Jump to content

Cessna 172

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cessna 172
172S Skyhawk SP
Role Civil utility aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
Textron Aviation
First flight June 12, 1955
Introduction 1956
Status In production
Produced 1956–1986, 1996–present
Number built 44,000+[1]
Developed from Cessna 170
Variants Cessna T-41 Mescalero
Developed into Cessna 175 Skylark

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 but with tricycle landing gear rather than conventional landing gear. The Skyhawk name was originally used for a trim package, but was later applied to all standard-production 172 aircraft, while some upgraded versions were marketed as the Cutlass, Powermatic, and Hawk XP. The aircraft was also produced under license in France by Reims Aviation, which marketed upgraded versions as the Reims Rocket.

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, the company and its partners had built more than 44,000 units.[1][4][5] With a break from 1986–96, the aircraft remains in production today.

A light general aviation airplane, the Skyhawk's main competitors throughout its lifetime have been the Beechcraft Musketeer and Grumman American AA-5 series (neither currently in production), the Piper PA-28 Cherokee,[6] and, more recently, the Diamond DA40 Star and Cirrus SR20.

Design and development

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 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.[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 injected Superior Air Parts Vantage engine.[13]

Operational history

The record-setting 1958-built Cessna 172

World records


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 Field (now Harry Reid International Airport) in Las Vegas, Nevada, and landed back at McCarran Field after 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds in a flight covering an estimated 150,000 miles (240,000 km), over 6 times further than flying around the world at the equator. The flight was part of a fund-raising effort for the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.[14][15] The aircraft is now on display at the airport.[16]



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


Introduced in November 1955 for the 1956 model year as a development of the Cessna 170B with tricycle landing gear, dubbed "Land-O-Matic" by Cessna. The 172 also featured a redesigned tail similar to the experimental 170C, "Para-Lift" flaps, and a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lb (998 kg) while retaining the 170B's 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300-A six-cylinder, air-cooled engine. The 1957 and 1959 model years brought only minor changes, while 1959 introduced a new cowling for improved engine cooling. The prototype 172, c/n 612, was modified from 170 c/n 27053, which previously served as the prototype of the 170B. A total of 3,757 were constructed over the four model years; 1,178 (1956), 1,041 (1957), 750 (1958), 788 (1959).[11][17][18]

A 1960 Cessna 172A

1960 model year with a swept-back vertical tail and rudder and powered by a 145 hp (108 kW) O-300-C engine. It was also the first 172 to be certified for floatplane operation. 994 built.[11][17][18]


1961 model year with shorter landing gear, engine mounts lengthened by three inches (76 mm), a reshaped cowling, a pointed propeller spinner, and an increased gross weight of 2,250 lb (1,021 kg). For the first time, the Skyhawk name was applied to an available deluxe option package that included optional wheel fairings, avionics, and a cargo door along with full exterior paint rather than partial paint stripes. The Skyhawk was also powered by an O-300-D in place of the O-300-C of the standard model. 989 built.[11][17][18]


1962 model year with fiberglass wingtips, redesigned wheel fairings, a key starter to replace the previous pull-starter, and an optional autopilot. The seats were redesigned to be six-way adjustable, and a child seat was made optional to allow two children to be carried in the baggage area. 810 built.[11][17][18]

1963 Cessna 172D

1963 model year with a cut down rear fuselage with a wraparound Omni-Vision rear window, a one-piece windshield, increased horizontal stabilizer span, and a folding hat shelf in the rear cabin. 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. 1,011 were built by Cessna, while a further 18 were produced by Reims Aviation in France as the F172D.[11][17][18]


1964 model year with a redesigned instrument panel with center-mounted avionics and circuit breakers replacing the electrical fuses of previous models. 1,209 built, 67 built by Reims as the F172E.[11][17][18]


1965 model year with electrically-operated flaps to replace the previous lever-operated system and improved instrument lighting. 1,400 built, plus 94 by Reims as the F172F.[8][11][17][18]

The 172F 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.[19]

