So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

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SaraLima
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So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby SaraLima » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:22 am

Quoted from BBC Future:
In 1956, Cessna started building the 172 training plane - and more than 60 years on, it’s still in production.

The Cessna 172, which first rolled off the production line in 1956, is still in production today.
More than 43,000 Cessna 172s have been made so far. And while the 172 (also known as the Skyhawk) has undergone a myriad of tweaks and improvements over the past 60-odd years, the aircraft essentially looks much the same as it did when it was first built in the 1950s.

In the past 60 years, Cessna 172s have become a staple of flight training schools across the world. Generations of pilots have taken their first, faltering flights in a Cessna 172, and for good reason – it’s a plane deliberately designed to be easy to fly, and to survive less-than-accomplished landings.

“More pilots over the years have earned their wings in a 172 than any other aircraft in the world,” says Doug May, the vice-president of piston aircraft at Cessna’s parent company, Textron Aviation.

And if any design could claim to be the world’s favourite aircraft, it’s the 172.

How many AVComers owe their licence to a C172? - Would be interesting to see.
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There are three simple rules for making a perfect landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Airspeed, altitude or brains.. you always need at least two. - Volo ergo sum.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Lood » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:00 am

I do.
I bought a 1958 C172, did my PPL on it and sold it after flying it for about 80 hours. It had 8600 TTAF hrs, but was still in perfect condition. It sported the O300 engine, so although it wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, it sounded the part with six cylinders! :D
That airplane taught me a lot about flying. Doing long cross country flights in a C172 calls for really good planning.

Come to think of it, that was most probably the only airplane that was an investment, as I sold it at quite a profit. I wasn't planning to sell it, but got an offer that I couldn't refuse.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Kiewiet Vlok » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:10 am

Did my first 12 hours in a 172 , gone solo in it ( dink dit was ZS- CTY ( 1996)
Short while flown a Scorpion ( 172 with a 6 cylender franklin ) Now after 19+ of Mooney flying back on a 172 design so to speak (The Sportsman 2+2 )
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Whirly » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:38 am

My first C172 was ZS-IUM, a 1974 model (it was exported I believe) and I bought it for R17 500 in 1985. Since then I have owned a large number of them, even a few 6 cylinder jobbies, and sold many here and in the USA. I then found the gem of C172s, the Hawk XP. :D The Americans did not value the aircraft highly and I bought many at very low prices and exported them to SA.

I am not really that fond of the regular C172, but give me a Hawk XP anytime. :D

Whirly.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Iceberg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:50 am

Learnt on 172's. ZS-JBG (Owned by Joost van der Westhuisen some time later), ZS-LZH and ZS-MYS were my regular rides. Flew the six cylinder ZS-ETK as well - bit sluggish and a slow climber. Solo'd and got my PPL on ZS-MWL. Another student pranged it in the Pretoria GF1 but it was fixed and now lives in the Mossel Bay area from what I heard last.

A lovely aircraft to fly and probably the safest of all with a fatal accident rate of only 0.56 per 100 000 hours.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby SaraLima » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:06 am

If ever I want to simply enjoy myself, I do an H&F to take a C172 for a ride around the patch.. There's so little effort involved that you have time to simply enjoy the flight. They are totally forgiving, with a wide flight envelope and no vices. Never flown one I didn't like.

Its not a pilots plane, its an airman's (airperson's?) plane.
There are three simple rules for making a perfect landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Airspeed, altitude or brains.. you always need at least two. - Volo ergo sum.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Mauler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:09 am

SaraLima wrote:And if any design could claim to be the world’s favourite aircraft, it’s the 172.

I think there could be some debate about that if one considers the Piper Cub in all its variants. Over 20 000 J-3s were built (in a mere 10 years!) and around 15 000 Super Cubs alone.

There are certainly more "Cub-alikes" being manufactured today than 172s!
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby SaraLima » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:51 am

Mauler wrote:
SaraLima wrote:And if any design could claim to be the world’s favourite aircraft, it’s the 172.

I think there could be some debate about that if one considers the Piper Cub in all its variants. Over 20 000 J-3s were built (in a mere 10 years!) and around 15 000 Super Cubs alone.

There are certainly more "Cub-alikes" being manufactured today than 172s!

Dear Mauler.. some simple maths should show you what the BBC journalist meant.. 20 000 vs 45 000 - Do I need to scratch my head and look puzzled here?
Yours sincerely
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There are three simple rules for making a perfect landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Airspeed, altitude or brains.. you always need at least two. - Volo ergo sum.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Mauler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:46 pm

SaraLima wrote:Dear Mauler.. some simple maths should show you what the BBC journalist meant.. 20 000 vs 45 000 - Do I need to scratch my head and look puzzled here?

