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If you own or plan to own a Cessna aircraft, you must be wondering what the required minimum runway length is to get a Cessna aircraft off the ground.
There are things to consider when using a runway. They include fuel availability, maintenance, access to stairs, minimum runway length, etc. However, what you must take care of, even before buying a Cessna plane, is knowing which runway length is suitable for your plane. This is even more critical if your plane is a charter jet because you'll be using smaller airports than usual.
Cessna currently has 8 models in production. The smallest of them and the most produced aircraft in history—the Cessna 172 Skyhawk—needs only about 853 ft (260 m) to take off and 722 ft (220 m) for landing.
In between those two, there are six other Cessna planes with varying specs and minimum runway lengths required for landing and take-off. We'll cover them comprehensively in this guide.
Some of the best vacation destinations in the world are pretty challenging when it comes to landing a plane. So while planning a trip, you should always find the runway length to help you make the correct flight decisions. The runway information included here is directly from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) standard runway length requirements for different types and sizes of aircraft, which is considered a priority for optimal flight safety.
Minimum Runway Length For Cessna Planes
Runway length requirements are not just set by looking at the model of a plane alone. Several other factors are considered when determining how long a runway should be. Operating weights, wind velocity, runway elevation, landing, and take-off flap settings are considered when making this decision.
Large airports usually have different runway strips for different planes to make things easier. This way, the control tower and pilots can use the information on a plane to decide where it should land/take off. However, this option is usually unavailable for smaller airstrips used by charter jets and private aircraft.
Let's analyze the list of famous Cessna planes and see their required runway lengths. Here's a summary of runway length requirements for each of them.
The Cessna 150 is quite popular amongst pilots, as it is commonly used in flight training. It is also used for touring and other personal uses.
The plane was produced by Cessna in 1958 as a two-seater light utility aircraft, with a tricycle landing gear. It has sold nearly 24,000 units, making it the 5th most produced plane in the world. It was succeeded by the 152 in 1977, with some slight modifications made.
An empty 150 Cessna weighs 1123 lb (509 kg). However, take-off weight cannot exceed 1601 lb (726 kg). The plane requires a minimum runway length of 1,385 ft (422 m) for take-off and 1,075 ft (328 m) for landing.
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
This plane holds a special place in aviation history for two main reasons. One, it is the most produced airplane in history, with over 44,000 units sold since 1956 till date.
Secondly, this small single-engine fixed-wing aircraft that seats three passengers and a pilot holds a special memory for pilots and instructors in the United States and across the world, being renowned for its use in flight schools and by private individuals learning to fly.
For most of us, our first flying experience was in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Skyhawk was designed to be an upgrade on Cessna 170. However, while the 170 had conventional landing gear, Cessna 172 came equipped with a now-famous tricycle landing gear.
First flown in 1955, it didn't take long for the plane to become well known in aviation circles. The early signs were there after the first year of production, with over 1,400 units built by the company.
When empty, the plane weighs 1691 lb (767 kg), but its gross weight is 2,452 lb (1,112 kg). The plane requires more landing space for take-off than for landing. For take-off, a Cessna 172 plane needs 853 ft. (261 m), while 722 ft (168 m) is enough for landing. That's a difference of around 40%.
If you need a runway where you can both take off and land your Cessna-172 plane, you should look for one with an average of at least 853 ft (261 m).
Cessna 177 Cardinal
Cessna introduced the Cardinal 177 to the aviation world in 1968. It seats 4 people, including a pilot. The cabin is quite spacious, which makes it a favorite amongst commuters. A single engined, high winged utility aircraft, it was built to replace the 172 Skyhawk and has seen 4,295 units built before production was stopped in 1978.
The plane was the result of a mandate given to Cessna engineers to build a futuristic model to succeed the 172 Skyhawk and it came equipped with modern technology such as a cantilever without the strut, and a new flow airfoil.
It weighs 1,495 lb (678 kg) when empty and cannot exceed 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) upon take-off. The minimum runway length required for take-off is 2,342 ft (714 m) while for landing, you need 1,686 ft (514 m).
Cessna 180 Skywagon
Cessna 180 Skywagon is another popular light utility aircraft produced by Cessna. It was first produced in 1953 and seats five passengers and a pilot. The 180 has a conventional landing gear, and although the company no longer produces them, they are still commonly used as personal aircraft and for utility missions.
