Cessna 170: Why Is It Popular?

Of the many training and light aircrafts available out there, one of the most unique, and I should say more popular (since it belongs to what is referred to in the Aviation industry as the Big Three the Beechcraft, Piper, and this one, the Cessna) planes is the Cessna 170. The Cessna 170 is a single engine aircraft which was manufactured by the Cessna Aircraft Company from 1948 to 1956.

It all started with the marketing of the Cessna 170 towards the latter part of 1948 and when it first came out, it had fabric-covered wings and metal tails and fuselage. The earlier Cessna 170s were actually modified versions of the Cessna 140 designed with four seats, more powerful 145 horsepower 108kW Continental O-300 engines and bigger capacity fuel tanks. With a v strut support on the fabric-covered metal wings, the very first Cessna 170s were so similar to the Cessna 140 models. A year later, the Cessna 170A with came out with all-metal zero-dihedral wings and replacing the v strut of the 170 model is now single strut support on the wings. What is notable on the Cessna 170A is that it has the same rudder or fin shape as that of the lager Cessna models like the 195 and the 190.

Five years after the end of the Second World War, the United States Air Force used a modified version of the Cessna 170 for recon and forward air control. Tagged as L-19 and later on as O-1 Bird Dog, these transformed Cessna 170s included wings with large Fowler flaps and revised fuselage that can be set up to sixty degrees. This improved military model paved the way for the Cessna 170B and it had the same military version dihedral wing and a very efficient re-designed Fowler flaps which can now deflect up to forty degrees and are not only slotted but are also rearward traveling, the same design that you will see on the light Cessna single engine aircrafts today. Some of the other revisions that can be seen on the Cessna 170B include huge rear windows, a new tail wheel, and a revised tail plane. Five years later, the former elliptical rear side windows were changed to a more four-sided design. Although other Cessna’s are equipped with the easier to land tricycle landing gears, the Cessna 170 is designed with the unadventurous and conventional landing gear.

There are more than five thousand Cessna 170s that were manufactured starting on the day that they were built and at present, there are still over two thousand of this model that are still in good flying service today. And the Cessna 170 has been the pattern for the much famous Cessna 172 and the production of the 170 eventually ended as soon as the Cessna 172 became available to the flying public.


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