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The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a popular fixed-wing aircraft with decades of flight experience and impressive top speed for its compact size and design.

Preparing for a Cessna 172 flight requires proper planning and an understanding of the aircraft. Before takeoff, you should know critical factors like total range, top speed, and the plane's capacity.

The top speed of a Cessna 172 is 187.6 miles per hour, ranking as a mid-tier speed option compared to other Cessna planes. This improved version of the Cessna 170 also provides a cruising speed of 141 MPH. With over 44,000 created, it is the most popular aircraft ever made.

The Cessna 172 is a single-engine, two-seat, high-wing airplane designed for the general aviation market, ranking as one of the most popular planes ever. It provides impressive features, including a respectable top speed and cruising speed. This guide will explain what the top speed of this plane is, along with other key features.

All data and research has been compiled through technical data sheets directly from Cessna to provide the most accurate information for readers. Keep reading to become an expert on the Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

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What Is The Top Speed Of A Cessna 172?

The top speed of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk is 187.6 miles per hour. This ranks in the middle of the pack when comparing the 172 to other Cessna airplanes.

The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular planes for private pilots. It is a lightweight, single-engine aircraft that an average person can fly.

However, it isn't the fastest plane on the market. It also uses an older design, with the first flight dating back to 1955, but it is affordable and highly reliable for long-term use.

But it is worth noting, the Cessna 172 is arguably the most popular plane ever created by this famous plane manufacturer. It may not blow you away with speed, but other features and the overall simplicity of the design make it a top performer.

If you are curious how the Cessna 172 matches up in terms of speed with other models, here is a chart for reference.

As you can see, the 172 Skyhawk is in the middle tier among the Cessna planes but is among the fastest of all single-engine models.

Cessna 172 Specifications And Features

The critical thing to remember about planes like the Cessna 172 is how much they change over time. For example, the original 172 from 1956 differs from the 172S built in 1998.

The evolution of these popular planes makes it easier to get more speed, horsepower, safety, and performance over time. Here are some of the top features you can expect.

Impressive Safety

With over 43,000 models produced, Cessna did something right. And this is one example of why this is considered the safest general aviation aircraft on the market.

The cabin interior is spacious, with a height of 48 inches, a width of 40 inches, and a total length of 11 feet 10 inches with four seats.

Newer models include an interior multi-level ventilation system with adjustable seats to improve comfort and flying safety.

Integrated Cockpit Avionics

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a popular aircraft for recreational flying and private pilots. The aircraft includes integrated cockpit avionics for advanced flight capabilities.

One example is the Garmin G1000 NXi which integrates with a high-quality graphical interface and multiple high-res displays.

Other key avionics inside this plane include enhanced HSI, integrated VFR sectional charts, and a refined joystick that pans much smoother than earlier models.

Excellent Flight Endurance

If you have doubts about the Cessna 172 and how well it flies, it is worth noting that this plane has set the world record twice for the longest refueled flight endurance.

The Cessna 172 also set a new record for the longest non-refueled flight distance. This shows how well this plane is designed and the type of flight range it can provide while maintaining above-average speeds.

How Does The Cessna 172 Compare To Other Planes?

The Cessna 172 is one of the most popular planes in the world. It is a single-engine plane that can reach impressive speeds up to 188 MPH.

But maybe you have decided this isn't the right model for you. There are other planes worth considering, and we will compare them to the 172 Skyhawk below.

Cessna 162

The Cessna 162 is a side-by-side two-seater plane with a high-wing, strut-braced design. It is a tricycle gear LSA with production between 2009 and 2013, with 275 total planes manufactured.

It can reach top speeds of 135 miles per hour and a maximum flying range of 540 miles on one full tank of fuel. It is a much lighter plane, too, with a compact construction and a weight of 1,320 pounds.

As of 2022, 175 Cessna 162 Skycatcher models remained in use.

Cessna 182

The Cessna 182 has a much closer design to the 172, using a four-seat, single-engine construction with a lightweight build. There is also added cargo space for two additional small seats.

This is also a much older plane, with the first production occurring in 1956 and still running today. You can expect top speeds between 168-170 miles per hour and a cruising speed of 165-167 miles per hour.

The interesting thing about this plane is that it can reach 200 MPH, but it is not recommended, and the ride could become extremely unstable. You can expect excellent performance and reliability from the Cessna 182 Skylane.

Cessna 208

The Cessna 208 Caravan has a maximum top speed of 208 miles per hour and provides many practical features that make it a preferred aircraft choice.

The design includes eight passenger seats, two pilot seats, and increased cargo space. The aluminum frame is lightweight yet durable, making it easier to reach faster speeds.

You can expect a refined and luxurious experience inside the plane too. Between the leather seats and added space, guests can fly in comfort while pilots have access to advanced in-flight avionics and a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop engine.

Cessna 310

The Cessna 310 has been around for over 50 years, with the first-ever model built in 1953. Over 3,000 of these planes have been made, and you can expect a maximum speed on most models of 237 miles per hour.

However, other 310 variants with more advanced designs can go even faster. For example, the 310R has a bigger engine and can test higher speeds up to 272 miles per hour.

This plane has a similar interior design with either four or six seats, but a twin-engine design allows for more power and speed.

Cessna 750 Citation X

The Cessna 750 Citation X is a more advanced business jet with significantly more size and features when compared to the smaller 172 planes.

This aircraft provides a top speed of 717 miles per hour with a range of nearly 4,000 miles. This plane is better equipped for long-distance flying, with increased interior space for bigger parties.