Cessna 172 Skyhawk

What can be said about the Cessna 172? It's the reason the word "venerable" came into use. First manufactured in 1956, the descendant of the 170 model took the general aviation world by storm with its "Land-O-Matic" tricycle landing gear and made ground control of light aircraft easier and more manageable than ever. One of the world's most popular GA aircraft, it is still in production by Cessna, and trains more pilots than any other aircraft. Despite the fact that it won't win any STOL contests, it possesses all the great flight characteristics of the Cessna 100 series wing, and is easily one of the greatest values on the used market in terms of ownership, utility, and cost of operation. There are 3 main varieties of the 172, distinguished by powerplant:

Years Models Engine
1956-1967 Cessna 172A through 172H Continental O-300 running at 145 HP
1968-1982 Cessna 172I through 172P Lycoming O-320 running at 150-160 HP
1983-present Cessna 172Q through 172S Lycoming O0360 running at 180 HP

Of course the distinctions are many that go beyond just the powerplant, but in terms of utility in the mountains and load hauling, the engine will be a major deciding point.


Modification Applicability STC Number STC Holder

Baggage / cargo

Modification STC Number STC Holder
Extended baggage STC? Selkirk Aviation


Modification STC Number STC Holder
Flap handle extension SA02246LA William M. Berle


Modification Applicability STC Number STC Holder
Oil cooler system for 0-300 engines SA01768SE Steve's Aircraft

Fuel system

Modification STC Number STC Holder
Belly Drain SA1412SO C-Mods
Installation of improved machined aluminum gascolator SA0126SE Steve's Aircraft

Landing gear / brakes / tires

Modification STC Number STC Holder
Heavy duty nosewheel fork SA02069AK Airglas


Modification STC Number STC Holder

Seating and Restraints

Modification STC Number STC Holder
Inertial reel shoulder harness SA2067NM BAS


Modification STC Number STC Holder


Modification STC Number STC Holder
Vortex generators SA01646SE Micro Aerodynamics
Sportsman STOL kit SA2256WE Stene Aviation
RMD Wingtips SA00648SE RMD Aircraft Lighting


Modification STC Number STC Holder
  • Compiled by Zane Jacobson, Jered Paine

Suggest other valuable backcountry-oriented mods for this aircraft. It is very helpful to have information about the STC number and the website of the STC holder, if possible.

  • 5.13.2014 - Initial post and formatting of article

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While this knowledge base is a compilation of information from various sources, some official in nature, it is not a recognized or acredited source of aviation training information, and thus should be considered entertainment. Please consult a FAA-certificated flight instructor or mechanic prior to putting any information found here into practice.