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Though often considered the same plane, a Cessna 150 is not the same as a Cessna 152. Here is everything you want to know about Cessna 150 vs 152.
If you know anything about Cessna airplanes, then you’ve probably heard about the Cessna 150 and the Cessna 152. In fact, you’ve probably seen them listed (even on our site!) as the Cessna 150/152 many times, almost as if they’re the same plane. But they’re not! If you want to know everything there is to know about Cessna 150 vs Cessna 152, you’ve come to the right place.
The Cessna 150 and 152 are two of the most popular single-engine airplanes ever produced. Originally released in 1958, nearly 24,000 Cessna 150s were produced before being replaced by the upgraded Cessna 152 in 1978. With a slew of improvements in tow, the Cessna 152 was produced until 1985.
It’s a common misconception that the Cessna 150 and 152 are just different model names for the same airplane. This couldn’t be further from the truth! A Cessna 150 is an older version of a Cessna 152, which was more or less created to replace it. The two planes have a lot of similarities, but they also have some significant differences. In this article, we will compare styling, design features, cost, engines, and more between these two planes so you can make sure you get the right one for your needs!
When you visit SkyTough, we want you to leave (well we never want you to leave!) knowing that you found the answer to your question. To provide accurate information, we combine our own aviation experience with hours of research and also input from other pilots and in this case — Cessna 150 & Cessna 152 owners — to get the best information possible. Enjoy!
What Is A Cessna 150?
The Cessna 150 is a very popular aircraft. It is also one of the easiest to fly, and it has been used in flight training for decades. The first model was introduced way back in 1958! Although this plane may not be as fast or super-advanced as modern planes, it’s still extremely useful because you can use it to get your pilot license. It’s also one of the cheapest planes that you can buy and fly.
Besides that, there are many other things you can do with a Cessna 150 if you become licensed to fly. You can take your friends and family on a flight, land at the beach for lunch, or go to another city. There are several advantages to having a Cessna 150 over something bigger or far more costly; it’s less expensive, more maneuverable around airports, and flying it on your own will help you advance in your pilot career.
A Cessna 150 is a great plane for people who want to get their pilot’s license and start flying for recreation, travel, or to begin an amazing career as a commercial pilot. It can also be used in business applications, but it doesn’t have the range that some of the bigger planes do. If you are looking for an aircraft that is easy to fly, a Cessna 150 is definitely worth looking into!
What Is A Cessna 152?
The Cessna 152 is a wildly popular single-engine, two-seat aircraft. It was designed in 1977, produced starting with 1978 model years, and has since become one of the most popular aircraft produced by Cessna Aircraft Co. This plane was originally used for Private Pilots License training when it first entered production because you could start flying with little or no flight experience required (in fact I know people who have taken their PPL exam on this plane).
The costs are very reasonable as well which makes owning your own personal airplane more affordable than ever before! In addition to all these things, this model comes equipped with two wing tanks making each tank contain 20 gallons (in models with long-range tanks) instead of the standard 15-gallon tanks found in other popular planes. This gives the 152 an extra 45 miles of flight range, which is quite a bit for such a small plane!
The maximum speed recorded by this aircraft was 127 mph at sea level. It can climb up to its cruising altitude at a rate of 715 feet per minute (fpm). The 152 also has a cruise speed of 123 mph and can stay in the air for up to four hours and forty minutes on a single tank of gas!
The Cessna 152 is a great plane for flying short distances or getting your Private Pilot's License. It's affordable, reliable, and easy to fly.
Cessna 150 Vs Cessna 152
Now that you have a quick, general idea of what both a Cessna 150 and a Cessna 152 are, let’s dive into the details of each plane and really see how they compare to one another. Since they’re pretty similar in most respects, we won’t dive too deep into the similarities between the two planes, but I’ll touch on that more a bit later.
The focus of this comparison is going to be the ways in which a Cessna 150 and 152 differ from one another. We’ll take a look at their prices, the engines that power them, how fuel-efficient they are, design differences, when they were produced, how loud they are, and their payload, among a few other small things here and there.
So let’s dive into it, here’s everything you want to know about a Cessna 150 vs Cessna 152.
Differences Between The Cessna 150 And Cessna 152
Both the Cessna 150 and the Cessna 152 are among the most affordable planes on the market, which is undoubtedly one of the most attractive aspects of each plane. According to active listings on Trade-A-Plane, the Cessna 150 is the less expensive of the two planes, with a purchase price that’s typically around $25,000 or so.
The Cessna 152, on the other hand, usually costs closer to $35,000 to $40,000 or more. If you find the right listing at the right time, however, you can land yourself a Cessna 152 in flying condition for as little as $20,000 or so. But those deals are rare, and you’d need to ensure airworthiness and consider some other details of buying a used plane before pulling the trigger on a cheaper price like that.
