Cessna 175 Skylark

The Cessna 175 Skylark is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane produced by Cessna between 1958 and 1962.

Model 175 Skylark
Cessna 175A Skylark
Role Light utility aircraft
Manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company
First flight 23 April 1956
Introduction 1958
Produced 1958–1962
Number built 2,106
Developed from Cessna 172

Production history

The 175 was designed to fill a niche between the Cessna 172 and the faster Cessna 182. The engine of the 175, a geared version of the O-300 (Continental GO-300) used in the 172, is rated at 175 hp (130 kW), or 30 hp (22 kW) more than the 172 engine. Between 1958 and 1962, a total of 2,106 were built. The basic airplane was marketed as the 175, and the plane with a package of optional equipment and overall paint (a partial paint scheme was used on the basic model) was marketed as the Skylark.


The airframe of the 175 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 175 is in a tricycle arrangement, with main gear legs made of spring steel, along with a steerable nosewheel connected through an oleo strut used for shock absorption.

While it incorporates airframe changes to accommodate an increased gross weight, the 175 is similar in appearance to the 172 of the same vintage. The most noticeable difference is the distinctive hump in the forward cowling of later series airplanes to accommodate the engine's reduction gear. Although externally identical to the 172, the 175 was built to a different type certificate, although most parts aft of the firewall are interchangeable.[1] The 172XP and T-41B/C/D Mescalero share the 175 type certificate.[2]

The GO-300 engine

An unusual feature of the 175 is the geared Continental GO-300 engine. Whereas most single-engine airplanes use direct drive, this engine drives the propeller through a reducing gearbox, so the engine runs at 3200 rpm to turn the propeller at 2400 rpm (4:3). The GO-300 engine suffered reliability problems and helped give the 175 a poor reputation. Some Skylarks flying today have been converted to larger-displacement direct-drive engines[3][4] though almost 90% still retain the GO-300.[5]

The GO-300's tainted reputation is largely undeserved, since its problems were the result of pilots who were unfamiliar with gear reduction engines, simply not operating the engine at the higher RPMs specified in the C-175 Pilot's Operating Handbook. Pilots unfamiliar with the engine often operate the engine at the low RPM settings (2300–2700) appropriate to direct-drive engines, while the 175's Operating Handbook calls for cruising at 2900 RPM. The low RPM causes harmonic vibration in the reduction gear between the quill shaft (that turned the propeller) and crankshaft, and the low power results in low airspeeds that prevents the engine's air-cooling system from operating effectively, resulting in chronic reliability problems for engines not operated at the recommended power settings.[3]


Many of the higher-powered versions of the 172 in fact belong to the 175 type design, such as the P172D Powermatic; the military T-41B, -C, and -D; the R172J and R172K Hawk XP; and the retractable-gear 172RG.[2]

175 Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300A or -300C engine, gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), certified 14 January 1958[2]
175A Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300C or -300D engine, landplane gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), seaplane gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), certified 28 August 1959[2]
175B Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300C or -300D engine, landplane gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), seaplane gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), certified 14 June 1960[2]
175C Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300E, gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), certified 18 September 1961[2] Constant speed propeller standard. Base price $14,125[6]
P172D Powermatic Skyhawk
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300E and a cruise speed 11 mph (18 km/h) faster than the standard 172D. In reality this was not a new model, but a Cessna 175 Skylark that had been renamed for its last year of production. The Skylark had gained a reputation for poor engine reliability, and the renaming of it as a 172 was a marketing attempt to regain sales through rebranding. The move was not a success, and neither the 1963 Powermatic nor the Skylark were produced again after the 1963 model year.[2][7]

Specifications (Cessna 175C)

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962–63[8]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 3 passengers
  • Length: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
  • Wing area: 175 sq ft (16.3 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.52:1
  • Airfoil: NACA 2412
  • Empty weight: 1,410 lb (640 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,450 lb (1,111 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 52 US gal (43 imp gal; 200 L)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental GO-300-E air-cooled flat-six engine, 175 hp (130 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 150 mph (240 km/h, 130 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 104 mph (167 km/h, 90 kn) (economy cruise)
  • Stall speed: 55 mph (89 km/h, 48 kn) (flaps extended)
  • Range: 720 mi (1,160 km, 630 nmi) at economy cruise, no reserves
  • Service ceiling: 17,800 ft (5,400 m)
  • Rate of climb: 950 ft/min (4.8 m/s)
  • Take-off run to 50 ft (15 m): 1,205 ft (367 m)
  • Landing distance from 50 ft (15 m): 1,200 ft (370 m)

See also

Related development


  1. Model 172 & 175 Series Parts Catalog (1956–1962) January 22, 1995 Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita Kansas USA
  2. Federal Aviation Administration (May 2007). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. 3A17 Revision 46" (PDF). Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  3. Perdue, Scott (May 1, 2004). "A Lark That Won't Quit". Plane & Pilot. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  4. Christy, Joe: Engines for Homebuilt Aircraft & Ultralights, pages 60–63. TAB Books, 1983. ISBN 0-8306-2347-7
  5. Of the 1382 Cessna 175's listed in the FAA's civil aircraft database, 1226 (89%) list a GO-300 series engine as of January 2011.
  6. "New Cessna Anniversary Models: Skylark, Skyhawk, 1725 and 150". (Advert). Flying. Vol. 69 no. 6. December 1961. p. 14.
  7. Clarke, Bill: The Cessna 172 First Edition, pages 31–97. TAB Books, 1987. ISBN 0-8306-0912-1
  8. Taylor 1962, pp. 193–194
  • Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1962). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1962–63. Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd.
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