Cessna 172 wiki

Cessna 172 wiki DEFAULT

Cessna 172P

The Cessna 172P Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft.

The Cessna 172 has been the default aircraft in FlightGear since 2000, when it replaced the Navion. It has had a long development and includes a wide variety of simulation features. In 2015, it went through a complete refresh, including engine options, various tire sizes and floats, as well as a complete cockpit texture makeover. This new detailed version of the plane has become the default aircraft since FlightGear 3.6.


The new C172p has a much better 3D model and is now fully textured (including the interior). All the switches in the cockpit are clickable. It also has an improved FDM (Flight Dynamics Model - the "physics" of the plane), more complex procedures and new realistic checklists, new sound effects, and damage modelling. The aircraft can get damaged if mishandled (e.g. gear collapse after a hard landing).


The aircraft currently has five variants, all available from the aircraft menu:

  • regular wheels
  • 26" bush tires
  • 36" bush tires
  • pontoons
  • amphibious
  • snow skis

Also, from the same menu, the user can select two different engines:

  • 160 HP
  • 180 HP (recommended when using pontoons, amphibian and skis variants)

The aircraft now can get damaged from collisions, crashes, hard landings or overload while in-flight, and the modelling includes wheel collapse, wings breaking, etc. The damage can be turned off in the aircraft menu, which also contains an option for repairing the aircraft.

The windows now can get foggy or frosty, depending on the combination of interior and exterior temperatures. The pilot must then use the Cabin Heat and Cabin Air levers (on the right of the flaps) to control it. Alternatively, it's possible to disable the effect in the "Aircraft Options" in the "Cessna 172P" menu. This effect depends on the new ALS (Atmospheric Light Scattering) effects found in 3.5 and above, and will also have the side effect of producing grey windows in versions prior to 3.5.

The FDM has also been modified. The aircraft may enter into a spin in case of an asymmetric stall (a particularly dangerous situation when turning to final, in which case the aircraft is at low speed and low height). The FDM has also been tweaked to include hydrodynamics effects while taking off or landing on water, as well as adding a new 180 HP engine.

There are several liveries available, some of which have higher resolution than others, which are marked as HD in the liveries menu. Each of the HD liveries also has unique cockpit and interior textures.

The aircraft has a simulation of the Bendix/King KAP140 Autopilot.

Also, if the user has enabled ALS (Atmospheric light scattering) in the Rendering Options, then it's possible to activate the flashlight by clicking on the "Cessna 172P" menu and selecting "Flashlight". Select it once for the white flashlight, select it again for a red one and select it one more time to turn it off.

The aircraft can now go through a pre-flight: wheel chocks, tie-downs and the pitot tube cover can now be added or removed, oil management and fuel contamination by water have been implemented (both of which are not activated by default, but are available in the Aircraft Options dialogue).

Carburettor icing is also modelled. Accumulating carburettor ice will result in loss of power. Applying carb heat will help to melt it. If the engine starts to cough when carb heat is applied, it means that ice has indeed been accumulated in the carburettor and now is being melted. To reduce a cough during the melting process, one can lean the mixture.

As of version 2016.3, static objects can be toggled in the Ground Equipment dialogue. These include cones under the wings, a fuel truck, a ground power unit and ladders. The ground power can be used to recharge the battery and the fuel truck can be used to refuelling the tanks. The walker can climb the ladder by walking towards it, which makes it easy to access the fuel tank cap in order to refill it.

Cessna 172P cockpit at night

Handling The Aircraft

Pre-Flight Inspection

Cessna 172P secured at Aosta Airport

It's recommended to use any exterior view or activate the walker for these procedures.

  • Fuel quantity: add by clicking on the fuel tank caps above each wing (you can add a ladder in the Ground Equipment dialog and climb it with the walker as well)
  • Left wing: remove tie-down
  • Left wing: remove pitot tube cover
  • Left wing: check for fuel contamination by clicking under the wing and take a fuel sample. If the sample is light blue, the fuel is not contaminated and can be returned to the tank. If the sample is transparent or partially transparent, you must discard it and take new samples until they are completely light blue
  • Tail: remove tie-down
  • Right wing: remove tie-down
  • Right wing: check for fuel contamination
  • Nose: check for oil quantity by clicking on the oil door in the nose. Critical oil level for either engine is 5.0 quarts.
  • Nose: remove wheel chocks

Engine Start (manual and complex startup)

Cessna 172P before starting the engine
  • Priming: prime the engine at least 3 times
  • Mixture: Rich (red lever all the way in)
  • Throttle: Open 1/8 (black lever at 20%)
  • Parking Brake: Applied (+)
  • Prop Area: Clear
  • Master switch: ON (both)
  • Magnetos: Both (Press three times)
  • Ignition: Start ()

Engine Start (automatically with Autostart)

  • Click on the menu "Cessna C172P" and select "Autostart" in order to start the plane. Please note that the Autostart attempts to start the engine with the mixture full rich, so if you are taking off from a very high altitude airport you may need to manually start the plane.


