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The U.S. Air Force began using an off-the-shelf Skyhawk in 1964 to train cadets. (USAF)

Cessna's Golden Oldie

What flies into your mind when you hear the words "light aircraft"? We bet it's the 172.


Length: 27 ft. 2 in.

 

Wingspan: 36 ft. 1 in.

Height: 8 ft. 11 in.

Powerplant: Textron
Lycoming IO-360-L2A
Horsepower at 2,400 rpm: 160
Propeller: Two-blade fixed pitch
Basic empty weight: 1,639 lbs.
Maximum speed (at sea level): 142 mph
Service ceiling: 13,500 ft.
Rate of climb: 720 ft./min.
Total usable fuel: 53 gal.

Base price with standard avionics and the front-seat inflatable restraint system: $172,500
Options include air conditioning ($21,950), special finishes, and upgrades, such as a flat-panel-display cockpit.

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