It was in 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, Cessna resumed commercial aircraft production via Models 120 and 140. Both models are single engine, two-seat aircrafts. They were also considered as light general aviation aircraft.
When Cessna 140 was first produced, it was equipped with 85 or 90 (63 or 67 kW) horsepower (hp), four-cylinder piston engine. The 85hp had fabric wings and the 90hp had full metal plates.
In 1949 the final variant of Cessna 140 was introduced and was known in the market as Cessna 140A. This modified version of Cessna 140 had a standard Continental C90 engine producing 90hp (67 kW). It also has aluminum covered wings and metal control panels.
Between 1946 and 1950, modifications were made in the Cessna 140 model. The fabric wing was replaced with metal wings. This change will also eliminate the need to replace the fabric wing as often as it should be. Landing gear extenders were also installed. It has additional cabin windows and electrical system (radio, battery, lights and starter).
In 1950, production of Cessna models 120 and 140 stopped. During four years of production, Cessna 120 and 140 sold about 7,000 aircrafts.
Specifications and Performance:
Cessna 140 can accommodate 1 crew and 1 passenger. It stands at 6 feet 3 inches high with length measured at 21 feet and 6
inches (6.6 m) with wingspan of 32 feet and 10 inches (10.0 m).
It has 2 cabin doors and baggage capacity of 40lbs.
This particular model uses Continental C-85-12 engine, fixed propeller and conventional landing gear. Cruise speed is 174 kilometers per hour or 108.1 miles per hour. Maximum speed is 203 kilometers per hour or 125 miles per hour but never exceeds 225.3 kilometers per hour or 140 miles per hour. Stall speed is 72 kilometers per hour or 45 miles per hour. Climb rate is 680 feet per minute. Service ceiling is about 15,500 feet.
After it ceased production in 1950, a larger, modified version of Cessna 140 was introduced in the market- Cessna 170. It is basically a resized version of 140 with a more powerful engine.
Cessna 140’s basic benefit is that it is a tail dragger. As such, its flexibility makes it easy to fly into remote areas or grassy landing strips. Being around for the last 6 decades only shows Cessna 140’s durability.
Cessna 140: The Last of Cessna’s Little Taildraggers | Cessna 140
As noted, the 140s have flaps while the 120s don’t. Do you need them? Probably not. One owner wrote a few years ago to say he considered the 140 flaps to be a “joke.” In any case, these airplanes fly so slowly that the benefit of flaps is questionable. Any pilot worthy of the title should be able to put one of these into a pea patch without need for flaps.
It should come as no surprise that cabin heating and ventilation in the 120/140 is not up to modern standards. Owners say it is adequate, however, and many airplanes have been fitted with vents in the wing and/or blast vents in the side windows to improve airflow in hot weather. The front cabin windows are openable for ventilation during taxi.
Owners say it’s likely that any 120/140 on the market has a noseover or two in its history. That’s no big deal if any needed repairs are done correctly. But nosing over is a big enough “deal” in this type that many have been equipped with “wheel extenders”—spacer blocks on the main gear legs that move the wheels a few inches forward. This reduces the tendency to nose the airplane over and if you’re looking at an example that doesn’t have the extenders, we think it’s worth considering them.
The list of ADs that apply to the Cessna 120/140 is quite long—more by dint of age than in any serious shortcomings in the aircraft. Some of the ADs are absolutely ancient, dating back to the late 1940s, when the airplane was new. Many are shotgun-type ADs that apply to the engine and may or may not require compliance in the model 120/140 at hand. One of the most recent applies to the Lycoming O-235 engine, calling for inspection of the crankshaft.
Mods, Type Clubs
As for groups, the International Cessna 120-140 Association maintains a terrific Web site and support network. It can help with buying advice, parts and other support. Find them online at www.cessna120-140.org. Another group is the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA), which bills itself as the largest type club in the world. Either organization should serve the new 120/140 owner well. Find the CPA at www.cessna.org.
My 140 has an O-200 engine, Cleveland brakes, VGs, metalized wings and a Scott tail wheel. In my commute, I rarely get above 1800 feet, fly at about 100 knots and burn about 5.7 GPH. With the commute putting about 0.3 hrs each way on the tach, I burn 3.4 GPH.