Which Cessna Single Suits You?
Are you thinking about buying a Cessna Aircraft single, you love the way the Cessna handles, but can’t decide which one is the best for you? Here’s a quick summary of the merits of the three most popular Cessna single commuters.
The Cessna 182:
If you only plan on travelling with 4 people, the Cessna 182 has my money as the best plane for you. It has a pretty good load capacity for a 4 seater, and has the same speed as the C206, however if speed is a concern, there are retractable options available, and a large number of speed kits available increasing the TAS to a similar range as the C210.
The C182 is a delightful plane to fly, and combined with good speeds and good loading, it has great STOL performance, those with a Robertson STOL kit (Seirra Industried) attract a takeoff and landing performance that almost rivals a Piper Cub, although not quite!
The Cessna 206:
The obvious reason to buy a C206 over a C182 is weight, or bums on seats. A C182 will take an average payload of around 1000lbs, while a C206 will take 1500, and one has 4 seats one has 6. Additionally the C206 cargo version comes with a double door on the right side for loading large equipment, and many models have the convenient cargo pod for added space and convenience with messy items.
Asides from this the two planes are very similar. The speeds, performance, and handling are different, but these differences are almost so small only a connoisseur would notice, so really it’s all about loading.
The Cessna 210:
Is the answer speed? You might be thinking a C210 is just a faster, retractable version of a C206, and the answer is yes…and no. Yes, sure, it is faster and retractable, but no, as the differences don’t end there. A C210 has a lot of traps for the unwary infrequent flyer, and the speed advantage should be weighed carefully against the traps.
The wing is much more slippery, flap and gear speeds can trap pilots into mishandling the engine, and it’s not remotely STOL. Insurance requirements are much more stringent, and there’s a reason for this! The speed comparison should be looked at realistically, at 120 versus 150 average block speeds, the difference only becomes significant on over 300nm legs.
Not surprisingly, this makes them perfectly suited to places like the Australian outback, Namibia, and the wide open parts of the US.
So if you want a 4 seat plan, it’s hard to go past the C182, if you want a 6seat plane, likewise you can’t beat the C206, and if you fly regularly, and most of your legs are long distances (300nm+) out of relatively long airfields (+/-1000m), the C210 is your plane.
Whichever plane you choose, first decide what you need to achieve, what your relative flying skills and situations entail, and then do the research thoroughly first!
The Purchase of a Used Cessna 172 Is A Great Investment
Many new pilots who are looking for their first airplane to purchase turn to the plane that they used for training. For many pilots that plane would be the Cessna 172. It is probably the most common airplane that is used for training in the United States and perhaps the world. With the popularity of this single engine plane it is no wonder that new owners set their sights on buying a Cessna 172. The new pilot will often look for a used Cessna 172 as their first purchase.
Because the Cessna 172 is the most popular light weight aircraft manufactured there is a great inventory of the pre-owned Cessna 172 on the market. And although the resale value has remained high for the plane there are many fine bargains that you can find by searching and investigating.
The used Cessna 172 has a great service record and certainly parts are readily available for any replacement needs. For the new owner the used Cessna 172 offers the opportunity to find a great plane at a good price. It is also an aircraft that you will be able to have confidence in to fly. You can search the internet for photos and specific information on the used Cessna 172 of your choice.
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a single engine plane with a unique tricycle landing gear. The reliability of the plane and the reputation of the plane are well documented. It is still in production today for owners who would like the pleasure of buying a new plane.
It is a simple airplane with simple systems. That is why it is often used as a training aircraft for new pilots. This is why new owners like to buy the Cessna 172 as their first aircraft purchase. It is a simple plane that you can be happy with as you “fine tune” your piloting skills and log hours of flying time.
As the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has indicated the Cessna 172 is as safe as any plane can be. If a pilot maintains good skills and avoids big judgment errors, your used Cessna 172 will bring many happy hours of flying time to your life. You will enjoy the journey and the adventure of owning and flying a Cessna 172. It certainly is an icon of the small aircraft industry and remains that way today. Make your search for a used Cessna 172 a happy adventure. Good hunting!
