Cessna 180 Skywagon

Cessna 180A Skywagon - 1957 Cessna 180A Skywagon
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Type: Civilian

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Information on the 180 Skywagon

The Cessna 180 is a four- or six-seat, fixed conventional gear general aviation airplane which was produced between 1953 and 1981. Though the design is no longer in production, many of these aircraft are still in use as personal aircraft and in utility roles such as bush flying.

Production history

Cessna introduced the heavier and more powerful 180, which eventually came to be known as the "Skywagon," as a as a complement to the Cessna 170. In all its versions, 6,193 Cessna 180's were manufactured. In 1956, a tricycle gear version of this design was introduced as the Cessna 182, which came to bear the name "Skylane." Additionally, in 1960, Cessna introduced an even larger, more powerful sibling to the 180, the conventional gear Cessna 185. For a time, all three versions of the design were all in production. Though the tricycle gear 182 displaced some of the general demand for the 180, 180's continue to be valued for their capabilities as utility aircraft.


The airframe of the 180 is all metal, constructed of aluminum alloy. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque structure, with exterior skin sheets riveted to formers and longerons. The strut-braced wings, likewise, are constructed of exterior skin sheets riveted to spars and ribs. The landing gear of the 180 is in a conventional arrangement, with main gear legs made of spring steel, along with a steerable tailwheel.

The Continental O-470-A of 225 horsepower was installed in the 1953 model, which uniquely has no baggage door. The Continental O-470-J, also of 225 horsepower, replaced the -A model in 1954 and 1955, and was succeeded by the Continental O-470-K from 1956 through 1961, by the Continental O-470-R from 1962 through 1972, by the O-470-S from 1973 through 1976, and by the O-470-U from 1977 through the end of production.

Cessna 180's produced between 1953 and 1963 Cessna 180's have two side windows, while 1964 to 1981 models feature three side windows, as they feature the same fuselage as the Cessna 185.

Some, though not all, 180's can be put on floats. Those aircraft so equipped are referred to as "float kitted." Float-kitted Cessna 180's produced between 1975 and 1981 have the larger dorsal fin of the 185.

Operational history

The Skywagon is considered a workhorse of an airplane, and is favored to this day as a bush plane by many who fly to and from remote, unimproved airstrips in places such as Alaska and distant parts of Canada, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. The 180 is the preferred aircraft still in use by the Colorado Division of Wildlife for monitoring wildlife and re-stocking fish in remote mountain lakes; it is also used by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

The Canadian airlines Lamb Air and Norcanair operated several 180's. A number of 180's continue in similar roles at Kenmore Air in Washington, Alaska Seaplane Service, and Brazil's Lider Taxi Aereo.

Military operators

A number of Cessna 180's were deployed into South Vietnam as surveillance aircraft with the 161 Reconnaissance Flight (call sign "Possum") of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Additional military operators include El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, and South Africa.

Record flight

The Cessna 180 gained recognition as the aircraft chosen by Geraldine Mock, the first woman pilot to successfully fly around the world. The flight was made in 1964 in her 1953 model, the "Spirit of Columbus", registration N1538C, and is chronicled in her book Three-Eight Charlie. The aircraft is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Source: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cessna 180".

180 Skywagon Specifications

Crew: one pilot
Capacity: three passengers
Length: 26 ft 2 in (7.98 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
Height: 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Wing area: 174 ft? (16 m?)
Empty: 1,520 lb (690 kg)
Loaded: lb ( kg)
Maximum takeoff: 2,550 lb (1,158 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Continental O-470-A, 225 hp (170 kW)
Maximum speed: 167 mph (267 km/h)
Range: 779 miles (1,247 km)
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,098 m)
Rate of climb: 1,150 ft/min (350 m/min)
Wing loading: lb/ft? ( kg/m?)
Power/Mass: hp/lb ( kW/kg)

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