I've been everywhere, man.I've been everywhere, man.Crossed the deserts bare, man.I've breathed the mountain air, man.Of travel I've had my share, man.I've been everywhere.—"I've Been Everywhere," adapted by Hank Snow
In the 120 issues we've published over the past 10 years, we've taken virtual flights to locations all around the United States and the world. We've visited museums, sampled some $100 burgers (and ice cream!), taken day trips and extended trips. We've been armchair flyers as our members and writers have flown into airports large and small, and we've been able to enjoy the pilot's view of some spectacular scenery.Our... Read more
August 2014- Bill, our trusty 1966 Cessna 182, has an insatiable appetite for modifications and other enhancements. These enhancements cover the spectrum from performance mods, to instruments, to avionics.Nine years ago I wrote a two-part article on what Bill's equipment list included since he left Wichita as a shiny new airplane in December 1966. The assorted mods discussed in these two articles included more than 40 STCs and Field Approvals.In the last nine years, the equipment list has grown. Some of these items were subjects for detailed articles published in Cessna Flyer, and these additional mods continue to add to... Read more
August 2014- Fast on the heels of the 172, Cessna released its second tricycle gear aircraft: the 182.* Based on the rugged 180, it had the fastback-style straight tail lines of that model, but came with Land-O-Matic landing gear, a redesigned cowling and a 230 hp Continental O-470L engine.
Like its sibling the 172, the 182 was an immediate success. Jim Ellis, in "Buying and Owning your Own Airplane," gives us a hint as to why: "There's nothing too little or too underpowered about the Skylane. This is a big, solid, powerful handful... an honest airplane."
Certified on March 2, 1956, the... Read more
July 2014- Flight simulators have been around in one form or another for the better part of aviation's history. The earliest units were typically built from plywood. They sported vacuum tubes, were mostly pneumatic driven, and had rudimentary gauges and functionality. The cockpits were cramped and the capabilities were limited, but these first-generation simulators still served an important purpose in both civilian and military training.Today's entry-level Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) systems have capabilities far beyond these early units. Systems now include ergonomic cockpit environments and sport technically-advanced avionics. Their multi-channel panoramic visual systems utilize satellite-generated orthographic scenery.The systems are... Read more
July 2014- This year will mark my 18th year attending the annual AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh. It is also the 10th anniversary of the Cessna Flyer Association (to be celebrated in the August issue).
The modern-day anniversary gift recommendation for the 10th anniversary is aluminum, so it's fitting that I'll be spending it at AirVenture surrounded by probably tons of aluminum in the form of aircraft.
As for the recommended gift for the 18th... well, that's porcelain... and a little more of a stretch for an aviation tie-in. I guess I'll need to drink my morning coffee out of a regular mug... Read more
June 2014- Traditionally, a pilot has had one EGT gauge and one CHT gauge that he or she would use to keep track of the performance of an engine. The aircraft's manufacturer determined the probable location of the hottest running cylinder, placed a single probe there and then screwed an EGT probe into the exhaust pipe a few inches downstream from where the exhaust pipe joined the exhaust manifold. The theory was this: if you lean the engine by reference to what is normally the hottest cylinder and the exhaust temperature, you won't fry any of the cylinders or over-lean... Read more
June 2014- Replacing the original equipment DOFF-type alternator with a modern, aircraft-specific Plane-Power alternator is a good move. It's a very good move if you're still depending on a generator for electrical power.I recently stepped in to the 21st century by replacing the 50 amp generator/regulator system in my other-than-Cessna airplane with a Plane-Power alternator/voltage regulator and I'm glad I did.Now I have a new, well-built power source that provides ample (and electrically quieter) power at idle engine speeds—something the generator couldn't do."But I got by with a generator," aided by rationalizationsI've always liked generators. Unlike alternators, they will provide... Read more
June 2014- When Cessna introduced its "revolutionary" tandem twin 336 Skymaster in 1963, it thought it had a real hit on its hands. After all, with centerline thrust and twin tail booms, the Skymaster promised to be everything a standard light twin wasn't—namely, much easier and safer to fly on one engine. A promise the Skymaster continues to keep.
Then in late 1964, Cessna Aircraft went a step further and introduced the 337 Super Skymaster with more powerful engines and retractable gear. The pressurized and turbocharged P337 came on the scene in the 1973 model year.
Yet, even with all it offered,... Read more
June 2014- In our endless quest to find exciting places to point our airplanes, there are two undeniable factors that almost always dictate if any new destination is going to end up at the far end of a flight plan. And you'll be surprised to find out they have nothing to do with hundred-dollar hamburgers.Frankly, the Holy Grail for every cross-country pilot is that elusive destination where a few hours—or a few days—spent there will remind us why we earned our ticket in the first place. These destinations will have two attributes that separate them from so many others: something... Read more
June 2014- General Aviation is a homegrown American industry that is responsible for 1.2 million jobs and pumps more than $150 billion into our nation's economy. But it's also an industry that could do much more to create jobs, boost our economy and contribute to our national transportation system.