Cessna 172 – Facts For Beginners
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the most popular plane that Cessna has ever produced. The first prototype of the 172 was flown in 1955 and production began for the craft in 1956. The normal cruising speed for a fixed-gear 172 ranges from about 105 to 125 knots, depending on the engine and vintage.
The Cessna 172 was a new idea by Cessna which they were hoping would be popular with the public. The plane was an overnight success though, with sales reaching 1,400 in its first year, 1956. The official production estimate of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is between 35,000 to 43,000 aircraft.
The basic Cessna 172 Skyhawk remained in production until being replaced by the Cessna 172A in early 1960. The 172A introduced a swept back tail and rudder. However, the Cessna 172B, which arrived in late 1960, introduced a shorter undercarriage and other equipment changes. Then, the Skyhawk name was first introduced for the deluxe version which was produced after the 172B.
The engine used on the type of Cessna 172 which was produced from 1955 to 1967 was the six cylinder Continental O-300. Afterward, this engine was replaced by the four cylinder Lycoming O-320. The equipment and the instruments used were analog, but currently Cessna is going to be introducing into their planes the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit which is reported to be the new way forward with airplane avionics and equipment.
The Cessna 172’s competitors include the Beechcraft Musketeer, the Grumman American AA-5 series (neither in production today, but were competitors during the 1960s and 70s), the Piper Cherokee, the Diamond DA-40, and the Cirrus SR-22.
These earlier versions of the 172 shipped with a 145 horsepower engine. Later planes shipped with engines up to 180 horsepower, though 150 or 160 hp is more common. Cessna produced a retractable gear version of the Cessna 172 named the Cutlass 172RG and also produced versions on floats.
The Cessna 172RG also had a variable pitch, constant speed propeller and more powerful stock engine as did the more spartan militarized Cessna 172E that was sold to the U.S. Army as a spotter plane. The Cessna R172K Hawk XP was produced in the late 1970’s, and featured a fuel injected Continental IO-360-k, which performs only to 195hp. This aircraft is capable of a 131 knot cruise speed, and performs similarly to the Cessna 182.
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the aircraft most people visualize when they hear the words ” small plane”. More people probably know the name Piper Cub, but the Skyhawk’s shape is far more familiar. Most people own a 172, as I have seen at my local airport. But in my opinion, the Cessna 172 is a nice plane to fly as in the flying I have done in it in Microsoft Flight Simulator X. I could be wrong, but from me it’s a good plane for beginners.
Cessna 210: A Centurion’s Need For Speed
There’s no real answer to the question of which aircraft model is the best, because each plane has their unique advantages and disadvantages. Much depends on the preferences of the pilots individually, but one aircraft that would be in the running for the best in regards to speed and cargo/passenger capacity would be the Cessna 210, also known as the Centurion.
Significantly more expensive to own and operate than smaller lightweight aircraft, the Cessna 210 has load capability to match most competitors with elbow room to spare. But speed is the Centurion’s strongest attribute, with newer models topping in at cruising speeds of over 190 knots.
This plane is one of the fastest single engine aircraft ever built for general aviation. What’s even more impressive about the speed of the Cessna 210 is that it can even outrun and overtake many light twin engine aircraft. If you have places to go and need to get there fast, the Cessna 210 Centurion can get you there…and quick!
One has to remember, however, that with great speed comes a great fuel cost. The fastness and load capacity of the Cessna 210 doesn’t come cheap. You’ll soon discover the Centurion’s big engine guzzles lots of high priced gasoline. And with fuel prices rising, this might change your mind about the 210. But what can the price of gas hold up against the need for speed?
The extra fuel cost and added maintenance of retractable landing gear may turn some would-be Cessna 210 owners away, but some pilots who love to fly fast say that it’s more than worth the extra cost to have a Centurion in their hangar. Another disadvantage, or advantage, depending on how you look at it, is the aircraft’s option of being equipped with six seats.
