Cessna Skyhawk 172 Training Aircraft, United States of America


Skyhawk 172 is a high-wing, single-engine piston training aircraft designed and developed by Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation.

The US Civil Air Patrol (CAP) ordered 21 new Skyhawk 172 aircraft in February 2015 to replace its older aircraft. Deliveries of the new jet, which are produced at Cessna's facility in Independence, Kansas, will continue through the first half of 2015. A total of 550 aircraft, including Skyhawks and Cessna Skylane 182, are in service with the CAP.

The Skyhawk 172 will be used to support CAP's aerial reconnaissance, emergency response, disaster relief, and search and rescue (SAR) missions as well as for glider towing. CAP is a federally-supported non-profit organisation and is the auxiliary of the US Air Force.

Skyhawk 172 design and features

Global Observer is a new high-altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed by AeroVironment in collaboration with the US Department of Defence (DoD) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Skyhawk 172 aircraft features large fixed wings and a vertical stabiliser with a fin and a rudder. The tri-cycle landing gear enables enhanced take-off and landing operations.

The airplane is 8.28m-long and 2.72m-high and has a wing span of 11m, wheel base of 1.65m, wing area of 16m², and a baggage volume of 0.85m³. Its basic operating weight and fuel capacities are 744kg and 144kg, respectively. It has a maximum ramp weight of 1,160kg, take-off weight of 1,157kg, and a maximum landing weight of 1,157kg, and is capable of carrying 416kg of useful load and 412kg of payloads.

Two large doors are fitted on the cabin, which allow easy entry and exit of passengers as well as loading and unloading of payloads. The cabin also provides comfortable seating for up to four passengers.

The airplane incorporates LED lights, multi-level ventilation, advanced soundproofing, and air controls. An optional three-seat training configuration is also available.

Avionics aboard Skyhawk 172 aircraft

"The Skyhawk 172 will be used to support CAP's aerial reconnaissance, emergency response, disaster relief, and search and rescue (SAR) missions as well as for glider towing."

The glass cockpit is equipped with Garmin® G1000™ avionics suite, which provides advanced training capabilities. The flight instrument system integrates GDU-1044B primary flight display (PFD), GDU-1044B multifunction display (MFD), GEA-71 engine / airframe computer, GRS-77 AHRS (attitude and heading reference system), GMA-1347 digital audio panel with marker beacon / intercom receiver, anf GTX-33 Mode S digital transponder.

It also supplies GIA-63W NAV/COM/GPS/WAAS, GDC-74A air data computer, GMU-44 magnetometer, emergency locator transmitter remote mounted switch, an optional A XM WX satellite weather radar, and a GDL 69A data link receiver.

The PFD and MFD display units provide accurate flight path and terrain awareness for the pilot. The attitude and heading reference (AHRS) system provides the aircraft's attitude, slip and skid, and rate of turn.

The antennas include Marker Beacon, transponder, VHF / GPS, NAV antenna, and an emergency locator transmitter external antenna. These are fitted to the aircraft to provide better communication.

Engine and performance of the training aircraft

The Skyhawk 172 is powered by a single air-cooled, four-cylinder, fuel-injected Lycoming IO-360-L2A piston engine, which generates a maximum power output of 180hp. The engine drives a two-blade, metallic, fixed-pitch McCauley propeller.

A maximum cruise speed of 230km/h can be achieved by the aircraft, whereas its maximum limit speed and stall speeds are 302km/h and 89km/h, respectively.

The aircraft has a maximum range of 640nmi and can fly at an altitude of 14,000ft. Its take-off and landing distances are 497m and 407m, respectively, and the maximum climb rate is 223m/min.

Defence Technology