Cessna 180s manufactured between 1953-1963 were equipped with two side windows while those built afterwards had three.
Cessna 180 is a successor to the more powerful Cessna 170, but comes with several upgrades in functionalities. It weighs 1,699 lb (771 kg) when empty. The minimum runway length requirement for take off is 1,365 ft (416 m) and 1,205 ft (368 m) for landing.
Cessna 182 Skylane
Cessna 182 Skylane seats four people, including the pilot. It is a light, single-engine plane that provides an option for two additional seats in the baggage area for children. It was first introduced in 1956 and has become the second most popular Cessna plane still in production today, just behind the 172.
Many in the aviation industry, especially instructors and private owners, consider the 182 to be the best all-around Cessna plane model. This is due to its extra strength and size.
It was developed as a tricycle landing gear variant to the earlier introduced 180. But as time passed and more models were produced, it improved to include extra baggage space, more spacious fuselage, swept tailspin, higher gross weight, Etc. As a result, the 182 is widely used by private civil operators (mainly cross-country fliers), flight schools worldwide, and cadet organizations.
When empty, a Cessna 182 weighs 1,971 lb (894 kg). At take off, its gross weight cannot exceed 3,099 lb (1,406 kg). Therefore, the required runway length for a Cessna 182 (take-off) is 787 ft (242.3 m), while you need a runway with at least 587 ft (179.8 m) length to land.
Cessna 206 Stationair
The Cessna Stationair family consists of three planes. They include the 205 Super Skywagon, the 206 Skylane, and the 207 Super Skylane. All three planes have single engines and are primarily known as general aviation aircraft. They were inspired mainly by Cessna 210, another popular Cessna product.
The company introduced the aircraft in 1962, and it's used mainly by the Argentine Army and a local commuter airline in Alaska called Ravn Alaska.
According to the company's description of the aircraft, Cessna 206 is the SUV of the air. It's not difficult to see why they opted for such a bold description of their product. Stationair is ruggedly built and possesses a powerful engine and a large cabin, making them suitable for adventurous flights.
Airplanes in the 206 families have been used for skydiving and aerial photography activities. In addition, they could be fitted with skis and amphibious floats to suit the occasion. One of my first interactions with the plane was on such adventures.
Cessna Stationair planes can take five passengers and a pilot. When empty, the plane weighs 2,185 lb (987 kg) but can weigh up to 3,600 lb (1,633 kg) upon take-off. For landing and take-off, you need an average of 1,998 ft (609.6 m) runway to land or take off.
Cessna 208 Caravan
The company first produced the 208 caravan in 1982. It seats nine passengers and 1-2 crew members. However, with a FAR 23 waiver, this could increase to 13 passengers. The plane is single-engined and built to be a utility carrier. Its cabin is unpressurized and comes with tricycle landing gear, although it could also be fitted with amphibious floats or skis.
It has sold nearly 3000 units worldwide and is mainly used for humanitarian missions, VIP transport, flight training, commuter airlines, recreation, and air cargo. It is also used by FedEx, the police, freight, and air charter.
The plane has undergone several upgrades over the years, with variants such as the 208B Super Cargomaster and, more recently, the Grand Caravan X, developed using its design.
A Caravan weighs 4,728 lb (2,145 kg) when empty and cannot exceed 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) when taking off. The minimum runway length requirement for a 208 Caravan is 2,500 ft (762 m) for take-off, although the landing requirement is slightly lower at 2,054 ft (626 m).
Cessna 210 Centurion
The Centurion was first produced by Cessna in 1957. It seats 6 people, including the pilot, and has a retractable landing gear. The company built 9,240 units of this aircraft and it remained in production until 1986.
The first batch of 210 Centurion Cessna planes were nothing more than a slight upgrade to the Cessna 182b design. They had swept tails, new wings and retractable landing gears. This was until 1961, when the wing and fuselage were redesigned, and a third side door added.
Cessna 210 Centurion is single-engined and weighs 2,304 lb (1,045 kg) when empty. At take-off, the aircraft is not expected to weigh more than 2,389 lb (1,814 kg). The minimum runway length required for take-off is 2,160 ft (600 m) and 1,500 ft (460 m) for landing.