1966 Reims F172G

1966 model year with a longer, more pointed spinner and sold for US$12,450 in its basic 172 version and US$13,300 in the upgraded Skyhawk version. 1,474 built (including 26 as the T-41A), plus 140 by Reims as the F172G.[11][17][18]


1967 model year with a 60A alternator replacing the generator, a rotating beacon replacing the flashing unit, redesigned wheel fairings, and 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. 1,586 built (including 34 as the T-41A), plus 435 by Reims as the F172H for both the 1967 and 1968 model years.[11][17][18]

The 1968-built Cessna 172I introduced the Lycoming O-320-E2D engine of 150 hp (112 kW).

The 1968 model year marked the beginning of the Lycoming-powered 172s, with the 172I 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) true airspeed (TAS) to 131 mph (211 km/h) TAS. There was no change in the sea level rate of climb at 645 ft (197 m) per minute. Starting with this model, the standard and deluxe Skyhawk models were no longer powered by different engines.[17] The 172I also introduced the first standard "T" instrument arrangement. 649 built.[11][17][20]


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. A single 172J prototype, registered N3765C (c/n 660), was built. However, the popularity of the previous 172 with Cessna dealers and flight schools prompted the cancellation of the replacement plan, and the 172J was redesignated as the 177 from the second prototype onward and sold alongside the 172.[17][21][22]

1969 model-year Cessna 172K, built in 1968

Introduced for the 1969 model year with a redesigned tailfin cap and reshaped rear windows enlarged by 16 square inches (103 cm2). Optional long-range 52 US gal (197 L) wing fuel tanks were also offered. The 1970 model year featured fiberglass, downward-shaped, conical camber wingtips and optional fully articulated seats. 2,055 built for both model years, plus 50 by Reims as the F172K.[11][17][20]


Introduced for the 1971 model year with tapered, tubular steel landing gear legs replacing the original flat spring steel legs, increasing landing gear width by 12 in (30 cm). The new landing gear was lighter, but required aerodynamic fairings to maintain the same speed and climb performance as experienced with the flat steel design. 172L also had a nose-mounted landing light, a bonded baggage door, and optional cabin skylights. The 1972 model year introduced a plastic fairing between the dorsal fin and vertical fin to introduce a greater family resemblance to the 182's vertical fin. 1972 also introduced a reduced-diameter propeller, bonded cabin doors, and improved instrument panel controls. 1,535 built for both model years, plus 100 by Reims as the F172L.[11][17][20]

1975 Cessna 172M

Introduced for the 1973 model year with a "Camber-Lift" wing with a drooped leading edge for improved low-speed handling, a key-locking baggage door, and new lighting switches. The 1974 model year introduced the Skyhawk II, which was sold alongside the baseline 172M and Skyhawk models with higher standard equipment, including a second nav/comm radio, an ADF and transponder, a larger baggage compartment, and nose-mounted dual landing lights. 1975 introduced inertia-reel shoulder harnesses and an improved instrument panel and door seals. Beginning 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. 6,826 built; 4,926 (1973–75) and 1,900 (1976), plus 610 by Reims as the F172M.[11][17][20]

172N Skyhawk/100
1979 Cessna 172N Skyhawk in 2019

1977 model year powered by a 160 horsepower (119 kW) Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine designed to run on 100-octane fuel (hence the "Skyhawk/100" name), whereas all previous engines used 80/87 fuel. Other changes included pre-select flap control and optional rudder trim. The 1978 model year brought a 28-volt electrical system to replace the previous 14-volt system as well as optional air conditioning. The 1979 model year increased the flap-extension speed to 110 knots (204 km/h). 6,425 total built; 1,725 (1977), 1,725 (1978), 1,850 (1979), and 1,125 (1980), plus 525 by Reims as the F172N.[11][17][20]


