Is it just me, or does the Cessna Skyhawk seem younger than 53? After all, take away the panel, paint and interior, and you might mistake a 2009 for a 1964 model if both airplanes were parked side by side on the ramp in bare aluminum livery. But while the current model’s configuration is physically very similar to that of the older models, the 2009 172S is a very different machine from that early version.
The aircraft can reach cruise speeds of 126 knots (at 75% power). Pictured above are its wingtip LED nav lights.
No, we’re not planning to detail a half-century of Skyhawk changes. We’re more interested in what the 172 has become than what it used to be. We’ll also skip any discussion of comparative price, as price is always relative. Before you scoff and allege that the 21st-century Skyhawk represents 20th-century technology in contrast to the Cirrus SR20/22, Diamond Star and Cessna’s own Corvalis 350/400, consider that what went before and still remains continues to have an undeniably strong attraction for many pilots.