The Cessna 180, introduced in 1953 and produced till 1981 was a light utility airplane that built its reputation for its dependability. The Skywagon, as it was eventually named, is a four or six seat aircraft that is no longer in production. However, many of these air-crafts are still operational for personal uses.The prototype Cessna 180, N41697, first flew on May 26, 1952. The all Aluminium air-frame is accompanied by square tail, para-lift flaps, spring steel made landing gear and steerable tail wheel.
Even though all variants from Cessna 180A to Cessna 180K looked similar on the outside,it was the engine, weight and seating capacity that differentiated any one model from the other. The weight of the Cessna 180 varied between 2550 pounds and 2800 pounds, whereas the initial Continental O-470-A 225-horse power engine was upgraded to Continental O-470-R 230 horse power one. Despite the noise it generates, the Cessna 180 air-crafts have always been favored by pilots as the offer enhanced handling in the air.
However, reports of troubles during takeoffs and landings have always been an area of concern. The Aviation Safety’s 1980-1981 study reports that 42 percent of all the accidents related to the Cessna 180 were due to ground loops at the time of takeoff and landing.Regardless of the reports, the owners of the aircraft refer it to be the most versatile air-craft that was ever manufactured. “It flies quickly, can carry enough load, and it can operate on most rough strips.” was the response recorded by an owner of the aircraft.
The biggest reason for the satisfaction is the simplicity at which one can operate the air plane. The manual flaps, simple carburetor (without fuel injection) and comfortable electronic systems add to the ease of flying these air planes. The first woman pilot to successfully fly around the world, Geraldine Mock, used a 1953 built Cessna 180 for her flight.The air plane which has achieved a maximum speed of 170 mph has also served for various air forces like Australia, Uruguay, Thailand and Israel to name a few. The Cessna 180 was always a best seller and definitely marked 1953 to be”Golden Year of Flying” as proclaimed in the ads by the company.