The Cessna 175 Skylark offers an affordable, reliable route to private plane ownership and good examples can be picked up at prices no more than the average family saloon car. You do not often come across these sturdy light aircraft yet they are one of the models in the Cessna line up that truly has stood the test of time.
The Cessna 175 Skylark is a four-seat, single- engine, high-wing airplane that was produced between 1958 and 1962 by the Cessna Aircraft Company. It was designed to fill a niche between the lower powered Cessna 172 Skyhawk and the heavy-duty Cessna 180 and 182 Skylane. Skylark was the name given to the deluxe versions of the 175 from 59-62. The basic airplane was sold as a 175. The Skylark C175B included a package of optional equipment and a special paint scheme.
Through its lifetime the basic airframe design changed once, from the straight cowl, straight tail to the hump nosed cowl and slanted tail of the later models. The fastback fuselage was retained through the entire production line.
Externally, the only obvious difference between the 172 and the 175 is the slight hump on the engine cowl behind the 82″ propeller. The hump allows for the bigger, geared GO-300 Continental engine that provides the 175 with extra horsepower and a beefier performance.
The engine of the C175 was rated at 175 hp (130 kW), or 30 hp (22 kW) more than the engine of the 172. The Skylark, with 175 horsepower, is 15 mph faster than a Skyhawk and can take off and land in shorter distances. The extra horsepower and manual flap activation on the Cessna 175 makes these planes great for short take off and landing operations.
The 175 model had Cessna’s newly designed split level instrument panel, placing all of the primary flight instruments directly in front of the pilot, instead of spreading them out over the panel like earlier models. This makes them much better for IFR use then the previous Cessna models.
The 175 is not a noisy plane as the GO-300 geared engine runs the propeller at low revs (a maximum of 2400), however, the small whirring noise of the gear reduction drive will take some getting used to by those not familiar with it.
The Cessna 175 offers a comfortable ride so that longer journeys can be undertaken without the fear of stiff limbs and bad backs at the end of it! The cabin is thoughtfully laid out but it is the high wings that are perhaps the best feature for the pilot and passengers alike. The high wings allow for uninterrupted views from all angles, making leisure flying a real joy.
Between 1958 and 1962, a total of 2,106 Cessna 175s were built, so they are not the most frequent sight at airfields. But they are definitely worth considering if you are interested in buying an affordable and reliable light aircraft.