When it was first released in the model year 1959, the Cessna 150 sold for about $6,995 for the basic model. In today’s dollars, that’s a price of roughly $67,000 - $70,000. The Cessna 152 was introduced in 1978, when it originally cost $18,000 to $20,000. Today, that would be a cost of about $75,000 to $80,000.
So overall, the Cessna 152 has always been just a little bit more expensive than the basic 150. From the time they were both produced and released brand new, through today when you’re buying old, used versions of these airplanes — the Cessna 152 is just a little bit more expensive than the 150. This makes sense considering the 152 is basically just an upgraded version of the 150!
Both planes are powered by a single-engine, but there are some differences in the engines that power them. The very first thing that you’ll notice between the Cessna 150 and 152 — and the single biggest difference between the two planes for that matter — is the engines that power them. Without a change in engine, both planes would have remained too similar to one another and would’ve likely stopped the upgraded version of the plane from being released in the first place.
The engine in a Cessna 150 is a Continental O-200-A, which has a displacement of 3.29 liters. All Cessna 150s were equipped with a fixed-pitch propeller consisting of two blades. The Cessna 152 models, on the other hand, are all powered by a 3.85L Lycoming O-235 engine. Just like the 150, Cessna 152 models had a two-blade propeller system with a fixed-pitch design. From the outside, these two planes looked just about identical.
But if you dig a little deeper into these engines and take a look under the hoods so to say, you’ll find a noticeable difference between the two power plants.
The maximum power output for the Continental O-200-A in the Cessna 150 is 100hp (75 kW) and the Lycoming O-235 received a slight power boost and put out 110 hp in the Cessna 152. Due to its larger displacement, the engine in the Cessna 152 weighs more than the smaller engine in the 150, but the uptick in power output more than makes up for the slight increase.
There are more differences between the two planes thanks in large part to the different engines, but we’ll touch on these in more detail in their own separate sections.
Speed and Maneuverability
With these different engines in mind, the speed and maneuverability of these planes are also not quite the same. The Cessna 150 can reach top speeds up to 124 mph, with typical cruising speeds of just a little slower at 122 mph. The Cessna 152, on the other hand, can maximum speeds up to 127 mph and cruises at 123 mph. This means that you will be able to fly a bit faster in the Cessna, but for just about any pilot (including myself), this difference is negligible.
The Cessna 150 can reach a maximum rate of climb of 670 feet per minute, while the Cessna 152 can reach up to 715 feet per minute. This means that you will get higher elevation on your flights quicker than with the smaller plane. Speaking of elevation, the 150 operates with a service ceiling of 15,300 feet. Maybe a bit surprising, the upgraded version of the Cessna 152 has a slightly lower service ceiling at 14,700 feet.
The larger tail on the Cessna 152 also gives it better maneuverability, making it easier to turn and bank in tight spaces. As one of the major parts of an airplane, this upgraded tail, and the associated rudder, make the 152 noticeably more effective in terms of maneuverability and handling. Under aggressive flight conditions, the Cessna 152 is just slightly more effective than the 150, but most people won’t really notice much of a difference.
Weight and Size
The Cessna 150 is a smaller plane, with a wingspan of just 33 feet, a length of 24.74 feet, and a height of 8.5 feet. It weighs in at an empty weight of just 985.5 pounds. On the flip side, the Cessna 152 is actually a little bit smaller, with a wingspan of 33 feet, a length of 23.95 feet, and a height of 8.5 feet. It weighs in just a bit heavier, with an empty weight of 1,080 pounds.
Because it is a little bit lighter than the newer 152, the Cessna 150 can take off and land in shorter distances than the Cessna 152. As mentioned above, it can also climb at a rate of 670 feet per minute, while the Cessna 152 can climb at a rate of 715 feet per minute. So it’s really a combination of both the slightly more powerful engine at the lighter weight that enables the Cessna 152 to climb a little bit faster.
Fuel Capacity & Efficiency
The fuel capacity for both planes is also different. The Cessna 150 can hold up to a maximum of 42 gallons of fuel, while the Cessna 152 can hold up to a bit less fuel at 39 gallons, even though it weighs more and has a more powerful engine. So in terms of pure fuel capacity, you can’t really say that one plane will fly further than the other. With capacities so close to one another, it’s really going to come down to how fuel-efficient each plane is.
The fuel efficiency is also different between the two planes. When we’re talking about two planes like this, that are very similar to one another in terms of speed, it’s more about the rate of fuel burn rather than something like miles per gallon. The Cessna 150 burns about 5.6 gallons of fuel per hour at normal operation; the Cessna 152, on the other hand, burns a little bit more at almost exactly 6.0 gallons per hour.
