As the replacement for the Cessna 170, the 172 Skyhawk now holds the record for the most produced aircraft in the world. At over 44,000 aircraft built since it’s first flight in 1955 the Cessna 172 Skyhawk very quickly became the No.1 choice for trainer aircraft.
With its un-common high wing design it’s the optimal aircraft for visibility and an excellent platform for any student pilot. The four-cylinder horizontally apposed Lycoming engine delivers a respectable 180 horse power and is equally known as one of the most reliable engines in the skies today!
Without any modifications the aircraft can achieve a Maximum Range of 640nm and with a ceiling of 14,000 feet it’s more than just a trainer aircraft, enthusiast around the world have circumnavigated the globe in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and with numerous variants of the aircraft developed since 1955 ranging from float planes to aerial surveillance it’s proved itself as a versatile and ever-changing platform with multi-role uses.
Shown below is an example of how far that 640nm really is, with one occupant and a full tank the Cessna 172 Skyhawk could fly from London to most destinations in Europe, with a max speed of 143mph it won’t get you there fast but I’m sure you would agree a much better way to travel.
As part of it’s development over the years some of the newer aircraft have state of the art technology such as large digital displays with detailed mapping and terrain information, this type of technology is most commonly found on larger more expensive aircraft but certainly a useful bit of kit to have!
As we look further into the development of this aircraft we have more and more pilots making modifications to improve the experience such as speed and performance or larger fuel tanks to increase range.
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk has paved the way for so many pilots over the last 63 years and i’m sure she will be around for the foreseeable future.