Everything You Wanted To Know About The Cessna Skyhawk 172 I-M

By Jason Zilberbrand

November 29, 2021 Educational

CESSNA SKYHAWK 172 I-M

Cessna Skyhawk 172 I-M

Cessna By Textron Aviation

The Cessna Aircraft Company is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. Clyde Cessna and Victor Roos partnered to create a company with expertly designed aircraft available for purchase. However, Roos dropped out of the partnership early on, leaving the business in the hands of Cessna. It was then known as Cessna Aircraft Corporation.

In 1932, Cessna briefly closed due to hardships caused by the Great Depression. Despite the downturn of aircraft sales and the economy, Cessna’s introduction to its CR-series racing aircraft pulled the company through the Depression-era. In 1934, Cessna’s nephews Dwane and Dwight Wallace began running the company in hopes of transforming it into a success.

After making a couple of large government sales, Cessna moved into the 1940s and post-war as a commercial aircraft production company. Several Cessna models were released at this time, including the Cessna 172 in 1956. In 1992, Cessna was sold to Textron. Then in 2014, Cessna stopped producing aircraft and made itself a part of the Textron Aviation family of businesses.

Over the years, Cessna used various marketing strategies, and many terms are recognized as part of the Cessna brand of aircraft. A few terms include Para-Lift Flaps, Land-O-Matic, and Omni-Vision.

Today, the Cessna 172 is the most produced aircraft in history, and the company itself is included amongst other big-name producers such as Beechcraft and Piper. In fact, Cessna produced its 100,000th single-engine airplane in 1975. Many pilots-in-training learn how to fly on a Cessna 172. And many more pilots of all experience levels are proud to own and operate a Cessna 172.

  • Country of Origin: America

Cessna Skyhawk 172 Statistics

Below are average statistics for the most popular and latest Cessna Skyhawk 172 model. Get more information about the most popular single-piston aircraft and join the aviation community at VREF Online.

Cessna Skyhawk 172 Statistics

124 kts

Maximum Speed

640 nm

Maximum Range

4

Maximum Occupants

1956-Present

Range Of Years Manufactured

Over 43,000

Total Aircraft Build

Over 25,000

Current Operational Aircraft

878 lbs

Useful Load

$100,311

Average Sale Value

138 Days

Average Days On Market For Sale

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VREF Demand Rating

Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources

Manufacturer

Insurance

Cessna Skyhawk 172 Details

Interior

The Cessna Skyhawk holds four people and has a height and width of 48 in. x 40 in. Additionally, it has a length of 11 ft. 10 in. and a bag capacity of 120 lbs. Ideal as a training aircraft, the Cessna Skyhawk is crafted with durable Luxor 2 and has large wraparound windows for easy viewing. Throughout the cabin, you’ll find soft LED lighting for added visibility and cockpit dual USB ports.

Exterior

The Cessna Skyhawk 172 features its signature tricycle landing gears and high-wing design for improved stability and visibility. There are two vinyl design options known as the Crest and Crosscut, making your Cessna 172 a custom purchase. You can select the graphic of your choice and refine your selection with color choices of red or blue.

Avionics

The Cessna 172 contains the following standard avionics:

  • 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


Optional avionics include:

  • Garmin GFC - 700 Autopilot featuring Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and Under Speed Protection (USP)

  • Garmin Connext Satellite Iridium

  • Surface Watch for runway safety

Specifications

  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed Gear

  • Max Takeoff Weight: 2,550 lbs.

  • Take Off Run: 1,630 ft.

  • Cruise : 124 kts

  • Range : 640 nm

  • Landing Roll: 960 ft.

  • Wing Span: 36 ft. 1 in.

  • Length: 27 ft. 2 in.

  • Height: 8 ft. 11 in.

Cessna 172 Models

172

The basic Cessna 172 1956 model first appeared in 1955. It had a Continental O-300 145 hp six-cylinder, air-cooled engine with a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lbs. Its base price was $8,995, and it remained in production until 1960. After over five years in production, a total of 4,195 were made.

172A

The 172A replaced the original 172 in 1960. This model introduced a swept-back tail fin, rudder, and float fittings. Its base price was $9,450, and a total of 1,015 were built.

172B

The 172B was introduced as the 1961 model. A few components of this model changed from previous versions, including shorter landing gear, engine mounts, a redesigned cowling, and a pointed propeller spinner.

Additionally, "Skyhawk" was added to the name, appearing for the first time. However, many today continue to include Skyhawk in the name when referring to any and all Cessna 172s. Initially, Skyhawk was applied as an additional deluxe option package, which offered optional equipment such as full exterior paint to replace its original striped design and standard avionics. Its gross weight saw an increase to 2,250 lbs. from 2,200 lbs.

172C

Next came the 1962 Cessna 172C. This model had an optional autopilot and key starter, which replaced the previous pull-starter. Also, the seats were designed to be six-way adjustable, and a child’s seat was made optional. This family-friendly feature allowed two children to be carried in the baggage area. At the time, the base price was $9,895. In total, 889 172C models were produced. This model has a gross weight of 2,250 lbs.

172D

With a total of 1,146 built, the 1963 172D model came with a few new features, including its lower rear fuselage with a wraparound Omni-Vision rear window and one-piece windshield. Previous models without this characteristic are called “fastbacks”. The use of the term Omni-Vision became part of Cessna’s marketing to showcase the back window as an enhanced visibility feature for pilots. However, the addition of the rear window did cause a loss of cruise speed due to the extra drag. There was also not a notable amount of improved visibility.

Gross weight was increased to 2,300 lbs. from 2,250 lbs. We will not see this amount change until its later model, the 172P. A few new additions were added to the 172D, including a:

  • New rudder

  • Brake pedals

  • 172D Powermatic (175 horsepower Continental GO-300E)

The addition of the Continental GO-300E increased its cruise speed by 11 mph compared to the basic 172D. However, this wasn’t a completely new model. Opting for some damage control tactics, this model was a rebranded Cessna 175 Skylark. Its GO-300 engine suffered reliability problems, and word spread quickly, giving it a negative reputation. The public didn’t buy its marketing ploy, so production of both the Powermatic and Skylark halted forever.

172E

In 1964, the 172E was introduced. A few alterations included the circuit breaker replacing electrical fuses, as well as a redesigned instrument panel. A total of 1,401 172Es were built that year as the Cessna brand gained in popularity.

172F

In 1965, Cessna welcomed its 172F model, which featured electrically operated flaps, replacing its former lever-operated system. Until 1971, this model was built in France by Reims Cessna, otherwise known as the F172 (1,436 total). Thus, the basis for the U.S. Air Force's T-41A Mescalero primary trainer was formed. Its purpose was for initial flight screening aircraft in USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) during the 60s and 70s.

As the UPT program removed all F172s, some extant 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

1966 172G offered two versions, including the standard 172G model with a more pointed spinner for $12,450 and its upgraded variant in the Skyhawk version for $13,300. A total of 1,597 were built.

172H

In 1967, the 172H became the last model powered by a Continental O-300 engine. Only 839 were built of this model. Furthermore, a shorter-stroke nose gear oleo was introduced to reduce drag and spruce up the plane’s appearance during flight. Additionally, a new cowling was implemented. This meant shock-mounts were used that transmitted lower noise levels to the cockpit to reduce cowl cracking. Finally, its electric stall warning horn was replaced with a pneumatic one.


Again, this model offered two versions in the standard 172H at $10,950, while the Skyhawk version cost $12,750.

172I

1968 saw the start of the use of Lycoming-powered 172s. The 172I featured a new standard T instrument arrangement and Lycoming O-320-E2D engine, which increased its power. As an additional result, the 172Is optimal cruise speed increased to 131 mph (211 km/h) TAS (true airspeed). A total of 1,206 were built.

172K

In 1969, Cessna welcomed the 172K, which featured a redesigned tailfin cap and reshaped rear windows. A year later, in 1970, the 172K model also had fiberglass, downward-shaped, conical wingtips. A total of 759 172K aircraft were made.

172L

1971 and 1972 saw the introduction of the 172L, which replaced the main landing gear legs with tapered, tube-shaped steel gear legs.

172M

In 1973, the 172M made its debut and featured a drooped wing leading edge for better low-speed handling. It was also called the "camber-lift" wing. Additionally, this model saw an improved hold for more avionics and the relocation of a few small gauges.

Consumers also had the option to buy a higher standard equipment package, which included a second navigation radio, an ADF, and a transponder. By 1976, Cessna referred to the 172 only as the Skyhawk. A total of 7,306 were produced.

172N

This 1977 model featured a Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine, which was designed to run on 100-octane fuel instead of 80/87 fuel. This model remained in production for the next three years until the 172P.

172P

Cessna skipped an ‘O’ model to avoid mixing up the letter with the number zero. Thus, the 1981 172P is the next aircraft in the lineup. In this model, we see the introduction of the Lycoming O-320-D2J engine. Its gross weight increased to 2,400 lbs. from 2,300 lbs. It had an optional wet wing and 62 US gallon capacity.

172Q Cutlass

Cutlass was added to the 172Q name in an effort to remain linked to the 172RG. However, this 1983 model was essentially a 172P with a Lycoming O-360-A4N engine.

172R

Introduced in 1996, the 172R is powered using a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine. Many modern improvements were made to this model, including:

  • Improved soundproof interior

  • Multi-level ventilation system

  • Standard four-point intercom

  • Energy-absorbing front seats with vertical and reclining adjustments and inertia reel harnesses

172S

This model is still in production and features a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine and Garmin G1000 avionics package, and leather seats for later models.

Top Cessna Skyhawk 172 Questions

How Much Does A Cessna Skyhawk 172 Cost?

The base price for a new Cessna Skyhawk 172S is $432,000. However, you may be able to find a pre-owned 172 for less.

How Fast Is A Cessna Skyhawk 172?

The Cessna 172 has a cruise speed of 122 knots with a maximum speed of 163 knots.

How Easy Is It To Fly A Cessna Skyhawk 172?

Many pilots say the 172 is an aircraft that’s easy to fly. There are a number of students who fly solo in a 172 after a few hours of training. Aside from some limited visibility, it’s a fairly forgiving aircraft that won’t be too fast.

What Engine Does A Cessna Skyhawk 172 Have?

The latest Cessna 172S has a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine.

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