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

172P Skyhawk P
Cessna 172P

Introduced for the 1981 model year with a Lycoming O-320-D2J engine replacing the O-320-H2AD of the 172N, which had proven unreliable.[23] Other changes included a decreased maximum flap deflection 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 62 US gal (235 L) wet wing and air conditioning were optional. The 1982 model year moved the landing lights from the nose to the wing to increase bulb life, while 1983 added some minor soundproofing improvements and thicker windows. 1984 introduced a second door latch pin, a thicker windshield and side windows, additional avionics capacity, and low-vacuum warning lights. 2,664 total built; 1,052 (1981), 724 (1982), 319 (1983), 179 (1984), 256 (1985), and 134 (1986), plus 215 by Reims as the F172P. Following the end of 172P production in 1986, Cessna ceased production of the Skyhawk for ten years.[11][17][20]

172Q Cutlass

Introduced for the 1983 model year, the 172Q was given the name "Cutlass" to create an affiliation with the 172RG Cutlass RG, 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. The Cutlass II was offered as a deluxe model of the 172Q, as was the Cutlass II/Nav-Pac with IFR equipment. The 172Q was produced alongside the 172P for the 1983 and 1984 model years before being discontinued. Sources disagree on the exact number of 172Q aircraft built,[note 1] and the construction numbers listed on the Federal Aviation Administration type certificate overlap with those of the 1983 and 1984 172P.[11][17][20]

172R Skyhawk R

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

172S Skyhawk SP
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP

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.[8][24]

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.[25]

As of 2009, the 172S model was the only Skyhawk model in production.[26]

Variants under 175 type certificate


As the Cessna 175 Skylark had gained a reputation for poor engine reliability, Cessna attempted to regain sales by rebranding the aircraft as a variant of the 172.

P172D Powermatic

The 175 Skylark was rebranded for the 1963 model year as the P172D Powermatic, continuing where the Skylark left off at 175C. It was powered by a 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300-E with a geared reduction drive powering a constant-speed propeller, increasing cruise speed by 11 mph (18 km/h) over the standard 172D. It differed from the 175C in that it had a cut-down rear fuselage with an "Omni-Vision" rear window and an increased horizontal stabilizer span. A deluxe version was marketed as the Skyhawk Powermatic with a slightly increased top speed. Despite the rebranding, sales did not meet expectations, and the 175 type was discontinued for the civilian market after the 1963 model year.[11][27][17] 65 were built, plus 3 by Reims as the FP172D.[17]

The first production R172E operating as a T-41B Mescalero with the US Army.

Although the 175 type was discontinued for the civilian market, Cessna continued to produce the aircraft for the United States Armed Forces as the T-41 Mescalero. Introduced in 1967, the R172E was built in T-41B, T-41C, and T-41D variants for the US Army, USAF Academy, and US Military Aid Program, respectively.[28] As the T-41B, the R172E was powered by a fuel-injected 210 hp (157 kW) Continental IO-360-D or -DE driving a constant-speed propeller, and featured a 28V electrical system, jettisonable doors, an openable right front window, a 6.00x6 nose wheel tire and military avionics, but no baggage door. The T-41C was similar to the T-41B, but had a 14V electrical system, a fixed-pitch propeller, civilian avionics, and no rear seats. The T-41D featured a 28V electrical system, four seats, corrosion-proofing, reinforced flaps and ailerons, a baggage door, and provisions for wing-mounted pylons. 255 (T-41B), 45 (T-41C), and 34 (T-41D) built. While Cessna produced the R172E exclusively for military use, Reims built a civilian model as the FR172E Reims Rocket, with 60 built for the 1968 model year.[27][17]


The R172F was similar to the R172E and was built in both T-41C and T-41D variants. 7 (T-41C) and 74 (T-41D) built, plus 85 by Reims as the FR172F Reims Rocket for the 1969 model year.[27][17]


The R172G was similar to the R172E/F, differing in that it was certified to be powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) Continental IO-360-C, -D, -CB, or -DB engine. 28 (T-41D) built, plus 80 by Reims as the FR172G Reims Rocket for the 1970 model year.[27][17]


