The cessna 172

Case Study of Cessna 172

The name Cessna stands out as one of the leading companies in designing and manufacturing general aviation products like single engine aircrafts as well as light and midsize business jets. The company is one of the pioneering companies shaping the aviation sector, since it has been dated to more than eight decades ago. [1, 2] It consolidated its position by maintaining its standards of producing safe, reliable and high-quality aircrafts that have stood over the time. [2-6] There have been several models produced by Cessna, however, some were the special ones differentiating and creating their own flashing tales in the history of aviation. More specifically, there was one overshadowing all the rest, Cessna 172 Skyhawlk. [2, 3, 5, 6]

Company's Background

In 1911 the company's founder and inventor of the earliest models, Clyde V. Cessna attended a flying exhibition in Oklahoma City at the Moisant International Aviators. Captivated with the idea of flying, he purchased a monoplane for himself and spent much time learning the fundamentals of flight and the procedure of plane building. His primal wish of flying finally became a life-changing opportunity for the former farmer and car salesman. After spending several years participating in flying exhibitions and aircraft designs, he partnered with two aviation pioneers and they created their own Travel Air Manufacturing firm in Wichita, Kansas. [7-12]

In 1927, Cessna decided to leave Travel Air in order to form his own company, concentrating to his initial preference, the monoplanes. Indeed, in the early 1930's he designed and built two racing airplanes. Unfortunately, some years later, he lost his enthusiasm and retired from aviation when one of his close friends had a fatal accident flying a Cessna aircraft. [7-12]

In 1934, Clyde's nephews revived the company by designing a successful single-engine monoplane, C-34. After that the company continued gaining even greater success with the manufacture of several other aircrafts. [7-12]

The idea that brought the success

After the World War II the futurists using the motto "an airplane in every garage" predicted that flying would be available to anyone. Therefore it seemed that everyone having the same wish was learning to fly. [8] Cessna Company was wise enough to interpret the signs of those days and thus, the company's engineers focused on manufacturing small, inexpensive aircrafts intended for trainers and general aviation. [8, 12]

Early in 1948 the aviation publications were publishing advertisements similar to the following. "Wichita, Kansas: A full line of Cessnas will roll off the lines this year. Deliveries of the new 1948 model Cessna began early in January. The big news in the way of completely new aircraft at Cessna this year is the Model 170, a four-place plane powered by a 145 hp Continental engine. Selling at $5,475, this new 170 is the low-cost four-placer to complete Cessna's full line. Deliveries are expected to begin in March."


[1] Overview of Cessna Company Available at:

[2] Jeffrey L. Rodengen, Elizabeth Fernandez, Alex Lieber (2007), "The Legend of Cessna", Write Stuff Syndicate

[3] "The Cessna 172-Success Story of Cessna Aircraft Company" Available at:

[4] The journal of Flight Safety Foundation (Dec. 2009- Jan. 2010), "Aerosafety World, 2009 Accident Rate Plateau" Available at:

[5] "Cessna 172 Skyhawlk, The flying legend" Available at:

[6] Aviation Consumer, Volume 32 (Jan. 2002), "Cessna 172, With Adequate albeit modest performance and payload, the venerable Skyhawlk soldiers into the new century" Available at:

[7] "The history of Cessna Company" Available at:

[8] U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission, "Cessna Aircraft Company" Available at:

[9] Bob Bass, "History of the Cessna 170 Airplane", The International Cessna 170 Association Available at:

[10] Joe Christy (1979), "The complete guide to Single-Engine Cessnas", Blue Ridge Summit

[11]Edward Philips (1985), "Cessna: A Masters Expression", Flying Books International

[12] Walter J. Boyne (2002), "Air Warfare, An international Encyclopedia", ABC Clio

[] Air & Space/ Smithsonian magazine (01 July 2008), "Aircraft that Changed the World" Available at:

[] M. R. Montgomery and Gerald Foster (2006) "A Field Guide to Airplanes, third edition", Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

[]D. F. Anderson & Scott Eberhardt (2009), "Understanding Flight, second edition", McGraw-Hill Professional

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