While making it possible to carry more passengers along for the flight, the 210’s six seats increases insurance costs opposed to four-seaters. But on the other hand, having the extra cargo and passenger space makes the cost-per-seat-mile rates quite reasonable compared with the aircraft which can only hold four persons.
Overall, this plane has definite advantages and disadvantages. And of course, the 210 isn’t the right choice for everyone. But if you are drawn to the Centurion’s unprecedented speed and proficient load capacity, then the Cessna 210 Centurion might just be the aircraft you have been looking for, the sky is the limit…and let’s hit the sky fast!
Cessna 182 – Tips for a Smooth Transition
One of the first upgrades most pilots face is the one from basic training aircraft to something with a bit more performance and complexity. At one time the common transition was from a Cessna 152 to a Cessna 172, or from Piper Tomahawk to Piper Warrior.
As those very basic aircraft disappeared from training inventories for a few years, it became much more common to start off in a 172 or something similar, pushing the first transition to a more complex aircraft such as the Cessna 182.
According to the FAA, the 182, with an engine of over 200 horsepower, is considered a high performance aircraft. To fly a high performance aircraft the FAA requires you log ground and flight instruction with a certified flight instructor (CFI).
Though the amount of time is not specified by the FAA, instructors commonly indicate around 5 to 10 hours as the amount of time required- though that may vary significantly based on a student’s background and experience.
While the 182 is classified as a high performance aircraft, it does not fit in the complex category. Though it has two of the three requirements (flaps, constant speed prop, retractable gear), its fixed landing gear means it’s not considered a complex aircraft.
Though the FAA may not consider the 182 complex, beginning students may think differently. As mentioned, the 182 adds a constant speed prop and cowl flaps to the already familiar controls. More weight means different handling techniques, and a bigger engine means more attention has to be paid to its management. Overall, these additional elements give more weight to the importance of following checklist procedures.
As far as what the new controls mean, the prop RPM will be controlled by the blue knob. The throttle will go from controlling the RPM as in a 172 to controlling the manifold pressure. Most of the time in the 182, ground ops, takeoff and landing will be with the prop control pushed all of the way in.
That will give you the most power available. In cruise flight though, that setting isn’t very efficient, so you’ll bring the blue knob back to a slower RPM, which will have the propeller taking a bigger bite out of the air. The settings for RPM and manifold pressure vary slightly from one model of 182 to the next, so consult the POH for your particular aircraft for the exact numbers.
When adjusting the engine controls the inevitable question will arise as to which control to move first. The easiest way to remember is that the blue knob will stay in more than the throttle. So, when you want to increase power, lead with the prop control.
When reducing power (as in leveling off), lead with the throttle. Bigger engines tend to foul more easily than their smaller counterparts- meaning the proper leaning technique must be adhered to. Proper technique is to lean during taxing and in cruise flight.
On the ground it’s usually sufficient to pull the mixture out an inch or so or just a bit before the engine coughs. In cruise you can lean by fuel flow or cylinder head temperatures based on the equipment in your aircraft. Check the POH for detailed instructions.
The cowl flaps are another thing to remember. They control the amount of cooling air flowing over the engine. Cooling air is good when it’s hot or you’re slow or on the ground; but it increases drag the rest of the time. For the 182 the cowl flaps will remain open until you reach cruise flight, then they can be closed. They will usually remain closed until landing. As in all cases, follow the checklist.
As for handling, the 182 is heavier in both roll and pitch than a 172. Pitch will be the first notable difference as you’re rolling down the runway for takeoff and realize that it will take a decided pull to get the nose moving up. That same characteristic will come into play on landing as it will take a conscious effort to keep the nose wheel up longer than the mains.
Proper trim, which is more important in heavier planes, will minimize this effect. You should be trimming for hands off flight at all times. There are many 182’s that have suffered bent firewalls in testament to the importance of a good flare and proper trim.
The Cessna 182 is nothing to be intimidated by. It’s not much more difficult to fly than a 172, with the addition of some checklist items to keep in mind. After a few hours you will come to enjoy the increased speed, range and stability that it will give you.