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Cessna 170

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Cessna 170
Type Light Personal Aircraft
Manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company
Introduced 1948
Produced 1948-1956
Number built 5,174
Variants O-1 Bird Dog
Cessna 172
An early production Cessna 170
Cessna 170A on an ice runway near Ottawa, Ontario
Cessna 170B in flight
Cessna 170B

The Cessna 170 is a light, single-engine, general aviation aircraft produced by the Cessna Aircraft Company between 1948 and 1956.



Beginning in late 1948, Cessna sold the 170, with metal fuselage and tail and fabric covered wings. These earliest Cessna 170s were essentially four-seat versions of the popular 140 with a more powerful 145 hp Continental O-300 and larger fuel tanks. Like the 140, they were constructed of metal with fabric-covered wings supported by a "V" strut.


In 1949 Cessna began marketing the 170A, an all-metal 170 with zero-dihedral wings, and a single strut replacing the "V" strut of the 170. The price was roughly $5,500. This and subsequent versions of the 170 shared the fin/rudder shape of the larger Cessna 190 and 195 models.


In 1950, the United States Air Force, Army and Marines began using the military variant of the 170, the Model 305, called the L-19 and later O-1 Bird Dog by the military. It was used as a forward air control and reconnaissance aircraft. The Bird Dog was extensively re-designed from the basic 170 and included a revised fuselage and wing with large modified-Fowler flaps that deploy up to 60°.


In 1952, the Cessna 170B was introduced featuring a new wing incorporating dihedral similar to the military version. The B model was equipped with very effective modified-Fowler (slotted, rearward-traveling) wing flaps which deflect up to 40° [1]and a wing design that lives on in the Cessna light singles of today (constant NACA 2412 section with a chord of 64 inches from centerline to 100 inches out, then tapering to 44 inch NACA 2412 section chord at 208 inches from centerline, with three-degree washout across the tapered section). The 170B model also included a new tailplane, a revised tailwheel, larger rear windows and other refinements over the 170 and 170A.

In 1955, the previously elliptical rear side windows were changed to a more square design.


The 170 is equipped with conventional landing gear, which is more challenging to land than tricycle landing gear. In 1956, Cessna introduced a replacement for the 170 that was essentially a nosewheel-equipped 170B with a square fin, designated the 172. 170 production was halted soon after the 172 became available.


Over 5,000 Cessna 170s were built and over 2,000 are still in service today. Prized as vintage aircraft by their owners, many have been totally restored and are very well cared for.

Type Clubs

The Cessna 170 is supported by several Aircraft Type Clubs, including the The International Cessna 170 Association and the Cessna Pilots Association.

Specifications (170B)

Data from {name of first source}

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 4 occupants
  • Length: 24 ft 11.5 in (7.61 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
  • Wing area: 174 ft² (16.2 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1205 lb (547 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2200 lb (998 kg)
  • Useful load: 995 lb (451 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2200 lb (998 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Continental O-300-A (2-blade Fixed pitch metal, 76 inch diameter), 145 hp (108 kW)
  • *Fuel capacity: 42 U.S. gal (159 L)


See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft


  1. Phillips, Edward H: Wings of Cessna, Model 120 to the Citation III, Flying Books, 1986. ISBN 0-911139-05-2

External links

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cessna 170".