The R172H introduced the extended dorsal fillet of the 172L to the T-41D. It was also certified to be powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) Continental IO-360-C, -D, -H, -CB, -DB, or -HB engine. 163 (T-41D) built, plus 125 by Reims as the FR172H Reims Rocket for the 1971 and 1972 model years.[27][17]


Certified to be powered by a 210 hp (157 kW) Continental IO-360-H or -HB engine. Only one was built by Cessna, while Reims built 240 as the FR172J Reims Rocket for the 1973 through 1976 model years.[27][17]

R172K Hawk XP
1977 Model R172K Hawk XP on Wipline amphibious floats

Following the success of the Reims Rocket in Europe, Cessna decided to once again produce the 175 type for the civilian market as the R172K Hawk XP, beginning with the 1977 model year. It was powered by a derated 195 hp (145 kW) Continental IO-360-K or -KB engine driving a McCauley constant-speed propeller and featured a new cowling with landing lights and an upgraded interior. The Hawk XP II was also available with full IFR avionics.[27][17] However, owners claimed that the increased performance of the "XP" did not 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] 1 (1973 prototype), 725 (1977), 205 (1978), 270 (1979), 200 (1980), and 55 (1981) built, plus 85 (30 in 1977, 55 in 1978–81) by Reims as the FR172K Reims Rocket for the 1977 through 1981 model years.[17][29]

172RG Cutlass RG
Cessna 172RG Cutlass RG with landing gear retracted

Cessna introduced a retractable landing gear version of the 172 in 1980, designating it as the 172RG and marketing it as the Cutlass RG.[30][31]

The Cutlass RG sold for about US$19,000 more than the standard 172 and featured a variable-pitch, constant-speed propeller and a more powerful Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine of 180 horsepower (130 kW), giving it an optimal cruise speed of 140 knots (260 km/h), compared to 122 knots (226 km/h) for the contemporary 160 horsepower (120 kW) 172N or 172P.[11] It also had more fuel capacity than a standard Skyhawk, 62 US gallons (230 L; 52 imp gal) versus 53 US gallons (200 L; 44 imp gal), giving it greater range and endurance.[32]

The 172RG first flew on August 24, 1976.[33] It was the lowest-priced four-seat retractable-gear airplane on the U.S. market when it was introduced.[30] Although the general aviation aircraft market was contracting at the time, the RG proved popular as an inexpensive flight-school trainer for complex aircraft and commercial pilot ratings under U.S. pilot certification rules, which required demonstrating proficiency in an aircraft with retractable landing gear.[31]

The 172RG uses the same basic landing gear as the heavier R182 Skylane RG, which Cessna touted as a benefit, saying it was a proven design;[30] however, owners have found the landing gear to have higher maintenance requirements than comparable systems from other manufacturers, with several parts prone to rapid wear or cracking.[31] Compared to a standard 172, the 172RG is easier to load with its center of gravity too far aft,[31] which adversely affects the aircraft's longitudinal stability.

While numbered and marketed as a 172, the 172RG was certified on the Cessna 175 type certificate.[27] No significant design updates were made to the 172RG during its five-year model run.[31] 1,191 were produced.[34]

Although it is slower and has less passenger and cargo capacity than popular competing single-engine retractable-gear aircraft such as the Beechcraft Bonanza, the Cutlass RG is praised by owners for its relatively low operating costs, robust and reliable engine, and docile flying qualities comparable to the standard 172, although it has higher landing gear maintenance and insurance costs than a fixed-gear 172.[31][32]

In April 2018, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) repealed the requirement for complex aircraft or commercial pilot candidates to demonstrate proficiency in an aircraft with retractable landing gear; this change was a reaction to increasing maintenance costs of older retractable-gear trainers commonly used for these ratings.[35]

Special versions

J172T Turbo Skyhawk JT-A

Model introduced in July 2014 for 2015 customer deliveries, powered by a 155 hp (116 kW) Continental CD-155 diesel engine installed by the factory under a supplemental type certificate.[36] Initial retail price in 2014 was $435,000 (~$551,508 in 2023).[37] 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.[38] As a result, the model has an 885 nmi (1,639 km) range, an increase of more than 38% over the standard 172.[39] This model is a development of the proposed and then cancelled Skyhawk TD.[40] Cessna has indicated that the JT-A will be made available in 2016.[41]

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."[40]

The model was certified by both EASA and the FAA in June 2017.[42] 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.[43][44]

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.[45][46] In 2012, the prototype, using Panacis batteries, engaged in multiple successful test flights.[47] The R&D project was not pursued for production.

