How much faster is a 172?

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Cluemeister
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How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:41 pm

Ok, I know the specs are online. :) But for those of you have flown both, does the 172 (pick a popular version) feel that much faster? In real life is that true? It seems like the cruise speed is just a little above a faster SLSA, and with the SLSA you get a lot to like in avionics, fuel consumption, etc. Or is it all about the payload and extra passenger capability in a 172?

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby SportPilot » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:51 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomore767
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Nomore767 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:16 pm

I would say that my RV-12 is faster than a 172, or a Cherokee. But its a more modern and efficient design.

That said, the 172 can carry four people and bags and if that's the mission then its better than an RV12. I usually get 125ktsTAS at 4500' at 5300 rpm on 4.4gph so the performance is better than the 172 but the 172 can carry more passengers and bags.

If I were to consider leaving the Light Sport category after PBOR2 and wanted a 172 I'd seriously take a look at the Yinglind Ascend 172 refurbished 172 (they use the 172N version) or Sporty's 172 Lite. Almost a brand new 172 with a price well below a new Cessna but right in the SLSA range. You can add glass avionics .

See the February edition of AOPA magazine.

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby drseti » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:09 pm

The 172H in which I used to instruct (powered by a 6-cylinder 145 HP Continental O-300) struggled to cruise above 105 Kts TAS at high power settings and medium (6500 or so) altitudes. Most of the Rotax 912 ULS powered SLSAs can beat that. But, as already pointed out, two seats and weight restrictions may make them inappropriate for some missions.
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dstclair
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby dstclair » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:55 pm

It depends on the model of 172 (as Paul stated) and the loading. I'd suggest that 160hp 172 with 2 people, 4 hours of fuel and 50 lbs of stuff would cruise around 125 kts and 180hp would do 5 kts more. My particular LSA gets 120+ kts at 5250 rpm so I could add another 100 rpm and stay with the 160hp 172 with 180hp pulling away slightly. Both cases would not be a material difference in a 500nm flight.
dave

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snaproll
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby snaproll » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:32 am

drseti wrote:The 172H in which I used to instruct (powered by a 6-cylinder 145 HP Continental O-300) struggled to cruise above 105 Kts TAS at high power settings and medium (6500 or so) altitudes. Most of the Rotax 912 ULS powered SLSAs can beat that. But, as already pointed out, two seats and weight restrictions may make them inappropriate for some missions.


Paul,
In the 60's, I spent quite a few hours in a Cessna 175 which had the G0-300 175HP Continental. The G0-300 was a good engine when operated as designed. I recall a cruise of about 130kts. The 6 cylinder G0-300 was smooth and performed well.. The 175 is an option when shopping for a 172. VR.. Don

Nomore767
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Nomore767 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:00 pm

Cluemeister wrote:Ok, I know the specs are online. :) But for those of you have flown both, does the 172 (pick a popular version) feel that much faster? In real life is that true? It seems like the cruise speed is just a little above a faster SLSA, and with the SLSA you get a lot to like in avionics, fuel consumption, etc. Or is it all about the payload and extra passenger capability in a 172?


Most discussions with pilots and owners about airplanes involves speed, power and avionics, and why not, it's exciting!

However, when considering a first plane you can't go far wrong with a Skyhawk. Don't be put off by the beat up plane that you might use for training. They take a lot of student punishment and wear and tear and keep going, safely bringing their pilots home. There are some really nice examples out there for sale and they carry a better load than an LSA.

Many students who learned in a C172 go on to own one as their first plane. As I mentioned elsewhere there are a few companies offering completely refurbished C172s 'like new' and for a great price compared to new from Cessna.

After the speed, performance and avionics...also be sure to ask about the availability of quality maintenance, a hangar ( you should get on the list now!), and review with a mechanic or Cessna owner...routine and scheduled maintenance costs and any things to look for in that particular model. There are type clubs out there you can join whose members are often walking encyclopedias for that type plus there are fly-ins and often quality planes advertised for sale.

Once you have your licenses, and some time under your belt, owning a Skyhawk 172can be a great first step towards ultimately owning a type more specific to your flying needs as well as being more exciting.

Lastly, its worth talking to insurance companies about which types are more expensive to insure and what kind of planes would raise your insurance to pilot them. Tailwheel pilots, especially low-timers, for example are more expensive to insure.