Cessna 172P ready for take off
  • no flaps
  • full throttle
  • rotate at 55 KIAS


  • no flaps
  • full throttle
  • 75 KIAS


  • throttle 65%
  • mixture rich of peak
  • speed around 100 knots


Cessna 172P about to touch down


See also Aircraft speed#V speeds

The information in this section is based on external resources.[1][2][3]

172P 01.jpg

Stall speed, landing configuration, VS046 - 48 kt
Stall speed, clean, VS151 - 53 kt
Rotation speed, VR55 kt
Best angle of climb speed, VX59 kt
Best rate of climb speed, VY76 kt
Maximum flap extended speed, VFE85 kt
Maneuvering speed, VA96 kt (floatplane)
99 kt (landplane)
Maximum structural cruising speed, VNO127 kt
Never exceed speed, VNE158 kt


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about this aircraft:

Q: I am experiencing grey windows, what is happening?

A: If you are experiencing grey windows, you do not have the minimum FlightGear version to run this aircraft. Consider upgrading your Flight Gear version.

Q: Why does the aircraft keep turning left?

A: Please see understanding Propeller Torque and P-Factor. If using the amphibian model on a solid runway, note that at the taxiing is done by differential braking (the rudder becomes more and more effective as the plane gains speed).

Q: Why will the engine not start?

A: You can start the engine automatically by clicking on the menu "Cessna C172P" and selecting "Autostart". For a manual start, please follow the checklists available by clicking on the menu "Help" followed by "Aircraft Checklists". As seen above, the engine must by "primed" before starting. If oil management is activated, you must have enough oil for the engine to work (more than 5.0 quarts). If fuel contamination is activated, the fuel must be light blue in order for the engine to properly work. You must also make sure that the battery is charged enough (you can check and recharge it in the Aircraft Options dialog).
Or it might be as simple as not having the magneto[s] turned on (which provide electricity to the spark plugs), or the fuel mix is too lean (put it at 100% to start) or the throttle too low (put it about 10-20%).

Q: Why does the Autostart fail to start the engine?

A: That's probably because you are attempting to take off from a very high altitude airport. Autostart always tries to start the engine with the mixture full rich, and if it fails to do that properly then you must manually start the engine after properly leaning the mixture.

Q: Why does the engine die immediately after startup?

A: Probably because the throttle is being incremented too fast after startup as the engine needs a few seconds to stabilize itself.

Q: Why can't I start the sim with the engine running?

A: You can! Go to the menu "Cessna C172P", select "Aircraft Options" and tick the option "Start with engine running".

Q: Why I keep running out of battery?

A: Just like in the real airplane, it's always a bad idea to keep the battery switch on for a long time while the engine is not running, as the battery will run out of charge. When the engine is running, the alternator will make sure that the battery is always recharging. If you run out of battery charge, go to the Aircraft Options dialog and recharge it.

Q: Why doesn't the aircraft move?

A: The aircraft won't move if you have the parking brakes set, or if either of the wing tie-downs, the tail tie-down or wheel chocks are in place (if the option "allow securing aircraft" is enabled in the aircraft menu).

Q: Why the airspeed indicator doesn't work?

A: If the option "allow securing aircraft" is enabled in the aircraft menu, then very likely you forgot to remove the pitot tube cover.

Q: How can I switch to the bush tires/pontoons/amphibian?

A: By clicking in menu "Cessna 172P", selecting "Aircraft Options" and then selecting the other landing gear options.

Q: How can I switch to the 180 HP engine?

A: This is also done by clicking in menu "Cessna 172P", selecting "Aircraft Options" and then selecting the engine power option.

Q: Why can't I take off from the water without crashing the plane?

A: Taking off and landing on water can be quite tricky. Try applying a little bit of back pressure on the yoke while accelerating to 55 KIAS. It's also recommended to use the 180 HP engine instead of the default 160 HP, as the extra weight of the pontoons make it really hard to climb with the default engine.

Q: Why is the simulator lagging so much?

A: As with any complex 3D model, this new version of the c172p is a bit more demanding on the computers than the older one. If you are having troubles with performance, try using non-HD liveries which use textures with lower resolutions, as well as other solutions that can improve performance (disabling certain graphical options in the Rendering Options, lowering the resolution of FlightGear, etc.).

Some tricks that help to increase fps is by disabling all GUI windows, including the menu bar and the orange fps counters at the bottom of the screen. You can display an alternative fps counter in the top left corner via the "Debug" menu and then selecting "Cycle On-Screen Statistics". Make sure to hide the menu bar by pressing F10 to see the counter.

A second trick is to simply disable the rendering of all clouds if you don't mind. Start FlightGear with "--prop:/sim/rendering/draw-mask/clouds=0".

