Cessna 172R & 172S Skyhawk performance and specifications
The Cessna 172R Skyhawk is possibly the most
important light aircraft to enter production in
the 1990s as it is the modern day development of
the most popular GA aircraft in history.
Recession and crippling product liability laws in
the USA forced Cessna to stop production of light
aircraft, including the 172, altogether in 1985.
It was not until the signing of the General
Aviation Revitalisation Act by the US President in
August 1994 that Cessna announced it would resume
light aircraft production.
The new 172R Skyhawk is based on the 172N (the
previous major Skyhawk production model), but
features a fuel injected Textron Lycoming
IO-360-L2A engine. Cessna says it is significantly
quieter than the O-320 it replaced as it produces
its max power at only 2400rpm.
Other changes include a new interior with
contoured front seats which adjust vertically and
recline, an all new multi level ventilation
system, standard four point intercom, interior
soundproofing, and energy absorbing 26g seats with
inertia reel harnesses.
The 172R features epoxy corrosion proofing,
stainless steel control cables, a dual vacuum pump
system, tinted windows, long range fuel tanks,
backlit instruments with non glare glass and an
annunciator panel. 172R options include two
avionics packages (one with GPS, the other with
IFR GPS and a single axis autopilot) and wheel
An engineering prototype 172R (a converted 1978
172N) powered by an IO-360 first flew in April
1995, while the first new build pilot production
172R first flew on April 16 1996. This aircraft
was built at Wichita, while production 172Rs are
built at an all new factory in Independence,
The higher performance 172S Skyhawk SP is pitched
at `owner-users'. Delivered from July 1998 it
features a IO-360-L2A (as on the 172R) but rated
at 135kW (180hp) by increasing rpm. It also
features a 45kg (100lb) increase in useful
payload, a new prop and standard leather.
Cessna 172R production restarted in 1996, with
first deliveries in early 1997 - 579 built by Sept
30 1998. 172S delivered from late July 1998, 21
delivered by Sept 30 1998.
172R - One 120kW (160hp) Textron Lycoming
IO-360-L2A fuel injected flat four piston engine
driving a two blade fixed pitch McCauley
172S - One 135kW (180hp) IO-360-L2A.