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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