If you notice heavy slowdowns when flying over certain scenery and you see FlightGear generating many "Warning:: Picked up error in TriangleIntersect" messages in the terminal or log file, you can disable this by starting FlightGear with "--prop:/sim/rendering/osg-notify-level=fatal".

Q: Why are the windows getting foggy/frosty?

A: If the dew point of the cabin air temperature is higher than the surface temperature of the windshield, the windows will get either foggy or frosty. Use the Cabin Heat and Cabin Air levers (on the right of the flaps) to control it. The dew point rises with the temperature in the cabin, and it rises faster than the windshield temperature can adjust, resulting in temporary fog. If the air is very humid, the dew point is going to be very close to the cabin temperature, which makes it likely that it will be higher than the windshield temperature. Extra passengers will create a more humid atmosphere in the cabin. Try to increase air flow using the Cabin Air lever or overhead air vents in order to decrease the humidity or temperature. Alternatively, disable the effect by going to the menu "Cessna 172P", selecting "Aircraft Options" and disable the option "Enable frost and fog".

Q: How do I increase the cabin air temperature?

A: Increase the cabin air temperature by opening the Cabin Heat lever. In order to actually get a heated air flow, you need a medium or high EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature -- the instrument between the yoke and the ADF instrument), and airspeed and/or sufficient propeller RPM.

Q: How can I click on a switch which is being covered by the yoke?

A: You can hide the yokes by clicking on them or by going to the menu "Cessna 172P", selecting "Hide/Show Yokes".

Q: Why my engine seems to be losing power?

A: Assuming that you have the mixture correctly leaned according to your altitude and atmospheric pressure, then another possibility is that you are accumulating carburettor ice which results in loss of power. Apply carb heat and the ice should slowly melt. Notice that if the engine starts to cough when you apply carb heat, it means that ice is being melt and is a sign that icing was indeed your problem. To reduce the cough during the melting process, lean the mixture.

Development status/Issues/TODO

This aircraft is undergoing a constant development, which can be followed on its repository, where a list of issues and future enhancements can also be found.


  • Cessna 172P high over Italy

  • Cessna 172P with equipment resting on volumetric grass

  • PT-IAO on a soft dirt runway

  • Panel view, about to take off

  • C172P resting on 2 types of volumetric grass

  • Ski variant over Freiburg

  • About to land at Aosta Airport

  • Sightseeing at Chapada Diamantina

  • Night flight with dimmed post lights

  • Amphibian variant at Hawaii

  • PT-IAO with ground objects

  • Taking off on water, showing the particle system

  • N35799 livery parked at Camden Airport (YSCN)

  • Gear collapse due to heavy landing

  • If the conditions are just right, frost or fog will appear in the windows

External links

Sours: https://wiki.flightgear.org/Cessna_172P

SKYbrary Wiki

Take-OffInitial Climb
(to 5000 ft)
Initial Climb
(to FL150)
Initial Climb
(to FL240)
MACH ClimbCruiseInitial Descent
(to FL240)
(to FL100)
Descent (FL100
& below)
ApproachV2 (IAS)ktsIASktsIASktsIASktsMACHTAS114 ktsMACHIASktsIASktsVapp (IAS)kts Distance514 mROCft/minROCft/minROCft/minROCft/minMACHRODft/minRODft/minMCSktsDistancem MTOW11001,100 kg <br />1.1 tonnes <br /> kgCeilingFL150RODft/minAPCAWTCLRange580580 nm <br />1,074,160 m <br />1,074.16 km <br />3,524,146.984 ft <br /> NM
Sours: https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/C172
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C172 Cessna Skyhawk PH-TGV p3.JPG

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seater single-engine civilian aircraft manufactured by the Cessna Aviation Company. With over 43,000 built and production still ongoing, it is the most-produced aircraft in history.


The 172 began as a version of the Cessna 170 with tricycle landing gear and an improved engine. It first flew on June 12th, 1955 as the Cessna 170C. The model number was later changed to 172 to lower certification costs and time. When it was introduced in 1956, the Skyhawk was an instant success with over 1,400 being built that year. Since then, the 172 has gone through many modifications and variants, even seeing military training service as the T-41 Mescalero. The current production model of the Skyhawk is the 172S, with the 172TD planned to enter service in the near future.

Design and development[]

The Cessna 172 started life as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildragger Cessna 170, with a basic level of standard equipment. In January 1955, Cessna flew an improved variant of the Cessna 170, a Continental O-300-A-powered Cessna 170C with larger elevators and a more angular tailfin.[10] Although the variant was tested and certified, Cessna decided to modify it with a tricycle landing gear, and the modified Cessna 170C flew again on 12 June 1955.[10] To reduce the time and cost of certification, the type was added to the Cessna 170 type certificate as the Model 172.[10] Later, the 172 was given its own type certificate, 3A12.[11][12] The 172 became an overnight sales success, and over 1,400 were built in 1956, its first full year of production.[13]


A 1960 Cessna 172A

Early 172s were similar in appearance to the 170s, with the same straight aft fuselage and tall landing gear legs, although the 172 had a straight tailfin while the 170 had a rounded fin and rudder. In 1960, the 172A incorporated revised landing gear and the swept-back tailfin, which is still in use today.

