Cessna Aircraft

Clyde V. Cessna founded Cessna in 1916 after seeing an airshow near Oklahoma City in 1911. A mechanic and auto salesman, he assembled his aircraft using a kit from Queens Airplane Company in the Bronx. After several failed attempts, he eventually got the hang of flying and became a decent pilot. By 1916, he began using the Jones Motor Car factory in Wichita, Kansas, to start production for his aircraft.

By 1917, Cessna had built the Comet. However, World War I forced a halt in production and sales. At this point, the government reserved parts and supplies for war efforts. So Cessna accepted his failed business and returned to farming.

In 1925, Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman convinced Cessna to continue aircraft builds. They made Travel Air Manufacturing Company, with Cessna as its president. In this role, Cessna felt he was missing out on the engineering and designing aspects of aircraft production and teamed up with Victor Roos to establish the Cessna-Roos Company. Roos left shortly after the company’s establishment for another job. After selling an A and D series of aircraft, private aircraft sales fell to an all-time low. In 1931, Cessna was forced to close down his company once again.

Cessna’s nephew Dwane Wallace received his degree in aeronautical engineering from Wichita University two years after Cessna’s shutdown. He worked for Beech Aircraft Company, eventually convincing the board to allow his uncle to reopen his shop and continue making aircraft. At the time, Beech occupied a small section of Cessna’s former factory.

Cessna rejoined aircraft production but retired in 1936, selling all of his remaining shares to his nephews, Dwane and Dwight Wallace. Under the Wallace brothers’ leadership, Cessna built its first twin-engine aircraft in 1938. Demands eventually came pouring in from the U.S. and Canadian military for training aircraft. As a result of World War II, Cessna expanded into business aircraft and eventually became part of Textron Aviation.

  • Country of Origin: America

Cessna Skyhawk 172 R Statistics (2012)

126 kts

Maximum Speed

638 nm

Maximum Range


Maximum Occupants


Range Of Years Manufactured


Total Aircraft Build


Current Operational Aircraft

917 lbs

Useful Load


Average Sale Value

138 Days

Average Days On Market For Sale

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VREF Demand Rating

Cessna Skyhawk 172 S Statistics (2022)

163 kts

Maximum Speed

640 nm

Maximum Range


Maximum Occupants


Range Of Years Manufactured


Total Aircraft Build


Current Operational Aircraft

878 lbs

Useful Load


Average Sale Value

138 Days

Average Days On Market For Sale

Visit VREF Online

VREF Demand Rating

Operational Resources

Operations Manual

Maintenance Document

Local Resources



Skyhawk 172S (2022) Details


Geared towards training, Cessna’s 2022 172S offers seats wrapped in durable Luxor 2 and Alcantara, large wraparound windows for optimal observation, soft LED lighting throughout the cabin, and dual USB ports in the cockpit. There is also a spacious cargo area with an allowance of 120 lbs. of baggage, which is ideal for students and instructors to pack any necessary gear. Advanced options include skylights, an observer’s seat, and air conditioning. It also offers the latest version of Garmin G1000 NXi avionics.


This 2022 variation of the 172 is designed to maximize uptime for training pilots with upgraded wing features for better visibility, stability, and ground clearance. It also offers dual LED landing and recognition lights for ideal visibility and illumination for night flying. Its airframe has anti-corrosion treatment and strengthened glass for added durability and runs on a four-cylinder, fuel-injected Lycoming engine with 180 horsepower and 2,000 hours between overhauls (TBO).


  • Garmin G1000 NXi
  • ADS-B Out and In
  • Wireless database and flight plan loading
  • Integrated VFR sectional charts
  • IFR high and low charts with night mode
  • Digital Audio Panel with Bluetooth
  • Vertical situation display
  • Selectable visual approaches
  • Simplified maintenance
  • Optional SurfaceWatch for greater situational awareness


  • Configuration: Single Engine, Piston, Fixed Gear
  • Max Seats: 4
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 2,450 lbs.
  • Cruise: 122 kts.
  • Takeoff (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 172 Models


Cessna’s first 1956 model of the 172 appeared in 1955 with a Continental O-300 145 horsepower six-cylinder, air-cooled engine with a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lbs. Starting price at the time was set at $8,995 and remained in production until 1960. A total of 4,195 original 172s were made over five years in production.


This 1960 model had a starting price of $9,450 and 1,015 built. This model had a swept-back tail fin, rudder, and float fittings.


