Cessna 172


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Primary Function:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed (VNE):
Climb Rate:
First Flight:
Lycoming IO-360-L2A
160 h.p.
27 ft. 2 in.
36 ft. 1 in.
1,690 lbs.
2,450 lbs.
52 U.S. gals.
140 mph
188 mph
740 fpm
13,500 feet
700 miles


Cessna 172 

The Cessna 172 was developed as a tricycle undercarriage successor to its taildragger predecessor. Cessna called the landing gear “Land-O-Matic”. The new aircraft, introduced in 1956, used larger wing flaps, called “Para Lift”. It was powered by a Continental 0-300 145 hp engine. Cost was US$8,995.

In 1959 a Cessna 172 piloted by Bob Timm and John Cook set a world record for endurance that still stands today. It flew for 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds. Fuel was obtained from a tanker truck by descending to just above it while it drove down a desert highway.

The 1960 Cessna 172 had a shortened landing gear and pointed prop spinner. It began being marketed with the name “Skyhawk”.

In 1962 the Cessna 172 became available with an optional autopilot.

In 1963 Cessna lowered the rear deck and added a one piece, fully wrap around rear window called "Omni-Vision." The Continental G0-300E engine producing 175 hp was introduced.

The 1964 Cessna 172 had all its electrical fuses replaced with circuit breakers.

Electric flaps replaced the manual ones in 1965.

The 1968 Cessna 172 was powered by a Lycoming 0-320-E2D engine producing 150 hp for more reliability.

In the 1971 Cessna 172, tubular steel main landing gear was introduced that added an additional 12 inches of width to its stance.

The 1981 Cessna 172 introduced the Lycoming 0-320-D2J engine producing 160 hp.

In 1986 Cessna 172 production stopped due to high liability costs for light aircraft. Production resumed in 1996 with the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act that limited liability.

The 1996 Cessna 172 introduced a fuel injected Lycoming I0-360-L2A engine producing 160 hp at 2,400 rpm. More comfortable 26 g rated adjustable front seats were introduced along with increased ventilation and additional sound proofing.

Lycoming I0-360-L2A engine horsepower was increased to 180 with the introduction of the 1998 Cessna 172.

The basic Cessna 172, now mostly referred to as the Skyhawk, remains the same as the 1998 model. However it is available with the latest lighting and styling options, and new avionics including an enhanced glass cockpit with G1000 avionics.

A total of over 44,000 Cessna 172 aircraft have been produced to date. It is the most produced aircraft in history.


Cessna 172

Wendell Hostetler Plans has a Cessna 172 that builds to a 120 in. wingspan and 90 in. length.  It needs a 3 - 4 cu. in. gas engine.  Weight should be around 29 lbs.