Cessna 185 Skywagon
The Cessna 185 Skywagon is a six-seat, single-engined, general aviation light aircraft manufactured by Cessna. It first flew as a prototype in July 1960, with the first production model completed in March 1961. The Cessna 185 is a high-winged aircraft with non-retractable conventional landing gear and a tailwheel.
|Cessna 185 Skywagon|
|Cessna 185 Skywagon II at Cambridge Bay Airport, Nunavut, Canada|
|Role||Light utility aircraft|
|Manufacturer||Cessna Aircraft Company|
|First flight||July 1960|
|Number built||over 4,400|
|Developed from||Cessna 180|
Over 4,400 were built with production ceasing in 1985. When Cessna re-introduced some of its most popular models in the 1990s, the tailwheel equipped Cessna 180 and 185 were not put back into production.
Design and development
The aircraft is basically a Cessna 180 with a strengthened fuselage. The main difference between the two aircraft is the larger vertical fin on the 185 and the 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D engine as opposed to the 230 hp (172 kW) Continental O-470-S fitted to the Cessna 180. The exception was that a Continental Motors IO-470-F engine of 260 hp (194 kW) was initially fitted until midway through the 1966 production year. The later model Skywagon II has a factory fitted avionics package.
The Skywagon can also be fitted with floats, amphibious float, or skis. The AgCarryall variant of the 185 adds a 151-gallon belly chemical tank and removable spray booms for aerial application. It is also possible to fit a cargo pod under the fuselage that can carry an extra 300 lb (136 kg).
- 185 Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 31 January 1961.
- 185A Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 20 September 1961.
- 185B Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 25 June 1962.
- 185C Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 19 July 1963.
- 185D Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 17 June 1964.
- 185E Skywagon
- Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,300 lb (1,497 kg) and first certified on 24 September 1965.
- A185E Skywagon and AgCarryall
- Six seat high wing light aircraft and agricultural aircraft powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D, landplane gross weight 3,350 lb (1,520 kg) and first certified on 24 September 1965.
- A185F Skywagon and AgCarryall
- Six seat high wing light aircraft and agricultural aircraft powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D, landplane gross weight 3,350 lb (1,520 kg) and first certified on 16 October 1973.
- Military version of the Cessna 185E, powered by a 260-hp (194-kW) Continental IO-470-F piston engine. Supplied by the USAF to a number of countries under the Military Assistance Programme.
- Military version of the Cessna A185E, powered by a 300-hp (224-kW) Continental IO-520-D piston engine. Supplied by the USAF to a number countries under the Military Assistance Programme.
- Four-seat light utility aircraft, powered by a Continental IO-470-L piston engine.
The Cessna 185 is popular with air charter companies and is operated by private individuals and companies.
As part of the United States Military Assistance Program, Cessna received a contract to supply the United States Air Force with the Skywagon. These were intended for delivery overseas and were designated U-17A and U-17B.
- Bolivian Air Force 7 x A185E, 8 x A185F * 5 x U-17A
- Guardia Civil 3 x U-17A
- Ecuadorian Army 2 x 185D
- Hellenic Army 9+ x U-17A
- Honduran Air Force received a Cessna 185B in 1962, a U-17A in 1963 and a 185D in 1965.
- Islamic Revolutionary Air Force 185A - no longer in service
- Islamic Revolutionary Army Aviation 185A - no longer in service
- Israel Air Force 185
- Jamaica Defence Force - 4 x 185 from 1963 to 1985
- Khmer Air Force – 5 x U-17 from 1972 to 1975.
- Royal Lao Air Force - U-17s used as reconnaissance and observation aircraft for Nokateng Forward Air Controllers during the Laotian Civil War
- Nicaraguan Air Force 3 x U-17B
- Panamanian Public Forces 3 x U-17A
- Paraguayan Air Force 5 x U-17A
- Peruvian Air Force 9 x 185
- Philippine Air Force 8 x U-17A, 9 x U-17B
- Portuguese Air Force 5 x 185A operated 1968 to 1974.
- Rhodesian Air Force - Two civil aircraft impressed into service, about 17 aircraft on loan from the South African Air Force, in service during the 1970s.
- Air Force of El Salvador 1 x 185
- South African Air Force 24 x 185A, 12 x 185D, 9 x 185E- No longer in service.
- Republic of Vietnam Air Force - About 100 U-17As and U-17Bs were used by the VNAF. No longer in service.
- Turkish Army Aviation U-17B
- Uruguayan Air Force 12 x U-17A
Accidents and Incidents
- On August 19, 1989, a Cessna A185E Skywagon registered N95KW crashed shortly after a balked landing at Coastal Airport, located near Myrtle Grove, Florida. The pilot's seat latch slipped on the railing, causing the pilot to unintentionally stall the aircraft. The pilot and the two passengers on board were all severely injured. The resulting product liability trial, concluding twelve years later, resulted in a $480 million judgement against Cessna. The case was later settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum. This accident also brought about a series of airworthiness directives that affected all small Cessnas ever built.
Specifications (1978 Cessna 185 II landplane)
- Crew: one
- Capacity: five passengers
- Length: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)
- Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
- Wing area: 174 sq ft (16.2 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,748 lb (793 kg)
- Gross weight: 3,350 lb (1,520 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-520-D , 300 hp (220 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed constant speed, 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) diameter
- Maximum speed: 155 kn (178 mph, 287 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 145 kn (167 mph, 269 km/h)
- Stall speed: 49 kn (56 mph, 91 km/h)
- Range: 720 nmi (830 mi, 1,330 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,150 ft (5,230 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,010 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
Specification for differing configurations
|Length||27 ft 0 in (8.23 m)||27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)|
|Height||12 ft 2 in (3.71 m)||12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)|
|Empty weight||1,745 lb (792 kg)||1,910 lb (866 kg)||2,165 lb (982 kg)|
|MTOW||3,320 lb (1,506 kg)||3,265 lb (1,481 kg) on land|
3,100 lb (1,406 kg) on water
|Max. speed||136 knots (252 km/h)||141 knots (261 km/h)||135 knots (251 km/h)|
|Range||516 nm (957 km)||503 nm (933 km)||482 nm (893 km)|
|Service ceiling||16,400 ft (5,000 m)||15,300 ft (4,700 m)|
|Rate of climb||960 ft/min (293 m/min)||970 ft/min (296 m/min)|
|Wing loading||19.1 lb/ft2 (93.3 kg/m2)||18.8 lb/ft2 (91.8 kg/m2)|
- Federal Aviation Administration (February 2009). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. 3A24 Revision 39" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-03-07. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- "Se distinguió al Tcnl aviador de Ejército Pedro Acosta" (in Spanish). Ejército Argentino. 2 December 2015. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
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- Churchill 1997, Page 121
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- Andrade 1982, Page 181
- Niccoli 1998, p. 38.
- Andrade 1982, Page 188
- Andrade 1982, Page 195
- Andrade 1982, Page 224
- World Air Forces – Historical Listings Thailand (THL), archived from the original on 25 January 2012, retrieved 30 August 2012
- Andrade 1982, Page 229
- Andrade 1982, Page 335
- "The Devil in the Details, and the Seat Rails..." Check-Six.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Cessna Aircraft Company: 1978 Cessna Skywagons 180 & 185, page 11. Cessna Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas 1978. SPA 78009-15
- Andrade, John. Militair 1982, Aviation Press Limited, London 1982. ISBN 0-907898-01-7.
- Churchill, Jan. Hit My Smoke: Forward Air Controllers in Southeast Asia, Sunflower University Press, Manhattan KS, 1997. ISBN 0-89745-215-1
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