October 9, 2013

Cessna 172 Skyhawk: An Insight Into The Facts and History

More articles by »
Written by: Daniel Mammone
Tags: , ,

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is historically one of the most successful mass-produced airplanes for general aviation in the world. It was first flown in the year 1955 and ever since then it has continued to reach new heights and dominate the aviation industry for over half a century.

Four seater aircraft were always looked at in awe by the public when you talk about general aviation. It did not matter what the specifics of the plane were as long as it had the capacity to seat more than two, and you were guaranteed a second look if the aircraft had four seats.

The Most Successful Mass-Produced Aircraft in Aviation History

The Cessna Aircraft Company struck gold in the 1950s with its Cessna model of aircraft which were and are still craved by thousands of aviators from around the world. The boom in demand for Cessna manufactured aircraft was so comprehensive that by mid-1970s Cessna had manufactured 100,000 single engine airplanes, completely blowing their competition out of the picture. The most popular of all the Cessna models built today has been the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, which is still considered to be the model aircraft for private aviation use and is the most flown aircraft around the world.

If you take a look at the history of general aviation, you will invariably find that the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is one of the most successful aircraft ever manufactured in the world. More people have flown the Cessna 172 for business and personal pleasure than any other aircraft in the world. There are well over 40,000 Cessna 172 Skyhawks still utilized by charter services and flying schools today. The main competitors to the Cessna 172 over the years have been the Beechcraft Musketeer and the Piper Cherokee. Both these aircraft are no longer in production, which has established the Cessna 172 Skyhawk as the undisputed champion of the sky when it comes to the general aviation industry.

Design and Development

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is undoubtedly one of the most popular aircraft in the world, and is regularly used for flight training. The Skyhawk is a four seat, high wing, single-engine aircraft which was first manufactured in the 1950s.

The Cessna 172 was an upgraded version of the Cessna 170 which utilized the conventional “tail dragger” landing gear instead of the now more commonly used tricycle landing gear. The plane underwent substantial upgrades over time and upgraded models in the mid 1960s included a lower rear deck and revised landing gear; as well as an aft window, marketed as omni-vision by Cessna, which gave rear visibility.

The famous sweptback tail was introduced in the mid-1960s as well, and was the final structural development the Cessna 172 Skyhawk underwent. The airframe has remained static through the production of the aircraft since then, while upgrades to the engine and avionics have been made throughout time.

Production of the airplane was halted in the 1980s but was resumed in 1996 with upgraded versions of the famous aircraft still manufactured to this day. Another reason for the incredible demand for the Skyhawk is the affordable price when compared to other aircraft. A modern day Cessna 172 Skyhawk costs around $100,000 – $300,000 – it doesn’t get any better than that!

Cessna Skyhawk 172

Video credit: Cessna Aircraft Company Youtube Channel

Cessna World Record

The world record for flight endurance was created in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk in the year 1958. The record stands to this day and tells you all you need to know about the reliability and efficiency of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk!

The record was attempted on December 4, 1958 by pilots John Cook and Robert Tim in a brand new Cessna 172. They remained airborne for 64 days 22 hours 19 minutes and 5 seconds! Finally landing on the 4th of February 1959, back at the McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the whole mission was successful in raising funds for the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.

Flying The Cessna 172

Video credit: Cessna 172 Skyhawk GoPro Hero2 HD Touch And Go And Fly By video on Monkey Bones Youtube Channel.

The Skyhawk Today

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk has been ruling the aviation industry since it was first manufactured and has been widely used for general rental, flight instruction and family transport. Newer models of the 172 are in popular demand since they are affordable, simple to handle and are the perfect aircraft for a small family today. The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is justifiably one of the best aviation aircraft in the world, and is loved by thousands of pilots around the world due to its reliability and endurance.

Author Daniel Kevin Mammone, Sales Executive at SkyIntel.com, is truly inspired by the aviation industry and has dedicated himself to assisting in the growth of SkyIntel.com as the leading technology in aircraft realtime listings. The team at SkyIntel.com provides a new look on the standard of aircraft sales by providing revolutionary tools for both sellers and buyers. Take a look at their website www.skyintel.com and follow them on Twitter for news, listings and aviation updates at @Sky_Intel.

Additonal reading on the Cessna SkyHawk:
Cessna 172 – Facts For Beginners
Cessna Skyhawk: Four-Seat Trainer?
The Evolution of the Cessna Skyhawk in Photos

About the Author

Daniel Mammone



The Future of Business Aviation in Focus at NBAA BACE

The business aviation community will be gathering in Las Vegas this week for the annual NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exposition (BACE).
by Gabe Andino


An Ode to the Observation Decks at JFK

JFK once boasted three public observation decks to watch the goings-on at the busy international airport. Let's take a quick tour through history.
by Shea Oakley



BOAC and How it All Began for Me

When the father of a four month old boy was given a small package containing a flight log onboard the child's first flight, little did he know it would spark a lifelong passion for commercial aviation.
by Shea Oakley


Buying for Flying: An Investment in the Sky

"...My return on this investment is priceless."
by Erika Armstrong


Today in Aviation History: November 20th

America's first municipal airport opens in Tucson, an aircraft reaches Mach 2 for the first time, several tragic crashes, and more...
by admin