ratio: 7.5
Never exceed speed: 185 mph (163 knots, 302 km/h)
Maximum speed: 142 mph (123 knots, 228 km/h) at sea level
Range: 790 mi (690 nm, 1,270 km) at 60% power at 10,000 ft (3,040 m)
Service ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,120 m)
Rate of climb: 720 ft/min (3.7 m/s)
Max wing loading: 14.1 lb/ft? (68.8 kg/m?)
Minimum power/mass: 0.065 hp/lb (110 W/kg)

Additional 172 Skyhawk Photos

Cessna 172 Skyhawk - N15015 The hunk of junk I did my first solo in.

172 Skyhawk Videos

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