The final aesthetic development, found in the 1963 172D and all later 172 models, was a lowered rear deck allowing an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as "Omni-Vision."

Production halted in the mid-1980s, but resumed in 1996 with the 160 hp (120 kW) Cessna 172R Skyhawk. Cessna supplemented this in 1998 with the 180 hp (135 kW) Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP.


  • Powerplant: one Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine
  • Maximum speed: 143 mph
  • Range: 801 miles
  • Service ceiling: 13,500 feet
  • Crew: one / two
  • Capacity: three / two passengers
  • Empty weight: 1,691 lbs
  • Length: 27 feet 2 inches
  • Wingspan: 36 feet 1 inches
  • Height: 8 feet 11 inches
Sours: https://aircraft.fandom.com/wiki/Cessna_172

Cessna 172

Light, single engine aircraft, most numerous production aircraft in history

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company.[2] First flown in 1955,[2] more 172s have been built than any other aircraft.[3] It was developed from the 1948 Cessna 170, using tricycle undercarriage, rather than a tail-dragger configuration.

Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. Cessna delivered the first production model in 1956, and as of 2015[update], the company and its partners had built more than 44,000 units.[1][4][5] The aircraft remains in production today.

The Skyhawk's main competitors have been the Beechcraft Musketeer and Grumman AA-5 series (neither currently in production), the Piper Cherokee, and, more recently, the Diamond DA40 and Cirrus SR20.[6]

Design and development[edit]

Early Cessna 172s, like this 1957 model, had a "fastback" rear cabin with no rear window and featured a "square" fin design.

The Cessna 172 started life as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildraggerCessna 170, with a basic level of standard equipment. In January 1955, Cessna flew an improved variant of the Cessna 170, a Continental O-300-A-powered Cessna 170C with larger elevators and a more angular tailfin.[7] Although the variant was tested and certified, Cessna decided to modify it with a tricycle landing gear, and the modified Cessna 170C flew again on June 12, 1955.[7] To reduce the time and cost of certification, the type was added to the Cessna 170 type certificate as the Model 172.[7] Later, the 172 was given its own type certificate.[8][9] The 172 became an overnight sales success, and over 1,400 were built in 1956, its first full year of production.[10]

Early 172s were similar in appearance to the 170s, with the same straight aft fuselage and tall landing gear legs, although the 172 had a straight tailfin while the 170 had a rounded fin and rudder. In 1960, the 172A incorporated revised landing gear and the swept-back tailfin, which is still in use today.

The final aesthetic development, found in the 1963 172D and all later 172 models, was a lowered rear deck allowing an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as "Omni-Vision."[11]

Production halted in the mid-1980s, but resumed in 1996 with the 160 hp (120 kW) Cessna 172R Skyhawk. Cessna supplemented this in 1998 with the 180 hp (135 kW) Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP.[citation needed]


The Cessna 172 may be modified via a wide array of supplemental type certificates (STCs), including increased engine power and higher gross weights. Available STC engine modifications increase power from 180 to 210 hp (134 to 157 kW), add constant-speed propellers, or allow the use of automobile gasoline. Other modifications include additional fuel tank capacity in the wing tips, added baggage compartment tanks, added wheel pants to reduce drag, or enhanced landing and takeoff performance and safety with a STOL kit.[12] The 172 has also been equipped with the 180 hp (134 kW) fuel injectedSuperior Air Parts Vantage engine.[13]

Operational history[edit]

World records[edit]

The record-setting 1958-built Cessna 172

From December 4, 1958, to February 7, 1959, Robert Timm and John Cook set the world record for (refueled) flight endurance in a used Cessna 172, registration number N9172B. They took off from McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas, Nevada, and landed back at McCarran Airfield after 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds in flight. The flight was part of a fund-raising effort for the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.[14][15]


Cessna has historically used model years similar to a U.S. auto manufacturer, with sales of new models typically starting a few months prior to the actual calendar year.

