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10 Facts You Didn't Know About The Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The odds pretty good that you've flown in a Cessna 172. Here are 10 things you might not have known about the Skyhawk:

1) The C172 Skyhawk was introduced in 1956.

It was equipped with a Continental O-300 145 hp (108 kW) six-cylinder, air-cooled engine and had a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lb (998 kg). Introductory base price was US $8,995.

Jason Pineau /

2) The Cessna 172 started life as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildragger Cessna 170, with a basic level of standard equipment.

Jim Raeder /

3) The C172 holds the world flight endurance record.

On December 4, 1958, Robert Timm and John Cook took off from McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas, NV in a newly built Cessna 172, registration number N9172B. Sixty-four days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds later, they landed back at McCarran Airfield on February 4, 1959. Food and water were transferred by matching speeds with a chase car on a straight stretch of road in the desert, and hoisting the supplies aboard with a rope and bucket. Fuel was taken on by hoisting a hose from a fuel truck up to the aircraft, filling an auxiliary belly tank installed for the flight, pumping that fuel into the aircraft's regular tanks and then filling the belly tank again. The drivers steered while a second person matched speeds with the aircraft with his foot on the vehicle's accelerator pedal.


4) In 2012, a brand new Skyhawk would've cost you over $300,000.

Aleksander Markin

5) In 1964, the 172E replaced electrical fuses with circuit breakers.

Gross weight increased to 2,300 lb (1,043 kg), where it would stay until the 172P. The 172E also featured a redesigned instrument panel. In total, 1,401 172Es were built that year as production continued to increase.


6) In the mid-1960s, Cessna lowered the rear deck and added an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as "Omni-Vision."

Swayne Martin

7) The Skyhawk R was introduced in 1996 and is powered by a derated Lycoming IO-360-L2A producing a maximum of 160 horsepower (120 kW) at just 2,400 rpm.

Lane Pearman

8) In July 2010, Cessna announced it was developing an electrically powered 172 as a proof-of-concept in partnership with Bye Energy.

In July 2011, Bye Energy, whose name had been changed to Beyond Aviation, announced the prototype had commenced taxi tests on the 22nd of July, 2011 and a first flight would follow soon. In 2012, the prototype, using Panacis batteries, engaged in multiple successful test flights.

Swayne Martin

9) The militaries of Iraq, Lithuania, and Singapore, among 12 other nations, use Skyhawks in their National Air Force.


10) With 43,000+ built, and still in production, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the most produced aircraft of all time.

Baldur Sveinsson /

You may have flown it, but can you land it perfectly every time? We've got some great tips and techniques you can use in our landings video series. You'll have the perfect flare and touchdown in a 172, or just about any other single engine piston. Sign up and check out the free videos here!

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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