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Cessna 180

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Model 180 Skywagon
Type Light utility aircraft
Manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company
Introduced 1953
Produced 1953-1981
Number built 6,193
Variants Cessna 182
Cessna 185

The Cessna 180 is a four- or six-seat, fixed conventional gear general aviation airplane which was produced between 1953 and 1981. Though the design is no longer in production, many of these aircraft are still in use as personal aircraft and in utility roles such as bush flying.

Design and development

1960 Cessna 180 Skywagon

Cessna introduced the heavier and more powerful 180, which eventually came to be known as the Skywagon (a name first applied only to the more-powerful 185) as a complement to the Cessna 170. In all its versions, 6,193 Cessna 180s were manufactured. In 1956, a tricycle gear version of this design was introduced as the Cessna 182, which came to bear the name Skylane. Additionally, in 1960, Cessna introduced a heavier, more powerful sibling to the 180, the conventional gear Cessna 185. For a time, all three versions of the design were in production. Though the tricycle gear 182 displaced some of the general demand for the 180, 180s continue to be valued for their capabilities as utility aircraft.


The airframe of the 180 is all metal, constructed of aluminum alloy. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque structure, with exterior skin sheets riveted to formers and longerons. The strut-braced wings, likewise, are constructed of exterior skin sheets riveted to spars and ribs. The landing gear of the 180 is in a conventional arrangement, with main gear legs made of spring steel, and a steerable tailwheel mounted on a hollow tapered steel tube.

The Continental O-470-A of 225 horsepower was installed in the 1953 model, which uniquely has no baggage door. The Continental O-470-J, also of 225 horsepower, replaced the -A model in 1954 and 1955, and was succeeded by the O-470-K from 1956 through 1961, by the O-470-R from 1962 through 1972, by the O-470-S from 1973 through 1976, and by the O-470-U from 1977 through the end of production. The O-470 was uprated to 230 horsepower during that time.

Cessna 180s produced between 1953 and 1963 have two side windows, while 1964 to 1981 models feature three side windows, as they feature the same fuselage as the Cessna 185.

180s can be put on floats if they are equipped with factory-installed float kits, which are essentially reinforcing members installed at high-stress points of the fuselage. Float-kitted Cessna 180s produced between 1975 and 1981 have the larger dorsal fin of the 185.

Operational history

1960 Cessna 180 at White River Canyon, Utah, a remote airstrip

The 180 is considered a workhorse of an airplane, and is favored to this day as a bush plane by many who fly to and from remote, unimproved airstrips in places such as Alaska and distant parts of Canada, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. The 180 is the preferred aircraft of the Colorado Division of Wildlife for monitoring wildlife and re-stocking fish in remote mountain lakes; it is also used by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

The Canadian airlines Lamb Air and Norcanair operated several 180s. A number of 180s continue in similar roles at Kenmore Air in Washington, Alaska Seaplane Service, and Brazil's Lider Taxi Aereo.

Record flight

File:Spirit of Columbus.jpg
Jerrie Mock's Cessna 180

The Cessna 180 gained recognition as the aircraft chosen by Geraldine Mock, the first woman pilot to successfully fly around the world. The flight was made in 1964 in her 1953 model, the Spirit of Columbus (N1538C), as chronicled in her book Three-Eight Charlie. [1] The Cessna factory obtained the aircraft and kept it at the Pawnee (Wichita, Kansas) manufacturing plant after the epic flight, suspended from the ceiling over one of the manufacturing lines. It is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum.


Military operators

Specifications (180)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: three passengers (five, if optional child seats are installed in baggage area)
  • Length: 26 ft 2 in (7.98 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
  • Wing area: 174 ft² (16 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 2412
  • Empty weight: 1,520 lb (690 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,550 lb (1,158 kg)
  • Powerplant:Continental O-470-A , 225 hp (170 kW)



  1. Mock, Jerrie: Three-Eight Charlie, First Edition, 1970. ISBN 75118975
  2. Unit History. 161 Possums of Vietnam. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
  • Type certificate data sheet no. 5A6. Revision 66. (Mar. 31, 2003.) Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation Administration.

External links

See also

Related development

Template:US utility aircraft

es:Cessna 180 pt:Cessna 180 ru:Cessna 180 Skywagon

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cessna 180".