COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States of America
TYPE: Basic trainer, liaison and observation aircraft
POWERPLANT: T-41 A - One 108kW (145hp) Continental O-300-C flat
six piston engine, driving a two bladed fixed pitch propeller.
PERFORMANCE: T-41 A - Max speed 224km/h (121kt), max cruising
speed at 9000ft 211 km/h (114kt). Max initial rate of climb 645ft/min. Service ceiling 13,100ft. Ferry range 1030km (555nm), standard range 990km (535nm).
WEIGHTS: T-41 A - Operating empty 565kg (1245lb), max takeoff
DIMENSIONS: T-41 A - Wing span 10.92m (35ft 10in), length 8.20m
(26ft 11 in), height 2.68m (8ft 10in). Wing area 16.2m2 (174.0sq ft).
ACCOMMODATION: Seating for pilot and instructor side-by-side, with
seats for two passengers behind them.
OPERATORS: Includes Angola, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia,
Ireland, Liberia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey.
HISTORY: The Cessna 172 is by far and away the most successful light
aircraft built, and so it is not surprising that a significant portion of the
nearly 42,000 built found their way into military service.
The 172 began life as a tricycle undercarriage development of the
four place Cessna 170, the aircraft that also formed the basis of the
0-1 Bird Dog (described separately). The prototype 170 flew in September
1947, the prototype 172 in November 1955. The type was a
success almost instantly, and through to 1986 the 172 was built in
successively improved variants. An improved 172, aimed principally
at civil customers, is due to enter production in 1996.
US military interest resulted in the July 1964 US Air Force order for
Cessna 172Fs for pilot flight screening performed by civil firms under
contract, designated the T-41 A Mescalero. These aircraft differ little
from the civil 172F, and production took place between 1964 and
1967. The US Army also ordered 172s for pilot training, its T-41Bs
based on the R172E with a 155kW (210hp) Continental IO-360 driving
a constant speed prop. The USAF's T-41 C was similar to the T-41 B
except for its fixed pitch propeller, and 52 were built for the USAF
Academy. The T-41D, based on the T-41 C but with a 28 volt electrical
system, was procured for a number of countries under the US's
Military Assistance Program (MAP). 311 T-41 Ds were built between
1968 and 1978. In 1995 50 T-41 s remained in service with the US Air
Force, although replacement with T-3 Fireflies was near completion.
Apart from 172s built as T-41s, several other countries procured
civil 172s direct from Cessna, or from Reims-Cessna in France, which
built several thousand FR172s under licence. In all, over 30 countries
have operated military 172s or T-41 s.
Apart from basic pilot training, the 172 is also widely used for a
number of secondary duties such as observation, liaison and border