1956 Cessna 172, Toowoomba, Australia, 2010

The basic 172 appeared in November 1955 as the 1956 model and remained in production until replaced by the 172A in early 1960. It was equipped with a Continental O-300 145 hp (108 kW) six-cylinder, air-cooled engine and had a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lb (998 kg). Introductory base price was US$8,995 and a total of 4,195 were constructed over the five years.[11]


The 1960 model 172A introduced a swept-back tailfin and rudder, as well as float fittings. The price was US$9,450 and 1,015 were built.[11]


The 172B was introduced in late 1960 as the 1961 model and featured a shorter landing gear, engine mounts lengthened three inches (76 mm), a reshaped cowling, and a pointed propeller spinner.[16] For the first time, the "Skyhawk" name was applied to an available deluxe option package. This added optional equipment included full exterior paint to replace the standard partial paint stripes and standard avionics. The gross weight was increased to 2,250 lb (1,021 kg).[11]


The 1962 model was the 172C. It brought to the line an optional autopilot and a key starter to replace the previous pull-starter. The seats were redesigned to be six-way adjustable. A child seat was made optional to allow two children to be carried in the baggage area. The 1962 price was US$9,895. A total of 889 172C models were produced.[11]


The 1963 172D model introduced the lower rear fuselage with a wraparound Omni-Vision rear window and a one-piece windshield. Gross weight was increased to 2,300 lb (1,043 kg), where it would stay until the 172P. New rudder and brake pedals were also added. 1,146 172Ds were built.[11]

1963 also saw the introduction of the 172D Powermatic, powered by a 175 horsepower (130 kW) Continental GO-300E, increasing cruise speed by 11 mph (18 km/h) relative to the standard 172D. In reality this was not a new model, but rather a Cessna 175 Skylark that had been rebranded to overcome a reputation for poor engine reliability. The ploy was unsuccessful and neither the Powermatic nor the Skylark were produced again after the 1963 model year.[11][17]


The 172E was the 1964 model. The electrical fuses were replaced with circuit breakers. The 172E also featured a redesigned instrument panel. 1,401 172Es were built that year as production continued to increase.[11]


The 1965 model 172F introduced electrically operated flaps to replace the previous lever-operated system.[8] It was built in France by Reims Cessna as the F172 until 1971. These models formed the basis for the U.S. Air Force's T-41A Mescalero primary trainer, which was used during the 1960s and early 1970s as initial flight screening aircraft in USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Following their removal from the UPT program, some extant USAF T-41s were assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy for the cadet pilot indoctrination program, while others were distributed to Air Force aero clubs.[18]

A total of 1,436 172Fs were completed.[11]


The 1966 model year 172G introduced a more pointed spinner and sold for US$12,450 in its basic 172 version and US$13,300 in the upgraded Skyhawk version. 1,597 were built.[11]


The 1967 model 172H was the last Continental O-300 powered model. It also introduced a shorter-stroke nose gear oleo to reduce drag and improve the appearance of the aircraft in flight. A new cowling was used, introducing shock-mounts that transmitted lower noise levels to the cockpit and reduced cowl cracking. The electric stall warning horn was replaced by a pneumatic one.

The 1967 model 172H sold for US$10,950 while the Skyhawk version was US$12,750.[19] A total of 839 172Hs were built.[11]

The 1968-built Cessna 172I introduced the Lycoming O-320-E2Dengine of 150 hp (112 kW).

The 1968 model marked the beginning of the Lycoming-powered 172s.

The "I" model was introduced with a Lycoming O-320-E2D engine of 150 hp (112 kW), an increase of 5 hp (3.7 kW) over the Continental powerplant. The increased power resulted in an increase in optimal cruise from 130 mph (209 km/h) TAS to 131 mph (211 km/h) TAS (true airspeed). There was no change in the sea level rate of climb at 645 ft (197 m) per minute.

The 172I also introduced the first standard "T" instrument arrangement. The 172I saw an increase in production over the "H" model, with 1,206 built.[11]


For 1968, Cessna planned to replace the 172 with a newly designed aircraft called the 172J, featuring the same general configuration but with a more sloping windshield, a strutless cantilever wing, a more stylish interior, and various other improvements. However, the popularity of the previous 172 with Cessna dealers and flight schools prompted the cancellation of the replacement plan, and the 172J was instead introduced as the 177 and sold alongside the 172. The 172J designation was never used for a production aircraft.

1969 model-year Cessna 172K, built in 1968

The next model year was the 1969 "K" model. The 1969 172K had a redesigned tailfin cap and reshaped rear windows. Optional long-range 52 US gal (197 l) wing fuel tanks were offered. The rear windows were slightly enlarged by 16 square inches (103 cm2). The 1969 model sold for US$12,500 for the 172 and US$13,995 for the Skyhawk, with 1,170 made.[11]

The 1970 model was still called the 172K, but sported fiberglass, downward-shaped, conical wing tips. Fully articulated seats were offered as well. Production in 1970 was 759 units.[11]

1971 Cessna 172L at Kemble Airfield, England, 2003

The 172L, sold during 1971 and 1972, replaced the main landing gear legs (which were originally flat spring steel) with tapered, tubular steel gear legs. The new gear had a width that was increased by 12 in (30 cm).[11] The new tubular gear was lighter, but required aerodynamic fairings to maintain the same speed and climb performance as experienced with the flat steel design. The "L" also had a plastic fairing between the dorsal fin and vertical fin to introduce a greater family resemblance to the 182's vertical fin.

