Cessna unveils 2012 edition of 172 Skyhawk

Nice plane… if you have an extra $274,900 to $307,500.

I have to say that I like the retro paint scheme.

I can’t believe the price of that aircraft, over a quarter of a million dollars for a light plane! What on Earth could make it so expensive!


Liability Insurance

A question from a layman who doesn’t know much: why do most of the Cessna variants still have strut bracing for the wings? The Cessna 177 was strut-less and I’ve never read about any engineering problems associated with it. And that was 1968. It seems like a source of aerodynamic drag that, with modern engineering, could be done away with.

Liability insurance, certainly. I’ve heard the two (certified) Garmin units cost $50,000 each, but I haven’t researched it. I think (and people have said I’m wrong) that a lot of it is lack of demand. They’re not making ten thousand of them a year anymore. Lower volume, higher prices.

Part of it is that certification is very, very expensive. To change the design, they would have to re-certify it. The Cardinal was meant to be a replacement for the Skyhawk, but people liked the venerable 172. It had some teething problems, too: underpowered at first, and nose-heavy. Cessna added slots on the stabilator that tamed it a bit, but people just didn’t want a replacement for the Skyhawk that didn’t fly like a Skyhawk.

The 210 Centurion also had a cantilever wing. They stopped making them at the same time they stopped making their other piston-engine singles. It was not brought back with the 172 and 182 because they wanted their new aircraft to be certified under the new rules, and it would have been too expensive. (IIRC, they would have had to add a second spar or something to meed new certification rules.)

Many are building their own planes these days for way way less or just buying the experimentals from other homebuilders. If I recollect right, there are more experimentals registered now than there are certified planes. Most use the same aircaft engines and electronics as the certified planes, but without going through the certification process on it. Van’s aircraft is the leader with over 25% of the kitplane market, with most opting for the quickbuild kit. I didn’t build mine, but really love my RV-6.

I am mildly amused by the implied comparison made by one of the commenters on that article:

I’ve flown Schweizer 2-33’s. They have much less horsepower than the 172. :slight_smile:

But much better gas mileage, I hear. :smiley:

Also: Holy crap, 50K for a GPS unit? That’s… very expensive. I imagine it must be superior to the $200 Garmin I have in my car at home here, but I’m curious exactly how it is.

My understanding was that it didn’t turn out that way. The Cardinal needed a thicker wing spar to carry the higher bending moments at the roots, forcing a thicker airfoil with higher lift and therefore higher induced drag. Plus, moving the seats further forward, so the wing would obstruct less of the pilot’s field of view, meant a higher downforce requirement on the tail, increasing drag there as well. Bottom line was that the 177 was actually draggier than the 172, even if it looked better. And, it didn’t have a convenient step on the strut to reach the fuel caps, so you need a ladder with it.

I know someone who bought a glass panel 172 not long ago. Sure, the G1000 is nice. But in the end you’re still puttering around at not much over 100 knots. So you’ve spent over a quarter million dollars on… a Cessna 172.

Does not compute.

$265K for a custom-built 45 foot motor yacht. Same price as a plane? I would go for the one with a kitchen and a bed.

Besides, you cannot hide from the zombies long in an airplane.

I don’t know about the drag, but the 177 was faster than the 172. The 177B with the 180-hp O-360 claims a max speef of 136 knots (157 mph, 250 km/h) and a cruise speed of 124 knots (143 mph, 230 km/h).

As for the G1000, as I said, I haven’t verified the price. It’s just one that I came across once while googling. AFAIK, the G1000 isn’t available on the aftermarket. (I think there’s a G600 or something that’s similar.) I know that non-certified GPS/Flight instrument units are much cheaper. It’s the certification that drives up the price.

When I was a kid, someone told me that the starter on a Beechcraft Bonanza was a standard Buick unit. (Or some GM one, anyway.) But it cost several times more than an automotive one (IIRC, about $300 in the mid-'70s) because it had an FAA certification placard on it. True story or not, certification does add cost; which is one reason why kit planes are so popular. More performance, lower cost.

In any case, I agree about the price. As I posted in The Great Ongoing General Aviation Thread, a new Cessna 172 sold for less than five times my annual wage when I was making minimum wage. Now I make what I consider an ‘average’ wage, and a new Cessna 172 costs six or seven times my annual salary. So a new Skyhawk was actually more affordable when I was making minimum wage, than they are now with a middle-class income. Something is out of whack.

But a 45-foot motor yacht can’t fly!

I’ve posted this in TGOGAT, but here is is again since we’re talking about prices:

Year	172 or Basic	Skyhawk or Equipped
1956	  $8,995.00	
1960	  $9,450.00	
1963	  $8,985.00	 $11,590.00
1964	 $10,245.00	 $11,995.00
1967	 $12,450.00	 $13,300.00
1968	 $10,950.00	 $12,750.00
1970	 $12,500.00	 $13,995.00
1972	 $13,425.00	 $14,995.00
1976	 $16,055.00	 $17,890.00
1978	 $22,300.00	 $29,950.00
1982		         $33,950.00
1985		         $44,000.00
1987		         $49,600.00
1998		        $124,500.00
2005	$171,250.00	$229,750.00
2008	$197,000.00	$297,000.00
2009		        $297,000.00
2010		        $297,000.00
2011		        $307,500.00

See the original post for the explanatory notes.

Well, for starters, the G1000 will fly the plane. When Garmin comes out with a Nuvi that can drive for you, then we can compare.

I’d be happy if Nike would just make a pair of running shoes that will do my mile and a half run while I zone out and listen to my iPod. :smiley:

So, these kit planes… I presume that at least a significant number of them are fairly reliable, or else people would stop buying them. As long as they got their negative review up before it crashed.

“Item arrived quickly and as described. Seller was very polite and answered emails promptly. Wing separated at cruising altitude. Would not buy from this seller again.”

There’s at least one model of kit plane that comes to mind that has had, um, issues…


Also, since Nuvi’s are designed for driving, they’re only two dimensional. Found that one out when I was at 800’ in a hot-air balloon & it’s telling me to turn left because we’re passing over the intersection.
Umm, no, I don’t think so! :smack: