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The Cessna 177 Cardinal

Country of origin  
United States of America

Photos  

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Photo © Pekka Lehtinen

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Powerplants  
177 - One 110kW (150hp) Lycoming O-320-E2D flat four piston engine driving a two blade fixed pitch McCauley propeller.
177B - One 135kW (180hp) Lycoming O-360-A1F6D driving a two blade constant speed McCauley prop.
177RG - One 150kW (200hp) Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 fuel injected flat four.

Performance  
177 - Max speed 227km/h (123kt), cruising speed 210km/h (113kt). Initial rate of climb 670ft/min. Service ceiling 12,700ft. Range 1215km (655nm).
177B - Max speed 250km/h (136kt), cruising speed 230km/h (124kt). Initial rate of climb 840ft/min. Service ceiling 14,600ft. Range 1120km (604nm).
177RG - Max speed 290km/h (156kt), lon range cruising speed 223km/h (120kt). Initial rate of climb 925ft/min. Service ceiling 17,100ft. Max range with reserves 1657km (895nm).

Weights  
177 - Empty 608kg (1340lb), max takeoff 1067kg (2350lb).
177B - Empty 680kg (1495lb), max takeoff 1135kg (2500lb).
177RG - Empty 800kg (1671lb), max takeoff 1270kg (2800lb).

Dimensions  
177 - Wing span 10.85m (35ft 8in), length 8.22m (27ft 0in), height 2.77m (9ft 1in). Wing area 16.2m2 (174sq ft).
177B - Wing span 10.82m (35ft 6in), length 8.44m (27ft 8in), height 2.62m (8ft 7in). Wing area 16.2m2 (174sq ft).
177RG - Same except for length 8.31m (27ft 3in).

Capacity  
Typical seating for four.

Production  
4295 177s built between 1968 and 1978, including 1543 RGs (including 177 RGs by Reims in France).

Type  
Four seat light aircraft

History  

The Cessna 177 (Cardinal for the Deluxe option) was developed in the mid 1960s as an all new replacement for the ubiquitous 172 family.

Announced in late 1967, this new aircraft featured a wide and fairly spacious cabin, a rear set flush riveted high wing which offered good visibility in turns, a single piece all moving tailplane, a high level of standard equipment and the 110kW (150hp) O-320-E recently installed on the 172 driving a fixed pitch prop. Offered in two versions, the standard 177 and upspec Cardinal (wheelspats, overall paint, etc.), it entered the marketplace priced around 10% more than the then current 172 model.

While not a failure, the 177 failed to attract anywhere near the sales volume of the 172 (in its first full year - 1968 - 601 were built, about half the number of 172s built that year). A perceived shortcoming of the initial model was a lack of power, this was addressed with the 135kW (180hp) O-360-A powered 177A introduced in late 1968. The increase in engine power and hence performance lifted the 177 into a more upmarket four seater market niche between the 172 and 182.

The 1970 model 177B introduced a revised aerofoil, conical camber wingtips, cowl flaps and a constant speed propeller. An up market version of the 177B known as the Cardinal Classic appeared in 1978 with full IFR instrumentation and luxury interior fittings.

The 177RG was announced in December 1970, and, as its designation suggests, featured hydraulically actuated retractable undercarriage, plus a 150kW (200hp) fuel injected IO-360-A engine and a constant speed prop.

Both the 177B and 177RG remained in production until 1978.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.