Cessna 172 Skyhawk (early models) & 175 Skylark


Country of Origin
United States of America
Four seat light aircraft
The Cessna 172 is without doubt the most successful mass produced light aircraft in history. From 1955 through to 1967 the 172 was powered by the six cylinder Continental O-300, before this engine was replaced by the four cylinder Lycoming O-320. The Cessna 172 started life as a relatively simple tricycle undercarriage development of the taildragger 170, with a fairly basic level of standard equipment. First flight was in November 1955. The 172 became an overnight sales success and over 1400 were built in 1956, its first full year of production. The basic 172 remained in production until replaced by the 172A of early 1960. The 172A introduced a swept back tail and rudder, while the 172B of late 1960 introduced a shorter undercarriage, equipment changes and for the first time the Skyhawk name for the Deluxe option. The 172D of 1963 introduced the cut down rear fuselage with wraparound rear window. The 172F introduced electric flaps and was built in France by Reims Cessna as the F172 through to 1971. It also formed the basis for the US Air Force's T-41A Mescalero primary trainer. The 172G of 1966 introduced a more pointed spinner, while the 172H was the last Continental powered 172. The 175 (Skylark for the Deluxe option) meanwhile was powered by a 130kW (175hp) geared GO-300, the GO-300 powered P172D Powermatic of 1963 had a constant speed prop. The 1966 R172E had a Continental IO-360 and a constant speed prop. It was built in France as the FR172 Reims Rocket.
172 - One 110kW (145hp) Continental O-300A flat six piston engine driving a two blade fixed pitch McCauley propeller. 175A - One 120kW (175hp) Continental GO300C geared flat six. 172F - One 110kW (145hp) Continental O300C.
172 - Max speed 217km/h (117kt), cruising speed 200km/h (108kt). Initial rate of climb 660ft/min. Service ceiling 15,100ft. Range with no reserves 1000km (539nm). 175A - Max speed 236km/h (128kt), max cruising speed 225km/h (121kt), long range cruising speed 170km/h (91kt). Initial rate of climb 850ft/min. Service ceiling 15,900ft. Range with no reserves 957km (517nm). 172F - Max speed 222km/h (120kt), max cruising speed 211km/h (114kt), long range cruising speed 164km/h (88kt). Initial rate of climb 645ft/min. Service ceiling 13,100ft. Max range with no reserves 1158km (625nm).
172 - Empty 572kg (1260lb), max takeoff 998kg (2200lb). 175A - Empty 607kg (1339lb), max takeoff 1066kg (2350lb). 172F - Empty 599kg (1320lb), max takeoff 1043kg (2300lb).
172 - Wing span 10.92m (35ft 10in), length 8.20m (26ft 11in), height 2.59m (8ft 6in). Wing area 16.2m2 (175sq ft). 175A - Wing span 10.97m (36ft 0in), length 8.08m (26ft 6in), height 2.72m (8ft 11in). 172F - Wing span 11.02m (36ft 2in), length 8.07m (26ft 6in), height 2.72m (8ft 11in).
Typical seating for four in all models.
Total Cessna 172 family production over 42,500, of which the civil Continental powered models account for about 15,800. Production ran from 1955 to 1967. Approximately 2190 Skylarks built.
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Cessna 172 Skyhawk (early models) & 175 Skylark
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.