This aircraft seats a pilot and four passengers. It is renowned for being the first double engined aircraft produced by the company after WW2. It was first flown in 1953 and nearly 5000 units have been built by the company.
In the aviation boom that ensued after World War II, the Cessna 310 became a common feature for air taxi firms springing up across the United States. Cessna 310 picked up a reputation after a Cuban defector in December 1992, flew into Cuba in one and managed to fly his wife and two children back to Florida. The flight was completed without lights and under the radar.
A Cessna 310 weighs 2,850 lb (1,293 kg) when empty. At take-off, it must not weigh more than 4,601 lb (2,087 kg). The minimum runway length required for take-off is 1,662 ft (507 m) while for landing you'll need 1,790 ft (546 m).
Cessna 340 was manufactured in 1972. It was designed and developed as a cabin class version of the 310. It seats five passengers and a pilot and runs on a twin piston engine. With 1,287 units before the company officially stopped producing the 340 in 1984, the aircraft was a success.
Cessna 340 had to be delivered behind schedule. This was because one of the prototypes crashed during testing and the company had to make sure everything was right before it was finally unveiled to the public.
The aircraft weighs 3,922 lb (1,779 kg) when empty. Maximum take-off weight is 5,989 lb (2,717 kg). The minimum runway length for take-off is 2,175 ft (663 m) and 1,850 ft (564 m) for landing.
Cessna Citation Family
The Cessna Citation group consists of five planes. They include:
- Cessna Citation 525 M2 CI Series
- Cessna Citation 560 XL Excel
- Cessna Citation 680 Sovereign
- Cessna Citation 680A Latitude
- Cessna Citation 700 Longitude
Cessna Citation Family is Cessna's business jet line, which they started making in 1975. The first to be produced was the Cessna Citation 525 series. All planes in the collection are twin-engined. Four of the five are still in production, while the company officially stopped producing one (Cessna Citation 680 Sovereign) in 2021.
Cessna 525 Series
Cessna 525 series carries seven passengers with one or two crew members. After Cessna stopped producing Citation 1 due to the high cost of its engine which made it uncompetitive, the idea for a light passenger jet powered by a twin piston engine was born.
The aircraft had its first flight in 1991 but it wasn't until 1993 that the first delivery was made. The aircraft reached all set goals, with its cruise speed beating the Citation 1. The plane has since sold over 2000 units in all variants.
It has a maximum take-off weight of 10,699 lb (4,853 kg) and is expected to weigh 7,006 lb (3,178 kg) when empty. The take-off runway length requirement for a Cessna 502 is 3,209 ft (978 m), while for landing, it is 2,589 ft (789 m).
Citation 560 Excel
When Cessna needed an aircraft to rival the traditional market of twin turboprop planes, Citation XL was the answer.
Citation Excel carries nine passengers and two crew members. An interesting fact about this plane is that Cessna already had 200 orders waiting by the time it received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in 1998.
It weighs 12,800 lb (5,806 kg) when empty and must not exceed 20,200 lb (9,163 kg) at take-off. As a result, it can take off on a runway as short as 3,590 ft (1,094 m), one of the shortest for a jet of its size. For landing, you need a runway length of 3,245 ft (989 m).
Citation 680A Latitude
The prototype for this plane was first flown in February 2014. It finally got certified by the FAA in 2015, before the company started rolling out deliveries.
Citation 680 A Latitude has a capacity for two crew members and nine passengers. It has a spacious interior, with large windows and state-of-the-art cabin management technology providing the ultimate luxury experience for passengers.
When empty, it weighs 18,655 lb (8,462 kg), and 30,800 lb (13,971 kg) at take-off. Runway length requirements for landing are 2,481 ft (756 m) and 3,344 ft (1,019 m) for take-off.
Citation 700 Longitude
The Citation 700 Longitude was produced in 2019. It can seat 8-12 passengers as well as three crew members. It is the company's largest jet— an upgrade in size and features from the Latitude.
It weighs 23,388 lb (10,609 kg) when empty and cannot exceed 39,500 lb (17,917 kg) at take-off. The runway length requirements for take-off are 4,810 ft (1,466 m) and 3,169 ft (966 m) when landing.