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With how popular Cessna airplanes are, it’s common to wonder about what they can do. We all know airplanes are fast, but how fast does a Cessna fly?

We have a series of articles on the site looking into a few different aspects of Cessna ownership and the associated costs of owning a Cessna. So if you already own a Cessna or you’re considering buying one for yourself, then this is the perfect series of articles for you. After all, you probably want to know as much about Cessnas as you can before buying one and taking to the skies, so let’s take a look at how fast they can fly.

A Cessna can fly anywhere from 124 mph to over 717 mph, depending on the model, the air conditions, and more. The most popular plane ever, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, has a top speed of 188 mph. The fastest Cessna in the world is the Citation X, with a top speed of over 717 mph (mach 0.935).

How fast does a Cessna fly? This is a question that many people ask, and it is not an easy question to answer. The top speed of a Cessna can depend on the model and the configuration of the aircraft. In this article, we will take a look at some of the popular Cessna models and their top speeds. We will also compare them to other brands of airplanes and commercial jets.

Here at SkyTough, we have a passion for all things aviation. As pilots and enthusiasts ourselves, we are big fans of Cessas, like just about every other pilot out there. So we wanted to create a series of articles that spells out everything you want to know about owning a Cessna. This information comes from our own experience, input from other experts, and specifications published directly by the plane manufacturer itself.

Table of contents


How Fast Do Cessna Airplanes Fly?

I’d be willing to bet that if you’re reading this article, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve flown in an airplane before. Maybe a Cessna, maybe a commercial plane, or maybe one of the many other types of planes out there. But even if you haven’t flown before, there’s one thing we all know for certain. Airplanes are fast.

When you hop in your car and drive to work, go to the grocery store, or go on a road trip, you’re likely driving around at about 70 to 80 miles per hour (mph) at most. And sure, that speed is more than enough to get around town or to and from work. If you’ve taken your car over 100 mph before — in locations that legally allow that, of course — you probably felt like you were going pretty dang fast.

But these speeds are nothing for an airplane. At the speeds you’re used to, the vast majority of airplanes would stall and be unable to fly that slowly. So how fast do airplanes fly? While we have an extensive article covering that topic in a more general sense, let’s hone in on the most popular models of Cessna airplanes.

If you’re in the market for an easy airplane to fly, then you’re likely considering buying a Cessna. Not only are some of the models among the cheapest planes to buy and fly, but they’re undoubtedly among the most popular brands of airplanes in the world. So let’s look at ten of the most popular models of Cessna airplanes and their top speeds:

As you can see from this table, the range of speeds that Cessnas fly at is quite wide. Of those listed, the Cessna 150 — which has since been replaced by the 152 — has the lowest top speed of just 124 mph. Compared to other modes of transportation, 124 mph is quite fast. But when it comes to flying, this is really far on the low end!

The most popular personal airplane ever built, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, has a top speed of 188 mph. This is right in the middle of the speeds in the table above, which is about what’s expected of such a great all-around airplane. It’s fast enough to get you from place to place, but it’s not designed with maximum performance in mind to compromise comfort or raise the price too high.

As the speeds of Cessna airplanes start getting higher, especially up to the ones that go 250+ mph, you’re starting to get into the more luxurious business planes. Some of these planes can cost millions of dollars, especially the fastest one on the list, the Cessna Citation X.

What’s The Fastest Cessna Ever?

The Cessna Citation X is an ultra-luxurious private business jet capable of seating a total of 12 passengers and 2 crew members. With a price tag of $23 million, this business jet is typically reserved for only the wealthiest people or the biggest corporations. But if you can swing it, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better private jet.

Not only is it luxurious, but the Citation X is fast. Really fast. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the Citation X’s top speed at 717 mph, or mach 0.935. That’s right, this business jet can fly at 93.5% the speed of sound. Taking it a step further, not only is the Citation X the fastest Cessna plane ever, it’s the fastest civilian aircraft in the world.

Do Cessnas Fly Faster Than Other Brands Of Airplane?

Now that you know just how fast Cessnas can fly, let’s compare the brand to some of the other most popular brands and models of airplanes out there:

As you can see in the table, the speeds of Cessna planes are comparable to the speeds of other popular brands out there. Many of these planes use the same engines from brand to brand, meaning they produce the same amount of power and, therefore, similar top speeds. But there are a couple planes in this list worth noting.

First, the Mooney M20 Acclaim is the fastest FAA-certified piston single-engine airplane in the world. So if you’re on the fence about turboprops vs piston airplanes, the M20 is the cream of the crop when it comes to the latter.

Lastly, I couldn’t mention the Citation X above without discussing its biggest competitor — the Gulfstream G700. While the Citation X might be my personal favorite private jet, the brand Gulfstream is almost synonymous with the term. And the G700 is the top-notch option from the popular brand, boasting a top speed of 709 mph. This makes it the second fastest civilian plane in the world, behind only the Citation X.

Can Cessna Airplanes Fly As Fast As Commercial Airplanes?

While the 150 - 200 mph top speeds of many Cessna airplanes might sound fast, it’s worth putting it into perspective. So let’s take a quick look at how fast commercial airplanes fly, taken directly from our article on how fast airplanes fly:

As you can see, all four of these popular commercial airplanes have top speeds of well over 600 mph, which is only attainable by the Citation X in the Cessna table above. At speeds four to five times faster than most Cessnas, it’s pretty amazing just how fast commercial airplanes fly. But they also tend to cost a heck of a lot more than your normal Cessna airplanes!