The 1971 model sold for US$13,425 in the 172 version and US$14,995 in the Skyhawk version. 827 172Ls were sold in 1971 and 984 in 1972.[11]


The 172M of 1973–76 gained a drooped wing leading edge for improved low-speed handling. This was marketed as the "camber-lift" wing.

The 1974 172M was also the first to introduce the optional 'II' package which offered higher standard equipment, including a second nav/comm radio, an ADF and transponder. The baggage compartment was increased in size, and nose-mounted dual landing lights were available as an option.[11]

The 1975 model 172M sold for US$16,055 for the 172, US$17,890 for the Skyhawk and US$20,335 for the Skyhawk II.

In 1976, Cessna stopped marketing the aircraft as the 172 and began exclusively using the "Skyhawk" designation. This model year also saw a redesigned instrument panel to hold more avionics. Among other changes, the fuel and other small gauges were relocated to the left side for improved pilot readability compared with the earlier 172 panel designs. Total production of "M" models was 7306 over the four years it was manufactured.[11]

1979 Cessna 172N Skyhawk in 2019

The Skyhawk N, or Skyhawk/100 as Cessna termed it, was introduced for the 1977 model year. The "100" designation indicated that it was powered by a Lycoming O-320-H2AD, 160 horsepower (119 kW) engine designed to run on 100-octane fuel, whereas all previous engines used 80/87 fuel. But this engine proved troublesome[20] and it was replaced by the similarly rated O-320-D2J to create the 1981 172P.

The 1977 "N" model 172 also introduced rudder trim as an option and standard "pre-selectable" flaps. The price was US$22,300, with the Skyhawk/100 II selling for US$29,950.[11]

The 1978 model brought a 28-volt electrical system to replace the previous 14-volt system. Air conditioning was an option.[11]

The 1979 model "N" increased the flap-extension speed to 110 knots (204 km/h).[11]

The "N" remained in production until 1980 when the 172P or Skyhawk P was introduced.[11]


There was no "O" ("Oscar") model 172, to avoid confusion with the number zero.[11]


The 172P, or Skyhawk P, was introduced in 1981 to solve the reliability problems of the "N" engine by replacing it with the Lycoming O-320-D2J.

The "P" model also saw the maximum flap deflection decreased from 40 degrees to 30 to allow a gross weight increase from 2,300 lb (1,043 kg) to 2,400 lb (1,089 kg). A wet wing was optional, with a capacity of 62 US gallons of fuel.[11]

The price of a new Skyhawk P was US$33,950, with the Skyhawk P II costing US$37,810 and the Nav/Pac equipped Skyhawk P II selling for US$42,460.[11]

In 1982, the "P" saw the landing lights moved from the nose to the wing to increase bulb life. The 1983 model added some minor soundproofing improvements and thicker windows.[11]

A second door latch pin was introduced in 1984.[16]

Production of the "P" ended in 1986, and no more 172s were built for eleven years as legal liability rulings in the US had pushed Cessna's insurance costs too high, resulting in dramatically increasing prices for new aircraft.[citation needed]

There were only 195 172s built in 1984, a rate of fewer than four per week.[11]

172Q Cutlass

The 172Q was introduced in 1983 and given the name Cutlass to create an affiliation with the 172RG, although it was actually a 172P with a Lycoming O-360-A4N engine of 180 horsepower (134 kW). The aircraft had a gross weight of 2,550 lb (1,157 kg) and an optimal cruise speed of 122 knots (226 km/h) compared to the 172P's cruise speed of 120 knots (222 km/h) on 20 hp (15 kW) less. It had a useful load that was about 100 lb (45 kg) more than the Skyhawk P and a rate of climb that was actually 20 feet (6 m) per minute lower, due to the higher gross weight. Production ended after only three years when all 172 production stopped.[11]


The Skyhawk R was introduced in 1996 and is powered by a derated Lycoming IO-360-L2A producing a maximum of 160 horsepower (120 kW) at just 2,400 rpm. This is the first Cessna 172 to have a factory-fitted fuel-injected engine.

The 172R's maximum takeoff weight is 2,450 lb (1,111 kg). This model year introduced many improvements, including a new interior with soundproofing, an all new multi-level ventilation system, a standard four point intercom, contoured, energy absorbing, 26g front seats with vertical and reclining adjustments and inertia reel harnesses.


The Cessna 172S was introduced in 1998 and is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A producing 180 horsepower (134 kW). The maximum engine rpm was increased from 2,400 rpm to 2,700 rpm resulting in a 20 hp (15 kW) increase over the "R" model. As a result, the maximum takeoff weight was increased to 2,550 lb (1,157 kg). This model is marketed under the name Skyhawk SP, although the Type Certification data sheet specifies it is a 172S.[21][22]

The 172S is built primarily for the private owner-operator and is, in its later years, offered with the Garmin G1000 avionics package and leather seats as standard equipment.[23]

As of 2009[update], only the S model is in production.[24]

Cessna 172RG Cutlass
Cessna 172RG retracting its landing gear during take-off

Cessna introduced a retractable landing gear version of the 172 in 1980 and named it the Cutlass 172RG.

