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One of the World’s Favorite Small Planes: The Cessna 172

Some people think change is good.

And, sometimes it is.

But when you’ve got something right, don’t change it. Keep doing what you’re doing.

It’s the same way with aviation.

You perfect your technology until its perfect. Then you don’t change a thing. You leave it as is.

If you change anything, you might run sometime.

It seems the manufacturers of the Cessna 172 feel exactly this way.

A Short History Of The Cessna 172

Cessna has been one of the most popular small aircraft manufacturers since the early 20th century.

And it all began with a man named Clyde Cessna.

In 1911, Cessna, a mechanic, became obsessed with building aeroplanes.

He spent some time working for Queens Aeroplane company and learned how to build his own.

He made money by flying exhibitions. Air travel was still a marvel to most people at this time. And the only aeroplanes you could see as a civilian were at exhibitions.

And every year since then, Clyde improved his aeroplanes.

It wasn’t until 1927 that he officially started Cessna Aircraft Company.

He then built America’s first Cantilever-wing monoplane.

Before this, aeroplanes required two wings and a cumbersome support system.

Clyde died before the Cessna 172 rolled off the production line and onto the tarmac.

But he would have been aware of its existence as it was in the design phase long before release.

cessna 172

The World’s Most Popular

The Cessna 172 would make Clyde Cessna proud.

Cessna has hardly stopped production on the 172 for over 60 years.

Over 43000 copies of the Cessna 172 have made it onto the market. And this makes it the most built aeroplane in history.

The 172 is a popular plane for flight training schools.

It’s easy to fly. And it was designed that way.

The only time production paused for the Cessna 172 was in the 1980s.

The US passed stricter laws on light aircraft manufacture. And this required a few reworks of the aircraft safety features and manufacture design.

But it went back into production soon after.

The Cessna 172 is a high-wing monoplane.

This means that the wings sit above the cockpit.

Students who fly in the 172 have a better view of the ground than most light airplanes.

This helps with landing. A very important aspect of flight training.

This popular Cessna is based on an earlier design.

The Cessna 170 is essentially the father of the 172.

After WW2, aircraft companies needed a new market other than war. They turned back to civilian aviation.

And the 170 was born to accomplish this.

It took three passengers and a pilot and the biggest difference was the “taildragger” design.

And the marketing department of the 172 caught onto the fact the plane landed easily. They gave the new Cessna the tagline “Land-O-Matic.”

And in 1959 the 172 beat a world record.

Robert Timm And John Cook flew the airplane straight for 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds.

That is a world record for a refueled flight that has not been broken yet.


The Cessna 172 is a true marvel of technology and dedication. It will most likely still be in production for years to come.

Have you flown a Cessna 172? Whey do you think it’s the most popular plane in history? Let us know in the comments below.