How Fast Can A Cessna Fly?

The Cessna 172 Skyhawks are single-engine aircraft manufactured by Cessna Aircraft Company.

How Fast Can A Cessna Fly

They are designed to provide basic pilot training and general aviation services. They are often thought of as the quintessential flying machine and the company Cessna has become a familiar household name over the years.

The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular light aircraft in aviation history. It is affordable, reliable, and has lots of great training features which make it the perfect plane for pilots to learn in.

However, if you are after a plane that gives speed, the Cessna 172 is not necessarily it.

Cessna 172 Flying Specs

* Cessna 172s have an average cruising speed of 226 km/h (140 miles per hour or 120 knots) and a maximum speed of 302 km/h (188 miles per hour / 163 knots). 

* Modern Cessna 172s have a maximum altitude of 13,000 ft to 15,000 ft, and a burn rate of 8.5 gallons per hour (32.176 liters per hour).

* They have a rate of climb of 730 feet per minute (223 mpm) and reach a service ceiling of 14,000 ft (4,267 meters).

* The standard range of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is 500 nautical miles (932 kilometers), but they can be equipped with fuel tanks up to 2,400 gallons (8,900 liters) for extended flights. The maximum range is 600 nautical miles (1,185 km).

The Cessna 172 has a take off distance of 1,630 ft (497 meters) and a ground roll of 960 ft (293 meters). Its standard landing distance is 1,335 ft (407 meters) and landing ground roll is 575 ft (175 meters).

Cessna Skyhawks have a fuel capacity of 4500 lbs and an average weight of 3200 lbs.

How Slow Can A Cessna Fly?

We have mentioned that the maximum speed of a Cessna 172 is 302 km/h, but what about the minimum speed? Well, the stall speed or V SO of a Cessna 172 Sky hawk is 52 mph (84 kph).

This means that at this speed the tail will start to drop, and the wing will begin to lose lift. At this point, the plane is no longer controllable, and the pilot must pull out of the dive.

What Is True Airspeed?

True airspeed is defined as the speed of the aircraft relative to the surrounding atmosphere. In other words, true airspeed is the speed of the aircraft measured from the air rather than the ground.

Airspeed is calculated using two methods; static and dynamic. Static calculations use the difference between the pressure on the top side of the wings and the bottom side of the wings.

Dynamic calculations measure the velocity of the airflow around the wings.

In both cases, the calculation is made by measuring the angle of attack of the wings. Angle of attack is the angle formed between the surface of the wing and the direction of travel through the air.

What About Landing Speed?

How Fast Can A Cessna Fly

Landing speeds vary depending on the size of the runway, wind conditions, and other factors. In general though, the Cessna Skyhawk’s landing speed should be between 70 mph to 80 mph (113 kph to 130 kph) (see also “How To Land Cessna 172“).

In order to land safely, the pilot needs to know how much airspeed he has when he touches down. He should also be able to judge whether there is enough runway left to stop his plane without skidding.

If he lands too quickly, the nose of the plane may hit the ground first and the tail may drag along behind. This could cause damage to the plane.

If the pilot lands too slowly, the tail may touch down first and the nose may bounce back up again. This could cause damage and injury to the passengers.

What Are Key Design Features Of The Cessna 172?

The nickname “Skyhawk” was given to the Cessna 172 because of its aerodynamic shape.

The aerodynamic design of the Cessna Skyhawk makes it very stable and easy to control. Key design features of the Cessna Skyhawk include:

Dual controls – The Cessna 172 has dual controls which allow the pilot to control the plane at any altitude.

Single engine – The single engine allows the pilot to concentrate all his attention on flying the plane.

Easy to maintain – Maintenance costs are kept low because the engines are easily accessible.

Lightweight – The lightweight construction makes it easy to carry and maneuver.

Low cost – The low operating costs and costs of maintenance help to keep the price down.

Reliable – The reliability of the plane ensures that you always get where you want to go.

Aircraft Engine Types

There are three main types of aircraft engines used for commercial flights today. They are piston engines, turboprop engines, and jet engines.

Piston Engines

Piston engines are still widely used in light aircraft such as the Cessna 172. These engines are very reliable and they produce high power at low RPM. However, they are noisy and heavy.


Turbo-prop engines are used mainly in larger planes like the Boeing 737. Turbo-props are quieter and more powerful than piston engines. The turbocharged engine is also lighter and easier to repair.

Jet Engines

Jet engines are used in large passenger jets such as the Airbus 380. Jet engines are quiet and fuel efficient, but they are expensive and difficult to repair. 

Cessna 172: A Brief History

How Fast Can A Cessna Fly

The Cessna 172 was designed in 1945 by Frank Piasecki. It was originally called the Model 152 and was later renamed the Cessna 172 after Piasecki sold the company to Cessna Aircraft Company.

The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular small private aircraft in history. There are currently around 1 million Cessnas in service worldwide.

The Cessna Skyhawk is the largest version of the Cessna 172 with an increased wingspan of 14 feet.

The Cessnas have been manufactured since 1955 and have become a symbol of American freedom.

In 2013, the Cessna 172 was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Is The Cessna 172 Safe To Fly?

Yes! The Cessna 172 has been flying since the 1950s and has had very few major accidents. There are many reasons why planes crash, but the main causes are human error, mechanical failure, and weather. 

There is only one fatality per every 178,571 flight hours flown in Cessna Skyhawks.

The average private aviation fatality rate sits at 1.3 per 100,000 flight hours; this is more than double the rate of the Cessna 172.

The Cessna Skyhawk has the lowest fatal accident rate of any plane in private aviation history.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, folks — The Cessna 172 can fly at a max speed of 163 knots, and a top cruising speed of 120 knots.

It might not be the thrill seeker’s favorite plane, as it has a comparably low top speed, but it’s one of the safest planes out there, which is highly impressive.

Jacob Stern
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