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby jake » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:39 pm

I learned to fly in a 145 hp Skyhawk. Full rpm it was about 105 knots. I took my private check ride in a 180 hp G1000 Skyhawk and I remember that one being about 110 kts but it did not have wheel pants.

The first plane I actually owned was a 2009 Cessna 182. Cessna advertised it as a 145 knot plane at 7500'. I seen that speed only a couple times on a perfect day. Usually more like 142-143.

The 172 is a good plane but without a constant speed prop I doubt it would ever see 130 knots. I believe Cessna says max cruise is 124 for the 180 hp version.

I regularly pass the Warriors and Skyhawk's with the P2008.

Mark

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby jake » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:12 pm

From my experience not many of the less than 60 year olds show interest in the legacy or minimalist type aircraft. This is one of the main attractions to LSA. You can get a new aircraft at half the price if you don't require four seats.

Actually a Skyhawk is really only a three seat aircraft when you consider useful load. If you look up statistics the Skyhawk is an airplane that's had a number of accidents with four passengers in the plane due to overloading. Usually because it couldn't get off the runway, not because it fell apart in the air.

Anyway, when I started I really wanted to learn and was willing to fly in an orange 1969 model Skyhawk with the headliner falling down. I remember the day my wife met me at the airport after a lesson. I can still see her looking at the airplane and then pausing for a bit before saying " I don't think I will be flying it that".

I wasn't real surprised to hear her say that. Later she said it reminded her of the station wagon her family had growing up that left them on the side of the road a few times. I could understand why she felt that way.

The Skyhawk is a very solid aircraft that can take a bad landing. Cabin width is a bit tight at 42 inches. The design is 60 plus years old so the plane looks a bit dated but a new paint job helps.

Mark

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Jack Tyler » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:48 am

Cluemeister, it appears that you are broadening your a/c research beyond LSA's. That's a good thing, IMO - not that I don't value the SPL & light sport option. One of the tougher things to do as an aspiring pilot AND eventual a/c owner is to anticipate just what you want - eventually, ultimately - from a plane. Going into training, it's easy to think that being able to fly a friend/family member somewhere and to simply enjoy occasional local flights will bring enduring satisfaction. One of the dirty little secrets about recreational flying is that many relatively new pilots, after multiple $100 hamburger runs and other relatively limited flying, lose their interest in flying out of a sense of 'been there, done that'. That's ironic because there are so many ways that flying can stretch & challenge - and also reward and fulfill - a pilot. And some of those involve carrying more than one passenger and/or larger payloads...or might involve longer ranges where it's helpful to have a bit more stable platform, higher cruise speeds and/or more capability to deal with at least some weather issues. Trying to peek around the corner and anticipate where one's new SPL/PPL will eventually lead can be very difficult. That's one reason I think considering Part 23 a/c as one ownership option is worth doing upfront, assuming that a PPL is an option for you.

To be a bit redundant, you'll find a wealth of a/c model reviews by subscribing to Aviation Consumer. It not only provides you with the 6 issues over the next year but, on-line, it opens up all their a/c reviews over their entire span of publishing. They have reviewed every basic Part 23 piston a/c multiple times over the years. And their reviews are not influenced by advertising so they are typically much more thorough and balanced than what you'll find elsewhere. But here are two more personal examples of what we chose and why. When I got my PPL (flying a Cessna 150), I had a wife and son who we knew were both going to be in the training pipeline. There was no LSA option back in the day, and we knew owning was going to make training much more affordable, longer term as well as bring other benefits. So we began flying different, entry-level 4-seat, fixed gear/fixed prop Part 23 a/c. E.g. we flew a 172 and, for all its attributes and popular presence at airports, it was like flying an old Chevy truck that lacked power steering. Trim, trim, trim... It's still a very practical choice today, IMO. But the big discovery, for us at least, was finding an inexpensive plane that, along with meeting our mission needs, was relatively light on the controls and easily, enjoyably flown despite being stable enough for a good instrument training platform. IOW we discovered something you don't seem mentioned as much in these threads but was very important to us: We'd found a plane that was fun to fly! My point is to not overlook qualities that might not be on a spec sheet or NTSB summary but turn out be to really important to you.

That also ended up being one of the reasons we were drawn to the Vans RV-12, when we stopped traveling and returned to flying. I really enjoyed how that plane flew. But a short, practical, number-crunching session where my wife and I looked at how we actually hoped to use the next plane produced a simple conclusion: too little volume and too little payload. All the performance numbers and flying qualities couldn't square that corner. And in the end, we found a Part 23 a/c that was much more affordable (to buy tho' not to operate), had the volume and payload we needed (altho' with all the camping gear and pooch inside, it's a close thing...) and had the long legs (range and speed) that we'd hoped for. My point is that having the PPL gave us options the SPL never would.