The Cutlass featured a variable-pitch, constant-speed propeller and a more powerful Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine of 180 horsepower (130 kW). The 172RG sold for about US$19,000 more than the standard 172 of the same year and produced an optimal cruise speed of 140 knots (260 km/h), compared to 122 knots (226 km/h) for the contemporary 160 horsepower (120 kW) version.[11]

The 172RG did not find wide acceptance in the personal aircraft market because of higher initial and operating costs accompanied by mediocre cruising speed, but was adopted by many flight schools since it met the specific requirements for "complex aircraft" experience necessary to obtain a Commercial Pilot certificate (the role for which it was intended), at relatively low cost. Between 1980 and 1984 1,177 RGs were built, with a small number following before production ceased in 1985.[citation needed]

While numbered and marketed as a 172, the 172RG was actually certified on the Cessna 175 type certificate.[17]

Special versions[edit]

Reims FR172 and Cessna R172K Hawk XP
1977 Cessna R172K Hawk XP
1977 model R172K Hawk XP on Wipline amphibious floats

The FR172 Reims Rocket was produced by Reims Aviation in France from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. It was powered by a Rolls-Royce built, fuel-injected, Continental IO-360-H(B) 210 hp (160 kW) engine with a constant-speed propeller.[25] Variants included the FR172E until FR172J.

The Reims Rocket led to Cessna producing the R172K Hawk XP, a model available from 1977 to 1981 from both Wichita and Reims. This configuration featured a fuel-injected, Continental IO-360K (later IO-360KB) derated to 195 hp (145 kW) with a two-bladed, constant-speed propeller. The Hawk XP was capable of a 131-knot (243 km/h) cruise speed.

Owners claimed that the increased performance of the "XP" didn't compensate for its increased purchase price and the higher operating costs associated with the larger engine. The aircraft was well accepted for use on floats, however, as the standard 172 is not a strong floatplane, even with only two people on board, while the XP's extra power improves water takeoff performance dramatically.[11]

While numbered and marketed as 172s, the R172J and R172K models are actually certified on the Cessna 175 type certificate.[17]

Turbo Skyhawk JT-A

Model introduced in July 2014 for 2015 customer deliveries, powered by a 155 hp (116 kW) Continental CD-155diesel engine installed by the factory under a supplemental type certificate. Initial retail price in 2014 was $435,000.[26] The model has a top speed of 131 kn (243 km/h) and burns 3 U.S. gallons (11 L; 2.5 imp gal) per hour less fuel than the standard 172.[27] As a result, the model has an 885 nmi (1,639 km) range, an increase of more than 38% over the standard 172.[28] This model is a development of the proposed and then cancelled Skyhawk TD.[29] Cessna has indicated that the JT-A will be made available in 2016.[30]

In reviewing this new model Paul Bertorelli of AVweb said: "I’m sure Cessna will find some sales for the Skyhawk JT-A, but at $420,000, it’s hard to see how it will ignite much market expansion just because it’s a Cessna. It gives away $170,000 to the near-new Redbird Redhawk conversion which is a lot of change to pay merely for the smell of a new airplane. Diesel engines cost more than twice as much to manufacture as gasoline engines do and although their fuel efficiency gains back some of that investment, if the complete aircraft package is too pricey, the debt service will eat up any savings, making a new aircraft not just unattractive, but unaffordable. I haven’t run the numbers on the JT-A yet, but I can tell from previous analysis that there are definite limits."[29]

The model was certified by both EASA and the FAA in June 2017.[31] It was discontinued in May 2018, due to poor sales as a result of the aircraft's high price, which was twice the price of the same aircraft as a diesel conversion. The aircraft remains available as an STC conversion from Continental Motors, Inc.[32][33]

Electric-powered 172

In July 2010, Cessna announced it was developing an electrically powered 172 as a proof-of-concept in partnership with Bye Energy. In July 2011, Bye Energy, whose name had been changed to Beyond Aviation, announced the prototype had commenced taxi tests on 22 July 2011 and a first flight would follow soon.[34][35] In 2012, the prototype, using Panacis batteries, engaged in multiple successful test flights.[36] The R&D project was not pursued for production.

