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Cessna 172 II Skyhawk

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Rating Guide

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Publisher: Carenado
Models the current version of this Cessna classic
Download Size:
approx. 5Mb
zip files downloaded from web
Simulator Types:
FS2000 (FS2002 with free update)
Reviewed by: Eric Bishop, AVSIM Staff Reviewer

Possible Commercial Rating Score: 1 to 5 stars with 5 stars being exceptional.
Please see details of our review rating policy here

When I was first taking flight lessons, I was in a small Cessna 150. Looking around the taxiway and seeing the Cessna Skyhawk 172s all around me, they looked so big and intimidating to fly. Once I got my pilot's license I immediately grabbed my Instructor and went for a flight in the Skyhawk, I have never gone back to the 150s since. The aircraft is a dream to fly. It has decent speed and make trips like from Tampa to Key West down to 2 hours and to top it off, you can carry up to four of your best friends with you! The Cessna 172 Skyhawk series is definitely one of the best and most popular aircraft around your FBOs.

Reader Survey

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Review Poll
Have you used Carenado's Cessna 172 II?
I can live with it
Taking it off my system

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Flying FS2002 is almost as good as flying for real. It has kept me sane since I currently cannot fly because of my back surgery. So finding a good Cessna model other than the default one in FS2002 is sometimes a challenge. Well I think I have finally done so. Enter Carenado's 172 II Skyhawk, it is clearly a wonderful airplane to fly. Here's what is included with this aircraft:

- Full moving parts: Ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps.
- Full lights: Navigation lights, beacons, strobes, landing lights
- Nightlight effects on cockpit
- Transparent windows
- 3D modeled pilot and cockpit area
- Details include: pitot pressure chamber, antennas, fuel tank cap
- Custom panel and gauges... full view.

Exterior finish/texturing

The Carenado 172 Skyhawk registration number CC-KAD has a very realistic paint scheme and is nice to look at from the exterior views. Attention to detail is very good, with rivets and creases where the different parts come together. The canopy is transparent, with the pilot in it as well. The original aircraft was developed for FS2000 just before FS2002 hit the streets, so if you take that into consideration it was well ahead of its time.

Night effects are also very nice, with cockpit panel detail from inside and out. It is really fun to fly this 172 at night because of the lighting effects. The only negative thing to say about the external views is the aircraft beacon and strobe lights—these show up too large, not properly represented to scale. I think this is due to the aircraft being developed for FS2000. There is a patch out to correct some of the FS2002 issues, but the lights were not on the list. I am sure they are looking into correcting this.

Test System

Dell P4 1.8Ghz System
256M RAM
Nvidia TNT2 32M Ultra

Flying Time:
4 hours over 3 days

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Flight Dynamics

Flying the Skyhawk in real life is a treat. It is very responsive, comfortable and has decent speed and range. The Carenado 172 II Skyhawk is also a very nice airplane to fly. It is very responsive to the pilot's requests and the feeling of flight is very well done. The aircraft responds by the numbers or very close as far as maximum speed, cruise speed etc. And I really could not find anything wrong except for one point.

The aircraft has very strange stall characteristics. It stalls on the proper numbers and you hear the stall warning horn, in fact you can keep it on by doing some slow flight. The problem with the plane is that is just does not break in the stall, which is really noticed on power-on stalls. The 172 should break clean and nose down until you recover. The Carenado 172 does a falling leaf stall where it just kind of flutters. Also on power on-stalls the only way I could get a clean break was to hold the nose over 80 degrees. This is not a really huge problem since most people flying FS2002 don't do these maneuvers all the time but it is still an annoyance. Cross county flights are where this airplane is fun to fly because of the sensation of flight.


The panel in this 172 is very basic, but again is really fun because it lacks some of the more sophisticated avionics. The communication stack looks like the real one and is a part of the panel, not something added. Every basic gauge is there including a removable yoke. The panel also has very nice night lighting to it. The only thing lacking is the virtual cockpit. But again, you must remember this was developed for FS2000—and before FS2002 virtual panels were, in my opinion, not really used, and when they were they caused a significant frame rate hit.

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Sounds and Documentation

The sounds of the 172 are not the default ones from MSFS and I really enjoyed the nicely sampled Cessna sounds. Even the gyos spinning up and down are done very realistically and make the flight much more believable. The 172 comes with checklist for you to go over and has the proper airspeed, etc. as it should. It also comes with a PDF file covering the Cessna's flight characteristics and a little about the plane.

To order go to the Carenado website.

What I Like About the Carenado Cessna 172II
  • Fluid flight dynamics and a 'feel real' sense of flying
  • Accurate panel with correct gauges and a basic 'FBO feel' to it
  • Extremely nice aircraft to look at with realistic looking paint job and see-through canopy

What I Don't Like About the Cessna 172II
  • Very strange stall characteristics
  • No Virtual panel


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