Keep digging. You're obviously learning a lot. Just don't forget to start flying!
Jack
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Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Cluemeister
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Cluemeister » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:11 am

Hi Jack,

I have taken your advice and subscribed to Aviation Consumer. I will now dig through the issues!

At this point the plan is to get a sport pilot license. There is no medical issue. Depending on how that goes, I may upgrade to private. I have heard the advice of many saying there's no point in sport, just go for private, as there are so many more options, and you'll save money compared to upgrading later. I understand and appreciate that advice, but I have decided to start Sport Pilot.

I have completed the Gleim Sport Pilot ground school training, but not taken the final test. I have scheduled my first flight training for a complete week in late March. The instructor said he will test me on the Gleim Sport to start. Then it's 7 days in a P92.

The mission is for my wife and to go away for weekend trips to the beaches in the Southeast, spring training for the Red Sox, and lots of special trips that we would do in a weekend, i.e. Mackinac Island, Branson, etc. The kids are just now out of the house, so last minute getaways are not a problem. There are wonderful things to see in almost every city, so being able to get away (weather permitting) and see many spots around this great country is the main driving force.

There are almost no LSA around to fly, so if all goes well with training, the plan is to buy a new or late model LSA. That's the plan, subject to change.

Thanks again for the Aviation Consumer tip!

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MrMorden
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby MrMorden » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:35 am

jake wrote:Actually a Skyhawk is really only a three seat aircraft when you consider useful load. If you look up statistics the Skyhawk is an airplane that's had a number of accidents with four passengers in the plane due to overloading. Usually because it couldn't get off the runway, not because it fell apart in the air.


It's pretty true for most GA airplanes, that if you fill all the seats you are not able to take full fuel and any baggage. The modern LSAs are kind of an anomaly in that many of them can take full fuel and fill all the seats, due to more modern design and light/efficient engines (read: Rotax 912).

My CTSW has a useful load of 585lb. I can take 360lb of passengers (say a 210lb man and a 150lb woman, or two 180lb men) and full fuel plus 20lb of bags (probably close to the amount of stuff that stays in the airplane...cover, tie downs, chocks, etc).

But the CTSW is unusual in that it carries much more fuel than it needs to for most missions. More typically it can take 2x200lb men, 24 gallons of fuel, and 40lb of bags. Or if you need to carry more stuff (say for a camping trip), you could drop the fuel to 20 gallons or even less and then get 65lb+ baggage for the same two 200lb guys. If I'm flying solo (I weight 190lb) I don't think I could get the airplane over gross, I'd probably run out of space before I ran out of weight.

A comparison I like is my local flight school's Diamond DA-20. It has two seats and composite construction just like the CTSW, and both fly at similar speeds. They have useful loads within ONE pound, yet the Diamond is 444lb heavier at max gross weight! Some of the extra weight is in FAA Part 23 certification, and some in carbon fiber vs. fiberglass. But the fact is the Diamond is 33% heavier with 25% more engine power...any guess which airplane accelerates and climbs better at gross? ;)

This is a long-winded way of saying we in the LSA world are pretty lucky with what we have to work with in a lot of ways!
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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drseti
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby drseti » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:13 am

What's interesting about all this is realizing how woefully ignorant I was about gross weight, useful load, and payload issues four decades ago when I bought my first plane. I never worried much a out it as a student or renter pilot, because the FBO always fueled those old Cherokees to the tabs and nobody worried about it. It wasn't until I bought a four-place Beechcraft with six seats :( that I started to become sensitive to loading issues.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby SportPilot » Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:37 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack Tyler
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Re: How much faster is a 172?

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:34 am

"At this point the plan is to get a sport pilot license.... I have completed the Gleim Sport Pilot ground school training.... I have scheduled my first flight training for a complete week in late March. The instructor said he will test me on the Gleim Sport to start. Then it's 7 days in a P92. The mission is for my wife and to go away for weekend trips to the beaches in the Southeast..."

Good for you! You've got a plan, you've got some great reasons for getting a pilot's license, and you will end up knowing the plane you fly intimately because it will be yours. You are in the process of truly changing your lives.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org


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