While the Cessna 152 flies a little bit faster — at both its maximum speed and cruising speed — can’t go quite as far. The older Cessna 150 not only carries more fuel, but it also burns fuel at a slightly slower rate. So in the end, the Cessna 150 has a slightly longer range than the Cessna 152, but only if it comes equipped with the long-range trim (i.e. the bigger fuel tanks).
Without the 150 with the bigger fuel tanks, the Cessna 150 is limited to a range of just about 350 miles on a full fill-up of fuel. The standard Cessna 152, on the other hand, comes with a fuel range of 477 miles. So comparing the base model to the base model, the Cessna 152 is better. But with the Cessna 150’s upgraded long-range fuel tanks, it can travel just a little bit further than the Cessna 152.
This is one of those things that most people would never actually notice, but the flap extension differed between the two Cessna models. On the 150, the flaps were large and able to extend to 40 degrees, making it a bit more maneuverable thanks only to the flaps. At 40 degrees, however, the 150 was unable to effectively climb while the flaps were fully extended.
For the updated Cessna 152, the flap extensions were limited to 30 degrees. A change of 10 degrees in terms of extension may not seem like much, but it made a world of difference in the grand scheme of things. In fact, there were actually a number of crashes in the 150 when young pilots would attempt to fly with the flaps fully extended. Once the lawsuits started coming in. Cessna made the decision to change it to 30 degrees.
Years of Production
This one is pretty quick and easy to take a look at since we’ve mentioned a few times now that the Cessna 152 was produced to replace the Cessna 150. So of course the years of production for each model will be entirely different than the other.
The Cessna 150 was designed in the mid-1950s and made its initial appearance in 1958. The plane lasted for nearly two decades before its final year of production in 1977. As you can likely guess, the release of the Cessna 152 followed right after, with the new model making its first appearance in 1978. The 152 was not produced for nearly as long, and production only went on through 1985.
Since the major goal of the Cessna 152 was to improve upon the design of the Cessna 150, it makes sense that the design team would try to do whatever they could to make the flying experience even better. One of the last areas that they took a look at was how (or if) they could reduce the amount of noise, both inside and outside the aircraft.
Most notably, the Cessna 152 employed noise reduction that made it much quieter within the cabin. As a pilot, cabin noise can be one of the most difficult things to deal with, especially if something else is going wrong at the same time. It can also make it harder to talk over the radio and effectively communicate.
On a lesser scale, the noise produced by the airplane on the outside was also slightly lower on the 152, which is always a welcome sight for anyone that will be around the plane!
Similarities Between The Cessna 150 And Cessna 152
This one is actually quite a bit easier to take a look at since the similarities between the Cessna 150 and 152 are so immense. As you read earlier in this article, the C152 is based on — and built off of — the C150. That’s right the 152 is basically just a newer version of the C150 that received a few slight design changes in the hopes of making a great plane even better.
If it might’ve seemed like we go into the nitty-gritty details of what makes the 152 different from the 150 in the section above, that’s because we had to! The planes are nearly identical to one another, with few differences between them. Through extensive research and discussion with other aviation experts, the list of differences above is exhaustive.
Outside of the differences that we discussed herein, the Cessna 150 and Cessna 152 can largely be considered the same plane. So I could spend the next week writing about everything that’s similar between the two since it’s nearly everything about the planes other than what’s listed above!
So, in short, the Cessna 150 and Cessna 152 are essentially the same plane, with just a few design changes between them.
Which Is Better: Cessna 150 Or Cessna 152
The Cessna 150 is the most popular model in its class. It has a fixed-pitch metal propeller and can be equipped with an optional constant speed prop, making it more economical than any other aircraft of this size. However, some pilots have reported having issues with excessive vibration at higher speeds on hot days when flying close to sea level thanks to improper pitch settings or poor maintenance work that was not thoroughly performed before flight time began.
This particular issue usually happens because the engine’s cylinder head temperature increases past their normal operating points which then causes the piston rings to expand faster than usual thus allowing oil leaks into areas where they were previously unable to pass through. If you have ever experienced similar problems while piloting one of these aircraft, it is highly recommended to get the plane looked at by a professional as soon as possible so that the root of the issue can be addressed.
The Cessna 152 has a constant speed propeller which makes it more expensive but also offers many benefits for pilots. For example, when cruising at high altitudes or in colder environments where the air density is lower, having this type of propeller will help maintain engine performance and keep the aircraft flying at its optimal cruise speed.
Additionally, if you are ever forced to make an emergency landing on water, a constant speed prop will provide you with more power and allow you to stay airborne longer than if you were using a fixed-pitch metal propeller.
Ultimately, which model of Cessna you choose to fly should come down to your specific needs and what you feel comfortable with. Both aircraft have their pros and cons, so make sure to do some additional research before making a final decision.