General Aviation is being held back by an antiquated regulatory system that is painfully unresponsive and out of touch. Outdated FAA regulations have contributed to a dramatic reduction in the number of aviators and a corresponding increase in the cost of flying.
The costs that prevent aviators from flying have led to a... Read more
May 2014- With the demise of the 140 in 1951, Cessna looked to fill the entry-level/trainer void with a more modern airframe. Following on the success of the 172, the company sought to produce an aircraft with tricycle gear and a more modern look. What they came up with was a low-priced, solidly built machine with good, safe handling characteristics.
The original 150
It was an all-metal two-seater with a side-by-side seating configuration, and it featured Cessna’s “Land-o-Matic” landing gear with 40 degree “Para-lift” flaps. It had a fastback, straight-tail configuration and was fitted with a Continental O-200-A 100 hp engine. Type... Read more
May 2014- First off, let’s get one Old Aviators Tale (“OAT”) out of the way right now. It’s safe to install retreaded aircraft tires on retractable gear airplanes.
For decades a rumor has circulated that retreaded tires should never be installed on a retractable gear airplane because the retreads came out bigger or would grow during use and would somehow jam in the wheelwells after being retracted. This falsehood caused many an owner to shy away from considering retreaded tires.
The rumor may have had some basis in fact years ago, but not anymore. I asked Desser President Steve Chlavin... Read more
April 2014- Propellers take a beating. During operations that range from the instant takeoff power is cranked on to power-off stalls and descents, blades continually flex due to changes in aerodynamic loading. Props endure years of light damage due to rock, ice and rain impacts.
In spite of being within degrees of separation from the top spot on the most highly stressed parts on an airplane, props are so dependable it’s probably no stretch to say that the average GA owner pays as much attention to his prop as he does the ground below his feet.
The FAA considers propeller maintenance... Read more
March 2014- Cessna Aircraft built its earliest T-50 twins as civilian aircraft for the commercial light transport market. The airplane, which was first flown in March of 1939, was made of wood and tubular steel and covered in fabric. According to ClassicWarbirds.net, the T-50 was “a lightweight and low-cost twin for personal use, where larger aircraft such as the Beech 18 would be too expensive.” At the time, it was an attractive aircraft for this market.
But then, Germany invaded Poland. Because civilian aircraft production was suspended during World War II, aircraft companies looked to gain military contracts. Dwane Wallace of... Read more
March 2014- When I looked up at the all-glass attitude indicator, for a moment I wasn’t quite sure what I was staring at. Instead of a nice horizon line separating a blue sky and brown terrain, the PFD instrument was showing almost all brown.
A few seconds ago the airspeed indicator on this highly modified L-39 Albatros was nudging 300 knots, but now the numbers were winding up on the digital display, indicating we are likely heading downhill to terra firma. Finally, I realized I was inverted and pitched almost straight down, leaving me just a matter of seconds to figure... Read more
March 2014- Short of sitting in the front row of a Metallica concert for a few hours, there are few things that compare with the hearing damage a piston engine-powered airplane can cause.
In fact, until recently, you could spot a longtime pilot at a social gathering by homing in on the person who said “Huh?” a lot in spite of the fact he or she was under age 60. Throw in a sun-damaged face plus a Breitling Navitimer wristwatch (real or fake), and there would be no doubt you were in the company of a fellow pilot.
Nowadays, a fancy... Read more
February 2014- Have you ever traveled through a town in a hurry and thought to yourself, I ought to come back here sometime when I can stop and smell the roses…?
During my NetJets days, flying here and there across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, I saw a lot of country but didn’t have time to stop and look around. Assignments were mostly of the “drop the owners and move on quickly to the next destination” type.
This was also the case when I first flew into Cody, Wyo. Cody is located in the northwest corner of the state and... Read more
Shell Oil issued the following press release on Dec. 1, 2013:
SHELL REMOVES LEAD FROM LIGHT AIRCRAFT FUEL
Shell today became the first major oil company to develop a lead-free replacement for Aviation Gasoline (Avgas 100 and 100LL), which will now begin a strict regulatory approvals process. Avgas is one of the last common transportation fuels to contain lead and is used by light aircraft and helicopters. Shell’s new lead-free formulation comes after 10 years of exhaustive R&D, as well as successful initial testing, carried out in the last two months by two original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Xinsheng (Sheng) Zhang,... Read more
February 2014- Q: Hi Steve,
I’m considering becoming a partner in what looks like a pretty nice 1966 Cessna 182 but I’m concerned about corrosion in the airframe. I seem to remember that Cessna didn’t apply any paint or even any primer to the insides of their single engine airplanes. Is that right?