Yep. The Cub design, based on the original Taylor E-2 almost certainly exceeds 43 000 (not 45 000). My point is that the J-3 and the PA-18 alone total 35 000. There were 5 413 L-4 and well over 1000 O-57 and L-2 military versions, 1 207 J-2s, 500-odd E-2s, 1541 PA-11s, 1 507 J-5s and so on and on. I haven't even bothered to count the wide-body Cub Cruisers or the modern replicas.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby apollo11 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:58 pm

Love the C172 and her baby sister the C150/152...
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby African Flyer » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:58 pm

Whirly wrote:My first C172 was ZS-IUM, a 1974 model (it was exported I believe) and I bought it for R17 500 in 1985. Since then I have owned a large number of them, even a few 6 cylinder jobbies, and sold many here and in the USA. I then found the gem of C172s, the Hawk XP. :D The Americans did not value the aircraft highly and I bought many at very low prices and exported them to SA.

I am not really that fond of the regular C172, but give me a Hawk XP anytime. :D

Whirly.


Where can one hire & fly a Hawk XP? Are there any flight schools that have a XP?
Positive rate! :D
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Fransw » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:10 pm

Whirly wrote:My first C172 was ZS-IUM, a 1974 model (it was exported I believe) and I bought it for R17 500 in 1985. Since then I have owned a large number of them, even a few 6 cylinder jobbies, and sold many here and in the USA. I then found the gem of C172s, the Hawk XP. :D The Americans did not value the aircraft highly and I bought many at very low prices and exported them to SA.

I am not really that fond of the regular C172, but give me a Hawk XP anytime. :D

Whirly.


Whirly, what is different on the Hawk xp? Is it only the enine , 180 HP?..
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby Mauler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:20 pm

I don't really like the Cesspit Een-skewe-twee Skychicken.

I only have a few hours on them though, since I did my PPL on a Commander 112. It seemed prudent to get type rated on a C172 though, in case I wanted a rental or something.

I nearly aborted my first takeoff in a 172 because I thought the engine had broken, but the instructor reassured me that it was running quite normally. On the climb, I wasn't convinced though. We didn't seem to be going anywhere. I was worried that the aircraft was stalling because we were going so slowly and the controls were mushy and unresponsive.

We did a circuit of Lanseria's 06R (at that time FALA had 3 runways!). On the base to final turn, I struggled to get the darned thing to turn and damned near t-boned a Boeing 727 that was on final for 06L. I remember ATC's voice rising in pitch beyond the dynamic range of the radio yelling that I nearly took out a bloody 727. I apologised profusely as I wrenched the wallowing beast around a wide hammerhead turn and did an uneventful touch and go.

Some years later, I had let my licence lapse and had to do 3 hours of solo on a 172 to revive it. Those were the longest hours of my life. Somehow, the 172 made time slow down so badly that was having trouble staying awake. It was so bad that the very worst landing of my life was in that old clunker. I had pretty much nodded off on final when the nosewheel collided unexpectedly with the runway and I careened into the grass on one side of the runway to the grass on the other side as I wrestled for control. That sure woke me up! To its credit, I didn't manage to bend or break anything.

The only aircraft that are even more boring than the Skydork are those ghastly little Cherokees.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby SaraLima » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:48 pm

Funnily enough Mauler, one of the first aircraft which was a regular ride for me once I had achieved gainful employment, was an old C172 we called "The Hack" - it had about 6000 hrs TT and was into its 4th engine.. (the O-300 145 HP variety) it had seriously been around the block so often it had worn a groove.
But I loved it :smt049 ... I will swear on important parts of my body that I regularly saw 120KTAS in the low flight levels and it was totally trustworthy.
After some junior pilot doofus (not me) also did the nosewheel landing thing (because he used the full 40 deg flap) and the subsequent prop strike, it got a Lycoming 150HP upgrade... Voilá !! What a difference.. it was lively as well as very pilot friendly. On a smooth day, I could fly probably 60% to 70% of a FAGM to FAVG flight "hands free" without the wing leveller engaged. Get it trimmed right, and leave it alone.. you can do that in a 172.
I swear if that aircraft could cook, I would have married it. :wink:

That one you flew.. did it have manual (lever) flaps or electric flaps (button)? Cos the old manual flaps versions had the 145HP which could be a bit asthmatic at FALA altitudes... That said, FAGM is about 900ft higher than FALA and IIRC (more than 40 years ago and distance lends enchantment to the view) I never found the Hack "wallowy"...
Now down here.. The 160 HP 172 is a peach to fly. I have some time on Aerosport's one, ZS-SCE and its great.. no issues at all..
Last edited by SaraLima on Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There are three simple rules for making a perfect landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Airspeed, altitude or brains.. you always need at least two. - Volo ergo sum.
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Re: So Good, They Can't Stop Making Them

Unread postby SaraLima » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:01 pm

Hi Mauler.. sent you a pm with a link to me taking off at FAFK with SCE... you will see, nothing lazy there.. and its 2 up and full tanks.
There are three simple rules for making a perfect landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
Airspeed, altitude or brains.. you always need at least two. - Volo ergo sum.



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