|1958 Cessna 175 Skylark N9444B (sn 55244)
Photo taken November 16, 2006
Oroville Airport, WA - USA (K0S7)
|Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
The Cessna 175 Skylark is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane produced between 1958 and 1962.
The 175 was designed to fill a niche between the Cessna 172 and the heavy-duty Cessna 180. The engine of the 175 was rated at 175 hp (130 kW), or 30 hp (22 kW) more than the engine of the 172. 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 a special paint scheme 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, the 175 is very similar in appearance to the 172 of the same vintage. The most noticeable difference is the distinctive bulge in the cowling to accommodate the gearbox of the engine.
The GO-300 engine
An unusual feature of the 175 is the use of 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. The GO-300 engine suffered reliability problems and helped give the 175 a poor reputation. Many Skylarks flying today have been converted to larger-displacement direct-drive engines.
The reputation of the GO-300 may not have been deserved, since the problems associated with it were the result of pilots who were familiar with direct-drive engines simply not operating the engine correctly. Pilots unfamiliar with the engine often operated the engine at low RPM settings (2300) appropriate to direct-drive engines, while the 175's Operating Handbook called for cruising at 2900 RPM. The low RPM prevented the engine's air-cooling system from operating effectively, caused harmonic vibration in the reduction gear between the quill shaft and crankshaft, and resulted in a lack of reliability.
Many of the higher-powered versions of the 172 in fact belong to the 175 type design. Included in this group are the P172D Powermatic, most T-41s (the -B, -C, and -D models), the R172J and R172K Hawk XP, and the retractable gear 172RG.
- Cessna 175 Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300A or GO-300C engine, gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), first certified 14 January 1958.
- Cessna 175A Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300C or GO-300D engine, landplane gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), seaplane gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), first certified 28 August 1959.
- Cessna 175B Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300C or GO-300D engine, landplane gross weight 2,350 lb (1,066 kg), seaplane gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), first certified 14 June 1960.
- Cessna 175C Skylark
Powered by the 175 hp (130 kW) Continental GO-300E, gross weight 2,450 lb (1,111 kg), first certified 18 September 1961.
Specifications (Cessna 175A)
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: three passengers
Length: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
Empty weight: 1,339 lb (607 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 2,350 lb (1,066 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Continental GO-300C six cylinder engine, 175 hp (130 kW)
Maximum speed: 148 mph (236 km/h)
Range: 598 miles (957 km)
Rate of climb: 850 ft/min (259 m/min)