The Cessna 180
is a four- or six-seat, fixed
conventional gear general aviation airplane
which was produced between 1953 and 1981.
Though the design is no longer in production, many of these
aircraft are still in use as personal aircraft and in utility roles
such as bush flying
introduced the heavier and more
powerful 180 as a complement to the Cessna
. It eventually came to be known as the Skywagon, a name
first applied only to the more-powerful 185.
The prototype Cessna 180, N41697, first flew on May 26, 1952.
Cessna engineering test pilot William D. Thompson was at the
In all its versions, 6,193 Cessna 180s were manufactured. In
, a tricycle gear
version of this design was
introduced as the Cessna 182
, which came
to bear the name Skylane. Additionally, in 1960
, Cessna introduced a heavier, more
powerful sibling to the 180, the conventional gear Cessna 185
. For a time, all three versions of the
design were in production.
The airframe of the 180 is all metal, constructed of aluminum
alloy. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque
structure, with exterior
skin sheets riveted to formers
. The strut-braced wings, likewise, are
constructed of exterior skin sheets riveted to spars
. The landing gear of the 180 is in a
conventional arrangement, with main gear legs made of spring steel,
and a steerable tailwheel mounted on a hollow tapered steel
The Continental O-470-A
installed in the 1953 model, which uniquely has no baggage door.
The Continental O-470-J, also of , replaced the -A model in 1954
and 1955, and was succeeded by the O-470-K from 1956 through 1961,
by the O-470-R from 1962 through 1972, by the O-470-S from 1973
through 1976, and by the O-470-U from 1977 through the end of
Cessna 180s produced between 1953 and 1963 have two side windows,
while 1964 to 1981 models feature three side windows, as they
feature the same fuselage as the Cessna 185. Some late production
1962 Cessna 180s were also known to have the three windows as
1959 Cessna 180B on floats
180s can be put on floats
if they are
equipped with float kits, which are essentially reinforcing members
installed at high-stress points of the fuselage.
The 180 is
considered a workhorse of an airplane, and is favored to this day
as a bush plane by many who fly to and
from remote, unimproved airstrips in places such as Alaska and distant
parts of Canada, the
Pacific Islands, and Africa. The 180 is the preferred aircraft of the
Colorado Division of Wildlife for monitoring wildlife and
re-stocking fish in remote mountain lakes; it is also used by the
Montana Department of Natural Resources and
The New Mexico State Police Aircraft Division
was created after it acquired its first aircraft, a fixed wing
Cessna 180, on loan from the State Corporation Commission.
Canadian airlines Lamb Air and Norcanair
operated several 180s. A number of 180s continue in similar roles at
Kenmore Air in Washington, Alaska Seaplane
Service, and Brazil's Lider Taxi
Jerrie Mock's Cessna 180
The Cessna 180 gained recognition as the aircraft chosen by
, the first woman pilot to
successfully fly around the world. The flight was made in 1964 in
her 1953 model, the Spirit of Columbus
chronicled in her book Three-Eight Charlie
. The Cessna
factory obtained the aircraft and kept it at the Pawnee (Wichita,
Kansas) manufacturing plant after the epic flight, suspended from
the ceiling over one of the manufacturing lines. It is currently on
display at the National Air and Space Museum.
Aircraft Type Club
The Cessna 180 is supported by an active aircraft type club
, The Cessna Pilots
19 Cessna 180s were in service with both the Australian Army and
RAAF from 1959 to 1974.
Specifications (1978 Cessna 180 II landplane)
- Mock, Jerrie: Three-Eight Charlie, First Edition,
1970. ISBN 75118975
- RAAF Museum website Cessna 180 page retrieved
on 9 January 2009.
- "Air Forces of the World", Flight
International magazine, 24-30 July 1996, p29-60.
- Jewish Virtual Library - Israeli Air Force Cessna
180 page retrieved on 9 January 2009.
- Gaines, Mike. "World's Air Forces 1982", Flight
International magazine, 6 November 1982, p1327-1388.
- Type certificate data sheet no. 5A6. Revision 66. (Mar. 31,
2003.) Department of Transportation. Federal Aviation