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Technical Overview

Erik Hoopes

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The Cessna 175 was a production model for Cessna Aircraft Company from 1958 through 1962. While commonly thought to be a variation on the Cessna 172, it was actually a much improved model with different wing structure, a different firewall system, and a completely different instrument panel assembly. The earlier 172's were basically tricycle gear versions of the Cessna 170 series airframes.

Through it's lifetime the basic airframe design changed once, from the straight cowl, straight tail, tall landing gear 58-59 models to the hump nosed cowl, lowered landing gear, and slanted tail of the 60-62 models. The fastback fuselage was retained through the entire production line. The 175 model had Cessna's newly designed split level instrument panel, placing all of the primary flight instruments directly in front of the pilot, instead of spreading them out over the panel like earlier Cessna's. The 175 is generally considered to be a quiet, smooth runnning airplane thanks to the GO- 300 geared down 4/3 engine driving the 84" propeller at a maximum of 2400 rpm. All of the 175's employ manual flap activation with a bar on the tunnel between the seats, and this makes them great for STOL operations when coupled with an appropriate STOL kit. Skylark was the name given to the deluxe versions of the 175 from late 59-62.

The P172D/FP172D The Cessna P172D and French built FP172D were continuations of the 175 Line after the introduction of the "omni-vi-sion" rear windows into the airframe in 1963. They renamed the line the "Skyhawk Powermatic" and attempted to market it without the apparent connection to the 175 Skylark. Few were sold in the US and only 3 FP172D's sold in Europe. P172D's in the US historically sold for more than the 175's during the 2000's, possibly because of the rarity of the model.

The R172 Series continued the 175's Type Certificate 3A17 production on through the 1980's, retaining many of the original design innovations such as the step firewall design and the 26.0 gallon aluminum fuel tanks, although the later models received the newer "cuffed" wing leading edge design in the 70's and of course, the entire line was powered by the Continental IO-360 series engines.

Here is the GO-300 Engine: Notice the Gearbox mounted to the top of the engine case.


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