Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Flying Machine - Cessna 172SP

While we are waiting for the green light to come and departure date to get defined I decided to write a new post to keep the spirit alive. Since a few of this blog's followers are not well inside the aviation world and since others that are keep on asking me which aircraft will I be flying once I get there I decided to publish this post so you can learn a little bit more about the aeroplane I'll be on for the next few months while on the USA.
The aircraft is a Cessna 172 Skyhawk version S or SP, as both denominations are valid. It is one of the latest Cessna products there is, but prior to talking about the S version let me tell you a little bit more about the Cessna 172 in general.
"With more than 43,000 delivered, the Cessna Skyhawk is the best-selling, most-flown airplane ever."[1]
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a single engine piston, four passenger, high wing, fixed tricycle landing gear. It was first built in 1955 and production lasted until 1986 when in came to a halt. After that it was brought back into production in 1997 and it is still produced today.
This aircraft is the most popular aircraft ever, with more than 43.000 units built until today. Since 1955 there have been many versions of the aircraft which first had no version but later, as improvements came along, versions were introduced, to distinguish them.
I will prevent myself from talking about the past versions in order to keep it simple but if you want to learn a little bit more about those you can check the wikipedia link at the end of the post.
The S version was first introduced in 1998, it is equipped with a Textron Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine which produces 180Bhp at 2700Rpm, compared to the 169Bhp at 2400Rpm of the R version. This power increase has made it possible to increase the maximum takeoff mass to 2558lbs (1160kg). The reason it is sometimes called SP is because the market name of the aircraft is Skyhawk SP, although the type certification data sheet specifies it is a Cessna 172S.
In 2005 there has been the introduction of the Garmin 1000 concept, with a glass cockpit equiping the light 172. As from 2009 only the SP version is being produced, with Garmin 1000 avionics as standart equipment.
2. Garmin 100 Avionics on a Cessna 172.[1]
The Cessnas I'll be flying are full IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) equipped, with ILS (Instrument Landing System), GPS with moving map display, Honeywell Autopilot, Dual Radios, Dual VORs and Leather Seats (uh, fancy!). They were all built from 2002 to 2004 and are not Garmin 1000 editions!
3. The one I'll fly![2]
4. General view of the aircraft.[1]
For those who like numbers and performance data I decided to include the following specifications table:
5. General Specifications Table.[4]
I now hope you know a little bit more about the flying machine that I will deal with! Hope you enjoy it!

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