Canceled model

172TD Skyhawk TD

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.[36] 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][38][48][49]

Simulator company Redbird Flight uses the same engine and reconditioned 172 airframes to produce a similar model, the Redbird Redhawk.[50][51]

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.[52]

Military operators


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.[53]

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

Mathias Rust's Cessna F172P, used in his flight from Helsinki to Moscow, on display at the German Museum of Technology, Berlin

Specifications (172R)

3-view line drawing of the base model Cessna 172
3-view line drawing of the base model Cessna 172
3-view line drawing of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk
3-view line drawing of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Cessna 172R instrument panel

Data from Cessna[94][95]

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)[96]
  • 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 feet (3,700 m)
  • 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


Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Different production figures fot the 172Q Cutlass include 389 (210 in 1983 and 179 in 1984)[17] and 391,[20] while the Federal Aviation Administration type certificate lists 297 (186 in 1983 and 111 in 1984) construction numbers which overlap with those of the 172P Skyhawk P.[8]


  1. ^ a b Flight International, June 20, 2017, p. 24.
  2. ^ a b "Cessna Skyhawk" Archived 2013-04-04 at the Wayback Machine (2013), Cessna Aircraft Company. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
  3. ^ a b Russ Niles (October 4, 2007). "Cessna to Offer Diesel Skyhawk". Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Isabel Goyer (January 19, 2012). "Cessna 172: Still Relevant". Flying. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Cessna homepage: Skyhawk Archived 2015-02-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2015-01-22
  6. ^ Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, pp. 22–23. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  7. ^ a b c Simpson, Rod (June 2009). "Cessna 172 – Simply, the World's Most Successful Light Aircraft?". Air-Britain Aviation World. 61 (120). Air-Britain: 158–163. ISSN 1742-996X.
  8. ^ a b c d e Federal Aviation Administration (February 2006). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. 3A12". Retrieved June 9, 2024.
  9. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (November 2004). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A-799" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 8, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  10. ^ Clark, Anders (1 January 2015). "Cessna 172 Skyhawk Archived 2015-08-14 at the Wayback Machine". Disciples of Flight. Retrieved 12 August 2015
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Clarke, Bill: The Cessna 172 First Edition. TAB Books, 1987. ISBN 0830609121
  12. ^ "Airframe Additions". Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2010. AOPA Pilot, May/July 1994
  13. ^ Superior Air Parts. "Superior Skyhawk SV". superiorairparts.com. Archived from the original on May 18, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Trivia on Time and History 3:53 p.m. Longest Air Flight in History Begins". trivia-library.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  15. ^ Ruffin, Steven A (2005). Aviation's Most Wanted: The Top 10 book of Winged Wonders, Lucky Landings and Other Aerial Oddities. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 320. ISBN 1574886746.
  16. ^ By (October 25, 2021). "The Longest Ever Flight Was Over 64 Days In A Cessna 172". Hackaday. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Phillips, Edward H: Wings of Cessna, Model 120 to the Citation III, Flying Books, 1986. ISBN 0911139052
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i Simpson 1991, p. 118
  19. ^ "Broad Area Review – T3A". fas.org. May 13, 1998. Archived from the original on April 9, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Simpson 1991, p. 119
  21. ^ "N-Number Inquiry Results: N3765C". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved June 9, 2024.
  22. ^ Simpson 1991, p. 137
  23. ^ Cessna Owner Organization (November 11, 2020). "H2AD Engine". cessnaowner.org. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  24. ^ Cessna Aircraft Company (December 2007). "Skyhawk SP Specification and Description". Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  25. ^ Cessna Aircraft Company (2008). "Skyhawk SP Your Next Wing Tips". Archived from the original on February 29, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  26. ^ Cessna Aircraft Company (2008). "Cessna Skyhawk SP". Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h Federal Aviation Administration (March 2003). "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. 3A17" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 8, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  28. ^ Krivinyi, Nikolaus: World Military Aviation, page 148. Arco Publishing Co, 1977. ISBN 0-668-04348-2