Canceled model[edit]


On October 4, 2007, Cessna announced its plan to build a diesel-powered model, to be designated the 172 Skyhawk TD ("Turbo Diesel") starting in mid-2008. The planned engine was to be a Thielert Centurion 2.0, liquid-cooled, two-liter displacement, dual overhead cam, four-cylinder, in-line, turbo-diesel with full authority digital engine control with an output of 155 hp (116 kW) and burning Jet-A fuel. In July 2013, the 172TD model was canceled due to Thielert's bankruptcy. The aircraft was later refined into the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A, which was certified in June 2014 and discontinued in May 2018.[3][27][37][38]

Simulator company Redbird Flight uses the same engine and reconditioned 172 airframes to produce a similar model, the Redbird Redhawk.[39][40]

Premier Aircraft Sales also announced in February 2014 that it would offer refurbished 172 airframes equipped with the Continental/Thielert Centurion 2.0 diesel engine.[41]

Military operators[edit]

A variant of the 172, the T-41 Mescalero was used as a trainer with the United States Air Force and Army. In addition, the United States Border Patrol uses a fleet of 172s for aerial surveillance along the Mexico-US border.

From 1972 to 2019 the Irish Air Corps used the Reims version for aerial surveillance and monitoring of cash, prisoner and explosive escorts, in addition to army cooperation and pilot training roles.[42]

Irish Air Corps Reims FR.172H Rocket

For T-41 operators, see Cessna T-41 Mescalero.

Iraqi Air Force Cessna 172 lands at Kirkuk Air Base
 Saudi Arabia

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On February 13, 1964, Ken Hubbs, second baseman for the Chicago Cubs and winner of the Rookie of the Year Award and the Gold Glove Award, was killed when the Cessna 172 he was flying crashed near Bird Island in Utah Lake.[65]
  • On October 23, 1964, David Box, lead singer for The Crickets on their 1960 release version of "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "Don't Cha Know" and later a solo artist, was killed when the Cessna 172 he was aboard crashed in northwest Harris County, Texas, while en route to a performance. Box was the second lead vocalist for The Crickets to die in a plane crash, following Buddy Holly.[66][67]
  • On August 31, 1969, American professional boxer Rocky Marciano was killed when the Cessna 172 in which he was a passenger crashed on approach to an airfield outside Newton, Iowa.[68]
  • On September 25, 1978, a Cessna 172, N7711G, and Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, a Boeing 727, collided over San Diego, California. There were 144 fatalities, two in the Cessna 172, 135 on the PSA Flight 182 and seven on the ground.[69]
  • On May 28, 1987, a rented Reims Cessna F172P, registered D-ECJB, was used by German teenage pilot Mathias Rust in an unauthorized flight from Helsinki-Malmi Airport through Soviet airspace to land near the Red Square in Moscow, all without being intercepted by Soviet air defense.[70]
  • On April 9, 1990, Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 2254, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, collided head-on with a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172, N99501, while en route from Gadsden Municipal Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The Cessna crashed, killing two occupants, but the Brasilia made a safe emergency landing.[71]
  • On January 5, 2002, high school student Charles J. Bishop stole a Cessna 172, N2371N, and intentionally crashed it into the side of the Bank of America Tower in downtown Tampa, Florida, killing only himself and otherwise causing very little damage.[72][73]
  • On April 6, 2009, a Cessna 172N, C-GFJH, was stolen by a student from Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and entered United States airspace over Lake Superior. The plane was intercepted and followed by NORADF-16s, finally landing on Highway 60 in Ellsinore, Missouri, after a seven-hour flight. The student pilot, a Canadian citizen born in Turkey, Adam Dylan Leon, formerly known as Yavuz Berke, was suffering from depression and attempted to commit suicide by being shot down. Instead, he was arrested shortly after landing. On November 3, 2009, he was sentenced to two years in a US federal prison after he pleaded guilty in August 2009 to all three charges against him: interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, importation of a stolen aircraft, and illegal entry. College procedures at the time permitted students access to aircraft and the keys were routinely left in the aircraft.[74][75][76][77][78]

Specifications (172R)[edit]

Cessna 172 3-view drawing

Data from Cessna[79][80]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: three passengers
  • Length: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
  • Wing area: 174 sq ft (16.2 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.32
  • Airfoil: modified NACA 2412
  • Empty weight: 1,691 lb (767 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,450 lb (1,111 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 56 US gallons (212 litres)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming IO-360-L2A four cylinder, horizontally opposed aircraft engine, 160 hp (120 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed metal, fixed pitch


  • Cruise speed: 122 kn (140 mph, 226 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 47 kn (54 mph, 87 km/h) (power off, flaps down)[81]
  • Never exceed speed: 163 kn (188 mph, 302 km/h) (IAS)[8]
  • Range: 696 nmi (801 mi, 1,289 km) with 45 minute reserve, 55% power, at 12,000 ft
  • Service ceiling: 13,500 ft (4,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 721 ft/min (3.66 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 14.1 lb/sq ft (68.6 kg/m2)


See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


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  • Andrade, John (1982). Militair 1982. London: Aviation Press Limited. ISBN .
  • Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN .
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External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cessna 172.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_172

172 wiki cessna

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