Why The Cessna 152 & 172 Are Great For Flight Training

Flight Training


The Cessna 152 and 172 are probably the most well known flight training aircraft around the world. Their rugged and simple construction and ease of handling has helped train generations of aviators. Most have gone through top-to-bottom overhauls at this point and have many new parts including engines and propellers. Its ease of maintenance is another big factor in their popularity.

The Cessna 152 was first introduced in 1977 and was built until 1985 with over 7000 being built. It was initially developed from the Cessna 150 as an improved version. It is a two seat, high-wing, fixed-tricycle gear, single-engine aircraft equipped with a Lycoming O-235. It is a very versatile aircraft. There is even an aerobatic version, called the C-152A. Wayman Aviation uses it for unusual attitudes and upset recovery training. Here are some specifications of the Cessna 152 taken from the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH):


  • Passengers: 2
  • Length: 24 feet 1 inch
  • Wingspan: 33 feet and 4 inches
  • Height: 8 feet and 6 inches
  • Empty Weight: 1081 lbs (differs slightly between each individual aircraft)
  • Gross Weight: 1670 lbs
  • Powerplant: Lycoming O-235 (110 horsepower)
  • Propeller: 2 bladed fixed pitch, 69 inch McCauley 
  • Max Speed: 109 knots
  • Cruise Speed: 107 knots
  • Stall Speed: 43 knots
  • Range: 415 Nautical Miles @10,000 feet, 350 Nautical Miles @8,000 75% power
  • Service Ceiling: 14,700 feet


Wayman Cessna 152 (Photo by our student Jax)

First flown in 1955, the Cessna 172 is still being produced to this present day. More 172s have been built than any other aircraft. Over 40,000 have been built and it is considered the most successful aircraft in history. The 172 is considered a bigger, more powerful 152. It also is a high-wing, fixed-tricycle gear, single-engine aircraft but seats 4 people unlike the 152. There have been many variations of the 172 built with some of the more popular models being the 172N, 172P, 172R and the 172SP. Present day built models are usually equipped with the Garmin 1000 avionics suite. There have also been unique modifications to some variants. At Wayman we even have a 172 that can run on Jet-A fuel. Here are some specifications of the Cessna 172R taken from the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH):


  • Passengers: 4
  • Length: 27 feet 2 inches
  • Wingspan: 36 feet and 1 inch
  • Height: 8 feet and 11 inches
  • Empty Weight: 1,639 lbs (differs slightly between each individual aircraft)
  • Gross Weight: 2,450 lbs
  • Powerplant: Lycoming IO-360 L2A (160 horsepower)
  • Propeller: 2 bladed fixed pitch
  • Max Speed: 163 knots
  • Cruise Speed: 122 knots
  • Stall Speed: 47 knots
  • Range: 687 Nautical Miles @10,000 feet 60% power, 580 Nautical Miles @8,000 80% power
  • Service Ceiling: 13,500 feet



Wayman Jet-A Powered Cessna 172 (Photo by our student Jax)

The 152 is smaller and simpler to maintain and this reflects on its lower per hour rate. However, the 152 may be more of a challenge in terms of comfort for taller people. The 172 has a bit of a heavier feel on the controls. It has more interior space, can go farther, and has more performance. Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs) often say that if a pilot can control a 152 well especially in windy conditions that they will usually have an easier time progressing into any larger, heavier controlled aircraft. On the other hand, the 172 is a bit more stable compared to the 152 making it good for longer cross countries, and instrument flight training where precise control is needed.  


Most students at Wayman Aviation Academy begin their training in the Cessna 152. Larger or heavier students may enjoy the comfort of the 172, however it is more expensive per hour. This is due to the additional fuel burn of the more powerful engine. Ideally, for flight training it is best to gain experience in both aircraft and become proficient in either one. Which aircraft would you rather start your flight training in? Leave a comment below!