Cessna Skyhawk 172 A-H The History of The Most Popular Cessna Ever!

By Jason Zilberbrand

February 4, 2022 Educational

Cessna Skyhawk 172 A-H

Cessna Skyhawk 172 A-H

Cessna By Textron Aviation

Cessna Aviation Company is also known as Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company, founded in 1927. Clyde Cessna partnered with Victor Roos to make his dream of building aircraft a reality, even after many financial institutions declined to give him a loan. However, the partnership would not last, and Roos left after only a month. Roos' name was dropped, and Cessna-Roos became Cessna Aircraft Company.

In 1932, the Great Depression took a heavy toll on Cessna, and the nationwide crash caused the newly-founded company to close its doors without any certainty for its future. Then, in 1934, Cessna's nephews Dwane and Dwight Wallace took over the aviation business. From there, innovation and the drive to build something spectacular produced the Cessna C-37 in 1937. Eventually, Cessna would go on to work with elite establishments like the U.S. Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Cessna is a part of the top 3 aviation companies globally, along with Beechcraft and Piper. Cessna struggled with the demands of their customers while their production took place in China. Eventually, Cessna returned manufacturing to the U.S. After several financial hardships in the 2010s, Textron's Aviation bought Cessna in 2014.

Today, even after Cessna's several setbacks, the Cessna 172 is still the most-produced aircraft ever. The 172 also continues to hold the 1958 Flight Endurance World Record (taking place from 1958 to 1959) in a total of 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes, and 5 seconds in the air.

The Most Popular Training Aircraft

Many pilots began their careers training on the classic 172 models. It isn't known for being the fanciest single-piston aircraft ever made. Nor does it have all of the bells and whistles as other models might. But it's so widely used for training because it's a reliable, easy-to-land, and agile aircraft.

As far as design goes, the airframe on the 172 remained the same from the 1960s through the 1980s, when production ended. Production began again in 1996, which introduced the 172R to the world of aviation. The latest 172 model appears as the 172S, still in production.

Safety Record

On top of its dependable handling, 172s are also known to have a good safety record. According to the AOPA, more than 1,600 accidents were from 1982 through 1988. However, out of 24,130 Skyhawks, it maintains a good record even counting those incidents. On average, 237 Skyhawks are involved with reportable accidents every year. But it's important to know that very few are fatal, and most reports involve little to no injuries at all. The AOPA even found information that connected pilot error and inexperience with many serious accidents. For example, some pilots have overloaded their 172s, and some have taken off confidently with fewer than 100 flight hours. While the minimum hours required is 40 for a private pilot's license, inexperienced pilots are more likely to attempt difficult maneuvers. Furthermore, pilots who've been involved in major accidents have also run into inclement weather, high winds, and high-density altitude.

  • Country of Origin: America

Cessna Skyhawk 172 A-H Statistics

The following are statistics for only the A and H models of the Cessna Skyhawk.

Cessna Skyhawk 172A Statistics

119 kts

Maximum Speed

488 nm

Maximum Range

4

Maximum Occupants

1

Range Of Years Manufactured

4,195

Total Aircraft Build

6,513

Total Current Operational Aircraft

1,260 lbs

Useful Load

$52,800

Average Sale Value

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Cessna Skyhawk 172H Statistics

139 kts

Maximum Speed

515 nm

Maximum Range

4

Maximum Occupants

1

Range Of Years Manufactured

839

Total Aircraft Build

6,513

Total Current Operational Aircraft

1,340 lbs

Useful Load

$66,000

Average Sale Value


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VREF Demand Rating


Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Documents

Local Resources

Manufacturer

Insurance

Cessna Skyhawk 172 A-H Details

Below includes descriptions for the latest 1967 Cessna Skyhawk 172H model.

Interior

The Skyhawk 172H sparked excitement with a new look and feel that pilots craved. Those buying a brand new Skyhawk would see an airplane with aluminum surfaces, several fabric options for the interior, and carpet – an already established staple in many homes from the 1950s on. Additionally, the Cessna 172H offered a quiet cabin, quick scan instrument panel, and a high-volume ventilation system to improve air quality.

Exterior

Paint on the exterior of the Skyhawk 172H offered a long-lasting finish that required no polishing or buffing. Waxing the exterior with an excellent automotive wax could preserve the bright appearance and halt corrosion. The exterior also featured a two-blade propeller and open-view control wheels. Furthermore, this model also offered a short-stroke nose gear, making it more aerodynamic than previous models.

Avionics

The following information is for the latest Cessna Skyhawk 172S:

  • Garmin G1000

  • ADS-B Out And In

  • Integrated VFR Sectional Charts

  • IFR High And Low Charts With Night Mode

  • COM Frequency Decoding

  • Vertical Situation Display

  • Selectable Visual Approaches

  • Wireless Database And Flight Plan Loading

  • Angle Of Attack Indicator

  • Simplified Maintenance

Specifications

  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed Gear

  • Max Seats: 4

  • Max Take-Off Weight: 2,450 lbs.

  • Cruise (R): 122 kts

  • Take Off (50 ft.): 1,685 ft.