  29. ^ "Type Certificate Data Sheet No. A18EU". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  30. ^ a b c "Cessna Cutlass RG". planeandpilotmag.com. February 6, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  31. ^ a b c d e f "Cessna 172RG Cutlass RG". avweb.com. AVWeb. May 31, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  32. ^ a b Schapiro, Steve (October 20, 2019). "Aircraft Spotlight: Pulling the Gear Up on a Cessna 172RG Cutlass". aopa.org. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  33. ^ Simpson 1991, p. 99
  34. ^ Simpson 1991, p. 99
  35. ^ Namowitz, Dan (April 25, 2018). "FAA drops complex aircraft requirement for some flight tests". aopa.org. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  36. ^ a b Janes All the World’s Aircraft: Development & Production 2022–2023. 2023. pp. 910–913. ISBN 978-0-7106-3396-5.
  37. ^ Thurber, Matt. "AirVenture Report: 2014 Archived 2014-09-04 at the Wayback Machine" AINonline, 1 September 2014. Accessed: 4 September 2014.
  38. ^ a b Niles, Russ (July 28, 2014). "Textron Introduces Diesel 172". AVweb. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  39. ^ "Cessna Turbo Skyhawk JT-A". txtav.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  40. ^ a b Bertorelli, Paul (July 30, 2014). "AirVenture: Diesel, Drones and High Energy". AVweb. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  41. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (May 12, 2015). "Has Cessna Suddenly Grown Cold On Diesel?". avweb.com. Aviation Publishing Group. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  42. ^ Grady, Mary (June 6, 2017). "Turbo Skyhawk JT-A Certified". AVweb. Archived from the original on July 21, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  43. ^ "Cessna discontinues Turbo Skyhawk JT–A". www.aopa.org. September 5, 2018. Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  44. ^ AVweb Staff (May 10, 2018). "Cessna Ends Diesel Skyhawk Production". AVweb. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  45. ^ Grady, Mary (October 2010). "Electric 172 May Fly Early Next Year". AVweb. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  46. ^ Grady, Mary (July 2011). "Electric Cessna 172 Starts Taxi Tests". AVweb. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  47. ^ "Electric Cessna Makes Multiple Flights on Lithium Batteries". evworld.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  48. ^ Goyer, Robert: "Skyhawk With a Bang", Flying magazine April 2008, pp. 64–68. Hachette Filipacchi US Media
  49. ^ Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (May 2008). "Cessna puts diesel airplane line on ice". Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  50. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (July 28, 2013). "Redbird Launches a Diesel Skyhawk Conversion Project". AVweb. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  51. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (September 9, 2013). "Video: Redbird's Redhawk Diesel – A Detailed Look". AVweb. Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  52. ^ Niles, Russ (February 20, 2014). "Premier Offers 172 Diesel Package". AVweb. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  53. ^ "Air Corps – Defence Forces". military.ie. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  54. ^ Fontanellaz, Cooper & Matos 2020, pp. 13, 28
  55. ^ a b Andrade 1982, p. 27
  56. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 45
  57. ^ Allport, Dave (October 2020). "Military News". Air International. Vol. 99, no. 4. p. 11. ISSN 0306-5634.
  58. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 57
  59. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 95
  60. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 97
  61. ^ Strategy Page (February 2008). "Iraq Seeks Cessna Solution". Archived from the original on February 20, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  62. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 61
  63. ^ "Cessna 172H". Óglaigh na hÉireann (Defence Forces Ireland). 2014. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  64. ^ Corps, Irish Air (June 22, 2019). "Yesterday marked a significant day in Air Corps history, after 47 years the FR172H was stood down from operational service.These aircraft were purchased in 1972 for border surveillance operations & served in various roles since then from explosive escorts to wildlife surveys.pic.twitter.com/onZJ7TeoJa".
