It was in 1948 that Cessna 172 was first produced. It is a four-seat, single engine, tail wheel aircraft. Since it’s initial flight, Cessna 172 never ceased production. To date, it is considered as the most successful mass-produced light aircraft in the history.

Cessna 172 was an improved version of Cessna 140. In 1948, the Cessna 172 model had fabric wings but in 1949 it was modified to all-metal wings.

The standard or most basic early model of Cessna 172 was equipped and powered with a 145 horsepower Continental 0-300, six cylinder, air-cooled engine. In 1960, a modified version of Cessna 172 was introduced in the market. The name Skyhawk was also used for the 1st time.

In 1980 Cessna introduced a retractable-gear version of 172 and was marketed as Cutlass 172RG. This specific model didn’t gain much acceptance in the personal aircraft market as much as the other models did but it was widely used by flight schools.

Over the years, different variants of Cessna 172 were produced. Each new and modified version is an improvement over the last one.

Specifications:

Cessna 172 Skyhawk can accommodate 1 crew (pilot) and 3 passengers.

The height of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk is approximately 8 feet, 11 inches. Length is 27 feet and 2 inches. It has a wing area of 174 square feet and 36 feet and 1 inch wingspan.

The Skyhawk has a cruise speed of 226 kilometers per hour or 140 miles per hour but never exceeds 302 kilometers per hour or 188 miles per hour. Stall speed is 87 kilometers per hour or 54 mile per hour (power off, flaps down). Climb range is 721 feet per minute.

The Skyhawk is powered by Lycoming-IO-360-L2A, four cylinder horizontally opposed aircraft engine. Cessna 172 to 172R has the ARC Bendix King Honeywell Avionics and the 172S has the Garmin G1000 Avionics. All models use the McCauley Prop, two-bladed fixed pitch propeller.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a product of years of refinements and improvements based on customer satisfaction and feedback. For starters, it now has a high-wing design that gives greater stability, improved visibility, better sun blocking and inclement weather protection. The landing gear also took on some shaping up. The new rugged, shock-absorbing gear helps in maneuvering tough airstrips.

The Cessna 172 Skywalk interior has undergone refinements as well. It thus became one of the most relaxing aircraft ever created- from its contoured leather seats, tastefully done lighting to cabin air controls and better ventilation. Every inch of Cessna 172 Skyhawk design was done to give all aviators a ride they will never forget.

Of course, Skyhawk is not all about features; it is about safety as well. In every flight, Cessna makes sure that your safety is the main priority. The aircraft is equipped with AMSAFE Aviation Inflatable Restraints in the two front seats- seatbelt and airbag. It also has amenities that are essential to every flight such as cup or bottle holder. All these come with Cessna’s 80 years experience of safety.

Sources:
http://www.cessna.com/single-engine/skyhawk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_172
http://www.172guide.com/History.aspx