  • Landing (50 ft.): 1,295 ft.

  • Wing Span: 36 ft. 1 in.

  • Length: 26 ft. 11 in.

  • Height: 8 ft. 11 in.

Cessna Skyhawk A-H Models

172A

Cessna is known for its 172 Skyhawk variation, and the 172 continues to be the most popular and produced aircraft globally. Pilots love them because they're a fantastic, lightweight flight training aircraft that's considered easy to fly, more affordable than other single-piston planes, and crafted with a simple design.

The 172A was initially known as the 170C when first introduced in 1945. It is Cessna 170 Type Certification differed for its tricycle design to save on time and money. However, the 170C was more popular than Cessna expected, and sales reached 1,400 aircraft in its first full year of production. Sometime before the Skyhawk's 1960 production, the decision was made to change the name from 170C to 172A, where it earned its Type Certificate. A total of 1,015 were built within the year.

172B

This 1961 Skyhawk model had shorter landing gears, a reshaped cowling, engine mounts lengthened by three inches, and a pointed propeller spinner. This is where we see the start of using the name "Skyhawk." Gross weight increased from the previous year at 2,200 lbs to 2,250 lbs.

172C

The next model up would be the 1962 172C. This model offered upgraded tech with an autopilot option, key starter, and more flexible seating with a six-way adjustable setting. Kids were also thought of in this variation as an optional 2-seater child seat was optional. Its gross weight of 2,250 lbs. remained the same as the 172B. The 1962 172C cost $9,895, and a total of 889 172Cs were made.

172D

The addition of the 172D in 1963 offered a lower rear fuselage with a wraparound Omni-Vision rear window, one-piece windshield, new rudders, and brakes. Its gross weight increased from 2,250 to 2,300 lbs. A total of 1,146 172Ds were built.

Additionally, we also see the welcoming of the 172D Powermatic variation, powered by a 175 horsepower (130 kW) Continental GO-300E. This engine change increased its cruise by 11 mph. But the Powermatic was not a new aircraft, and it was part of a marketing strategy to rebrand the Cessna 175 Skylark because it had a lousy engine reputation. The entire rebrand failed, and no additional Powermatics or Skylarks were produced beyond 1963.

172E

The 172E made its entrance into aviation in 1964. Its electrical fuses were changed out and replaced with circuit breakers. And it had a newly designed instrument panel. A total of 1,401 172Es were built.

172F

A year after the 172E, the 1965 model 172F brought more advanced tech along with it in electrically operated flaps, replacing the former lever-operated system. Reims Cessna built this model out of France until 1971. A total of 1,436 172Fs were completed.

This particular model would eventually be known as the U.S. Air Force's T-41A Mescalero primary trainer. This closely-linked variation was used during the 1960s and early 1970s as the initial flight screening aircraft in USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). After exiting the program, some USAF T-41s were assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy for the cadet pilot indoctrination program. Others were distributed to Air Force aero clubs.

172G

The 1966 172G had a more pointed spinner and was available in two models. The basic model sold for $12,450, while the upgraded Skyhawk version sold for $13,300. A total of 1,597 were built.

172 H

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. A pneumatic one replaced the electric stall warning horn.

The 172H enhanced the luxurious level of the aircraft by offering eight new comfort-designed interiors and 17 three-color paint combinations. Like the 172G, this model had two options, basic and Skyhawk. The basic model cost $10,950, and the Skyhawk was $12,750. A total of 839 172Hs were built.

Top Cessna Skyhawk Questions

How Much Does A Cessna 172 Skyhawk Cost?

A new Cessna 172S (2018 to present) costs anywhere between $369,000 and $438,000. Prices vary based on features added, such as upgraded avionics, design choices, and more.

How Fast Is A Cessna 172 Skyhawk?

Today's 172S model can reach a top speed of 163 knots, which is far from its original rate of 124 knots.

How Easy Is It To Fly A Cessna 172 Skyhawk?

172s are said to be straightforward to fly. The most common positive feedback is their light nature, more affordable cost, and simple design. Even more so, it's the number one aircraft people train on across the world.

What Engine Does A Cessna 172 Skyhawk Have?

All models through the 1967 172H had a Continental O-300 engine except for the 172D Powermatic. A Lycoming O-320-E2D engine is seen in models I through M. Cessna's 172N introduced the use of the Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine briefly. After it proved to be worrisome, it was replaced by an O-320-D2J engine. The introduction of the Q model was indeed just a P model with a Lycoming O-360-A4N engine. Models R and S featured a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine.

A few particular variations of the iconic 172 offered other engines, including the Cessna 172RG Cutlass with its Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine. The Continental IO-360 engine is seen in the FR172 Reims Rocket. Then the Continental CD-155 diesel engine is paired with the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A. Finally, the electric-powered 172 ran in partnership with Bye Energy.

Why Is The Cessna 172 Skyhawk So Popular?

Aside from being the most popular training aircraft in history, Cessna's designs and marketing have made it more of a family-friendly travel aircraft. Pilots love the 172 because it's relatively affordable, easy to handle, and fits a family with ease.

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