I’ve owned boats and know that it’s possible to run an aluminum boat in saltwater if it’s the right alloy. Is the aluminum alloy used in airplanes a corrosion-resistant alloy?
When I’m looking for corrosion, where should I look? And what can be done if I find it?
A:... Read more
Ever since the dawn of the Computer Age, two engineering factions have regularly engaged in trench warfare. One group believes that hardware-centric devices are inherently more stable solutions for an engineering problem, while the other group—the software-centric crowd— believes that its approach offers greater flexibility for less money.
Garmin, arguably the best-known purveyor of aviation GPS devices, thinks that in the case of passive ADS-B devices, both approaches should be offered to the marketplace to allow the customer to choose which is best.
Enter the GDL 39 Portable ADS-B Datalink—and its handmaidens, the Aera series of portable GPS receivers and the... Read more
Clyde Cessna grew up on a farm near Raymond, Kan. He was a natural tinkerer and liked to know how things worked. He showed a talent for fixing farm machinery and by the early 1900s, Clyde Cessna had developed a reputation as a talented mechanic.
It was only natural, then, that his purchase of an REO automobile in 1907 would lead to more than a passing fancy with the new contraptions. In fact, it would lead him to a new career.
Tinkerer, salesman, pilot
At a time when many were skeptical of the newfangled automobiles, Clyde was fascinated and set about to... Read more
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the top selling aircraft of all time—and it’s unlikely that another model will knock it out of its number one position any time soon. Wikipedia’s “List of most produced aircraft” shows the Skyhawk on top with 60,000-plus units and counting; the Soviet-made Ilyushin Il-2 (no longer in production) is a distant number two with 36,183 units—almost half that of the 172. Cessna’s website lists a more modest 43,000-plus units for 172 production, still leaving it solidly in the lead.
Although the terms “172” and “Skyhawk” are often used interchangeably, the model began as the 172.... Read more
I knew it as soon as I saw the telltale stripes of blue dye on the metal fairing covering the gap between the bottom of the right wing and the fuselage. A leaking fuel bladder.
I recalled from my days as a tech rep that the most common failure of a light airplane fuel bladder is age-related deterioration of the top surface due to long-term exposure to heat. When I began to get a good whiff of fuel after filling the right main of 7 Lima Juliet, my 1966 Cessna 182J, I knew it was bladder time.
Some Cessna owners “solve”... Read more
Who should have it, where to install it, and how to fly with it-
If your panel looks like the photo on page X (Figure 1) when you’re flying in instrument conditions, then it’s time to consider a backup plan so you’ll arrive safely at your destination.
The Dynon D1 Pocket Panel (Figure 2, page X) is a solid-state AHRS coupled with an internal GPS to provide GPS altitude and ground speed. All of these capabilities are packed in a 3.6 x 3.26 inch package—including a lithium battery that will power the D1 for up to four hours.
The D1 is not... Read more
August 2013 -
A pilot's lap desk is more than just a tool of the trade.
My folding lap desk started as fine brushed aluminum, but these days is showing some scars and scuffs. Soldiering on, it continues to serve the mission for which it was so well designed.
The dark ages
My "student days" attempt at some method of organizing personal cockpit clutter involved a kneeboard fastened to my thigh with the airborne version of a portable tourniquet.
With comfort just an afterthought, the designer of the thigh-clamp kneeboard system doubtlessly had his eureka moment while in convalescence from a sprain held in compression... Read more
With so many STCs you have many alternatives, and all of them offer technical and operational improvements for your 206.
Cessna’s 206 is a very fine airplane. The 206 series evolved from the Cessna 205 that hit the market in 1963. Model 205s were equipped with a six-cylinder fuel-injected 260 hp IO-470-S engine from Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM). Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) was 3,300 pounds.
The 205 was suspended after two years and 577 airplanes, and replaced in 1964 by the Super Skywagon 206 that maintained the 3,300-pound MTOW of the 205 but got a power boost of... Read more
Several months ago (“Heading Bug,” June 2012) columnist David Hipschman weighed in with his ideas about what to carry in your Cessna for emergencies, and he shared what he carries:
“Here’s what is currently in my ditch case. But I need to point out that it changes often as I come across things I like, or contemplate flights that differ in their potential for survival challenges:
A comprehensive first aid kit (unless you have a medical background, get a kit with good instructions in case what might happen exceeds your knowledge) with three days’ worth of my prescription medications, and painkillers... Read more