The Aircraft

So I’ve told you a lot so far about one flight, and some theory and expenses. But what about the planes themselves? Not everyone knows a Cessna from a Piper, or even what these small aircraft look like in general (I know general aviation in Europe isn’t that big for example.) So lets talk planes.

Cessna 172 - C-GFND

This is C-GFND, a Cessna 172R single engine, four seat, high wing fixed wing airplane. The 172 series is also known as the Cessna Skyhawk.

This particular model was constructed in 1999. It has a 160hp  (for those for whom this kind of things makes sense), four-cylinder fuel injected engine. It has a maximum take off weight of 2450 lbs (including fuel) and has an average fuel burn at an economical 9 gallons per hour.

  • Take off speed of 55 knots (63.25 mph, just under 102 km per hour)
  • Cruise speed of 110 knots (126.5 mph, just under 204 km per hour)
  • Stall speed of 33 knots with full flaps down (38 mph, 61 km per hour)

For those not familiar with the term, a knot is 1 nautical mile (NM) per hour. It is equal to 1.15 standard or stature mile per hour, or 1.852 km per hour.

It can also hold 53 usable gallons of fuel between the two wing tanks.

It has fixed tricycle undercarriage, no retractable landing gear here, this plane is built for simplicity and ruggedness.

The most common production aircraft ever, the 172 is very commonly used for training due to its simplicity and stability. My instructor assures me it’s almost impossible to spin these aircraft if you’re not trying to do it deliberately. We’ll see.

So there it is, the Cessna 172R. I could go into more numbers and details, but maybe we’ll save that for later. I’ll try and get a photo of the inside.