Cessna Model A

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Model A
Cessna AW Yanks Chino 05.01.08R.jpg
Cessna AW at Yanks Museum, Chino, CA
Role Four-seat tourer
Manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company
Designer Clyde Cessna
First flight 1927
Primary user private owners
Number built 83

The Cessna Model A was a 1920s American high-wing four-seat tourer built by the Cessna Aircraft Company, the first in a long line of high-wing single-engined monoplanes.

Design and development[edit]

The first Cessna design built in any numbers was the Cessna Model A, a four-seater with a mixed wood and steel-tube construction with fabric covering. The aircraft was built in a number of variants fitted with different engines.[1]

The prototype (Model AC) first flew in 1927 and the first production aircraft appeared in the following year.[2]


Model AA
Fitted with a 120 hp (89 kW) Anzani 10 engine, 14 built.
Model AC
Fitted with a 130 hp (97 kW) Comet engine, one built.
Model AF
Fitted with a 150 hp (112 kW) Floco/Axelson engine, three built.
Model AS
Fitted with a 125 hp (93 kW) Siemens-Halske engine, four built.
Model AW
Fitted with a 125 hp (93 kW) Warner Scarab engine, 48 built. One was purchased by Eddie August Schneider in which he set three transcontinental airspeed records for pilots under the age of twenty-one in 1930.[3]
Model BW
A three-seat version with a 220 hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 engine, 13 built.

Specifications (Cessna AA)[edit]

Cessna AF 3-view drawing from Aero Digest March 1928

Data from Les Ailes, May 1928[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two pilots
  • Capacity: Two passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 9 in (7.23 m)
  • Wingspan: 40 ft 7 in (12.36 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m)
  • Wing area: 222 sq ft (20.6 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,248 lb (566 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,273 lb (1,031 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 42 US gal; 35 imp gal (160 l)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Anzani 10 10-cylinder radial, 120 hp (89 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 115 mph; 100 kn (185 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 100 mph; 87 kn (161 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 45 mph; 39 kn (72 km/h) minimum speed
  • Service ceiling: 7,005 ft (2,135 m)


  1. ^ a b Serryer, J. (3 May 1928). "Le monoplane Cessna". Les Ailes (359): 5.
  2. ^ Simpson, Rod (2001). Airlife's World Aircraft. Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing Ltd. p. 132. ISBN 1-84037-115-3.
  3. ^ Kieran, Leo A. (October 5, 1930). "Fast Flying Marked Ford Tour. Full-Throttle Speeds for Most of 4,900-Mile Route in Canada and Northwest Gave New Practical Meaning to Reliability Test". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-08. Under the new formula, which made speed the most important characteristic of the modern airplane, the National Air Tour ended its 4,900-mile trip at Detroit last week as the most exacting and exhaustive demonstration ever conducted on a fleet of representative commercial and training airplanes. ... The flying of the pilots was declared perfect, and the technique and navigation of Miss Nancy Hopkins, only woman pilot, Edward Schneider and Truman Wadlow, three of the youngest pilots in the troupe, was equal to that of the older and more experienced racing pilots. In winning the Great Lakes Trophy for light planes in the tour Schneider beat out pilots who had a much better wingpower load ratio by sheer speed and good navigation. ... Cessna; Schneider; 8th overall finish; Warner engine; 110 HP; 1,225 pounds; 1,035 useful load; 47,488.0 points; 113.1 mph average.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.