  65. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 147
  66. ^ "Special forces Cessna for Lithuanian Air Force". AirForces Monthly. Key Publishing. October 2019. p. 12.
  67. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 151
  68. ^ Hagedorn 1993, p. 39.
  69. ^ "Nicaragua Air Force Aircraft Types". www.aeroflight.co.uk.
  70. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 172
  71. ^ a b "Naval Air Group Historical Events". NAG.navy.mil.ph. Naval Air Group Philippine Navy. Archived from the original on December 1, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  72. ^ "Philippines receives 4 training aircraft from US". news.abs-cbn.com.
  73. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 189
  74. ^ a b Taylor, John: Jane's Pocket Book of Military Transport and Training Aircraft, p. 67. Macmillan Publishing Inc, 1974. LCCN 73-15288
  75. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 193
  76. ^ De Overheid (19 April 2014), Oenebare Verkoop Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 15 March 2015
  77. ^ "Memories of Ken Hubbs Live On : Nearly 30 Years Later, the Town of Colton Still Is Recovering From His Death at 22". Los Angeles Times. July 5, 1993. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  78. ^ "Just a Day Away" (PDF). Hub Stuff. Vol. 2, no. 6. January 29, 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 15, 2004. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  79. ^ "David Box". n.d. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  80. ^ "Rocky Marciano". check-six.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  81. ^ "Aircraft Accident Report 79-5 (AAR-79-5)" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board, hosted by PSA history.org. April 20, 1979. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  82. ^ coptercrazy (n.d.). "Listing of Production Reims F172". Archived from the original on March 14, 2005. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
  83. ^ "Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. July 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
  84. ^ "Small, stolen plane slams into Tampa skyscraper", (archived from the original), CNN, 5 January 2002. Retrieved 5 January 2012
  85. ^ Koch, Kathleen (January 7, 2002). "Police: Tampa pilot voiced support for bin Laden". europe.cnn.com. Archived from the original on August 16, 2002. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  86. ^ "Stolen Cessna's Pilot Captured". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
  87. ^ "Pilot charged after plane leads U.S. fighter jets over 4 states". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 2009. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  88. ^ Niles, Russ (April 2009). "Pilot Arrested After Plane Chase". Archived from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  89. ^ Niles, Russ (April 2009). "School Reviews Security After 172 Theft (Corrected)". Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  90. ^ "Canadian jailed for flying stolen plane into U.S." CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. November 2009. Archived from the original on November 7, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  91. ^ Fisher, Kristin; Muntean, Pete (November 12, 2021). "Blue Origin astronaut Glen de Vries dies in plane crash". CNN. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  92. ^ Hradecky, Simon (March 5, 2024). "Accident: Safarilink DH8C at Nairobi on Mar 5th 2024, midair collision with light aircraft". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved July 18, 2024.
  93. ^ "Preliminary Midair Collision Accident Report Involving 5Y-SLK and 5Y-NNJ" (PDF). Aircraft Accident Investigation Department. April 3, 2024. Retrieved July 18, 2024.
  94. ^ Cessna (2009). "Cessna Skyhawk Performance". Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  95. ^ Cessna (May 2010). "Skyhawk 172R Specification and Description" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 11, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  96. ^ Jackson 2003, pp. 588–589


  • Andrade, John (1982). Militair 1982. London: Aviation Press Limited. ISBN 0907898017.
  • Fontanellaz, Adrien; Cooper, Tom; Matos, Jose Augusto (2020). War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3: Angolan and Cuban Air Forces, 1975–1985. Warwick, UK: Helion & Company Publishing. ISBN 978-1913118617.
  • Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0851302106.
  • Jackson, Paul (2003). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0710625375.
  • Simpson, R W (1991). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 185310194X.