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Guest KenG

Cessna 172 Technical Question...

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Hi,I'd like to get some information about the different Cessna 172 types (N, R, etc...)What are the differences between the many available models ?(I know that the older ones are carburator equipped and the newer models are fitted with fuel injection)Thanks for the information !Twister

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Hi Twister,I fly a C172SP. This is one of the more modern versions, but with a 180HP engine. The C172R, also a modern version, has (I believe) a 160HP engine. The latter has a smaller prop, the same FI motor as the SP, but derated.Then there's the XP- not sure of the HP rating, but it has a fixed speed prop (variable pitch), enabling one to get a taste of a complex a/c (a true compex aircraft also requires rectractable gear).Finally, the old faithful N. The original kind. There have been many enhancements since the N. The one enhancement I like the most is the fact that the later models have the headset jacks where you can see and get to them, you don't have to crawl under the panel!There may be others, I'm not sure. The SP has 53g of useable fuel, compared with 40 maybe for the N. There are many differences between the older and newer models, all the SP's in my club have GPS units installed (KLN-94).Bruce.

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There are three main varieties: the 172, the 172XP and the 172RG.The 172 is the most common and thru most generations was equipped with a Lycoming 0-320 producing 160HP. Thru its production life the type went through various changes in landing gear, windows, panels, etc - too many to list hear. I believe "newer" models (after Cessna resumed production) now come with the four cylinder IO-360 producing 180HP.The XP (extra performance?) came with a fuel injected six cylinder Continental IO-360 producing 195HP. It has a very distinct sound.The RG, obviously, has retractable gear. It also has a Lycoming O-360 powerplant with 180HP. From what I remember, the RG branches fairly far from the 172 tree. I believe Cessna had to make many structural changes to get to the RG platform.You can probably find the details by searching the web.

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Thank you Bruce & Dennis for your replies.I am flying the 172N (that's the only type available in my club).I was wondering if there were noticeable differences (I don't mind the small cosmetic modifications) between the different models apart from the carburetor vs. fuel injected options.From your posts, I understand that there are significant differences pertaining to the BHP and propeller diameter.Fixed pitch vs. constant speed is obviously an important issue as well...Is there a web site that clearly specifies those differences ?Thanks againTwister

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At higher altitude airports such as mine (4603'msl), that 20 extra horsepower makes quite the difference on high density altitude days. I never really liked flying older 172's because I felt they were to gutless somedays when carrying passengers. I always favored the Piper Archer (180HP). But the 172SP now feels much like the Archer on takeoff and climbout--performance wise. The 172N model also had the advantage of 40 degree of flaps, versus 30 for the newer models. I think that was changed because of problems with go-arounds, should the flaps remained at 40. At least this what I remember, and subject to change :)L.Adamson

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The 172N I got my PPL in had a Superhawk conversion. That meant that it had a 180hp engine put in and a larger prop. It will outclimb any SP out there due to the lighter weight and equal horsepower. At higher density altitudes with 3 big adults in the plane, it still climbed at well over 500 fpm (above Vy) to 5000'. However, it only had 40 gallon tanks and so the range was less. Power-on stalls in that thing were a bear. You could almost stand it on its tail and the torque would kill you. I have never dropped a wing so many times on any other plane as I did in that one. All-in-all, I really enjoy flying that bird whenever I get the chance.

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