In 1961, Cessna introduced the 172B and added “Skyhawk” to the name. However, people use Skyhawk when referring to all Cessna 172s. This model had shorter landing gear, engine mounts, a redesigned cowling, and a pointed propeller spinner.

The Skyhawk offered an additional deluxe option package, with optional equipment like full exterior paint to replace its original striped design and standard avionics. Its gross weight increased to 2,250 lbs. from 2,200 lbs.


Cessna’s 1962 172C had a base price of $9,895. It also offered an optional autopilot and key starter, which replaced the previous pull starter. Seats were designed to be adjustable six ways, and a child’s seat was made optional. Its family-friendly features allowed two children to sit in the normal baggage area comfortably. 889 172C models were produced.


Cessna’s 1963 172D offered a gross weight increase to 2,300 lbs. from 2,250 lbs. From here, 172’s gross weight doesn’t change until its later model, the 172P.

Other additions to the 172D included a new rudder and brake pedals and a 172D Powermatic 175 horsepower Continental GO-300E. This model offers a lower rear fuselage with a wraparound Omni-Vision rear window and a one-piece windshield for better viewing. Models without this feature are sometimes called “fastbacks.” Using “Omni-Vision” became part of Cessna’s marketing to showcase its enhanced visibility features for pilots. But it’s important to note that 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 compared to previous models.

Adding a Continental GO-300E increased its cruise speed by 11 mph compared to the basic 172D. Eventually, this model was rebranded into Cessna’s 175 Skylark. Cessna decided on rebranding this aircraft as its GO-300 engine suffered reliability problems, giving it a negative reputation. However, sales didn’t improve, so the Powermatic and Skylark production stopped forever.


In 1964, the 172E was introduced, with 1,401 produced that year as Cessna gained popularity. Changes included replacing electrical fuses with a circuit breaker and a redesigned instrument panel.


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

The UPT program removed all F172s, and 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.


The 172G is Cessna’s 1966 model, available in two versions. These are its standard 172G model with a more pointed spinner for $12,450 and the upgraded Skyhawk variant for $13,300. A total of 1,597 were built.


Cessna’s 1967 172H is the last model powered by a Continental O-300 engine. Only 839 were built of this model. Additionally, a shorter-stroke nose gear oleo was introduced to reduce drag and spruce up the plane’s appearance during flight. New cowling was also added, which meant shock-mounts were used to transmit lower noise levels to the cockpit to reduce cowl cracking. Lastly, its electric stall warning horn was replaced with a pneumatic one. This model offered two versions: the standard 172H at $10,950 and the Skyhawk version at $12,750.


The 172I was introduced in 1968 and saw the use of Lycoming-powered engines. A total of 1,206 were built. This model had a new standard T instrument arrangement and Lycoming O-320-E2D engine. As an additional result, the 172I optimal cruise speed increased to 131 mph true airspeed.


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


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


In 1973, the 172M debuted and featured a drooped wing leading edge for better low-speed handling, and 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 Skyhawk. A total of 7,306 were produced.


This 1977 model featured a Lycoming O-320-H2AD engine and 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.


Cessna skipped an ‘O’ model to avoid mixing up the letter with the number zero and moved forward with its 1981 172P. This variation introduced the Lycoming O-320-D2J engine, and its gross weight increased to 2,400 lbs. from 2,300 lbs. It had an optional wet wing and 62 U.S. gallon capacity.

172Q Cutlass

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


Introduced in 1996, the 172R is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine. Cessna’s 1996 variation saw modern improvements, including:

  • Multi-level ventilation system
  • Standard four-point intercom
  • Improved soundproof interior
  • Energy-absorbing front seats with vertical and reclining adjustments and inertia reel harnesses


Still, in production, the 172S has a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine, Garmin G1000 avionics package, and leather seats for later models.

Top Cessna Skyhawk 172 Questions

How Much Does A 172 Cost?

  • A 2022 172S has a starting price of $432,000. This does not include hanging, operating costs, maintenance, or other fees necessary to maintain the aircraft.

How Fast Is A 172?

  • Cessna’s 172 can reach a top speed of 188 mph.

How Many Passengers Can A Cessna 172 Hold?

  • A 2022 172S comfortably seats four people, including the pilot.

Why Is The 172 Known As A Good Training Aircraft?

  • The 172 offers an ideal balance between speed and stability, which is critical for new flyers. It’s also known for being easier to recover from in case the aircraft starts spinning.

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