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Cessna 185 Skywagon

Few single-engine piston airplanes can comfortably haul four adults in and out of rough, 1,200-foot airstrips. And if you tack on a desire for IFR avionics, FAA certification, and a tailwheel, nothing fits the bill like a Cessna 185 Skywagon.

This brawny backcountry workhorse is the culmination of the lessons Cessna learned during decades of building tailwheel utility airplanes, including the 170 (1948 to 1956), 180 (1953 to 1981), and 185 (1961 to 1985). Each has a distinct personality—especially the Skywagon.

If the Skywagon were an automobile, it would be a Ford pickup. If it were a dog, it would be a Labrador retriever. If it were a football player, it would be a front rower. If it were a character on a TV western, it would be Hoss. You get it.

The Herculean airplane’s useful load can almost match its empty weight. Its range (with optional long-range fuel tanks and lean-of-peak engine management) easily tops 800 nm. Using oversized wheels, floats, or skis, it can operate from almost any surface. Cessna 185 owners tend to regard their airplanes as loyal and trusted partners.

That is to say IFR and VFR, short and long distances, low and high elevations, and to and from busy city airports and remote backcountry strips (often with a dog in the back, and brother George, an aerial photographer, dangling out an open door).

 

Engine: One 300-hp Continental IO-550 Engine
Weight: Empty 605 kg., Max Takeoff 1520 kg.
Wing Span: 10.92 m.
Length: 7.85m.
Height: 2.36m.
Maximum Speed: 178 mph
Range: 720 miles
 

 

RENOWNED SKYWAGON PERFORMANCE

The Cessna 185 can take you anywhere. Often seen in Alaska hauling firewood. It's the true ute of the Skys. 

SHORT TAKE OFF AND LANDING

Takeoff and land in less the 300m means this beast can land just about anywhere. Helicopter lading distance, aeroplane speed.

PAYLOAD KING

The Cessna 185 can lift its own weight in payload. This makes it capable of some truly amazing things.

GALLERY

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“Dream come true! Went out in the Mustang with super-pilot Cam and had the time of my life! Heaps of fantastic aeros and awesome views of Brisbane and Moreton Bay. It was an awesome experience being inverted in a barrel roll and a loop. This is truly a bucket list experience that I have just put a massive tick beside! Thanks so much to Brad, Cam and Bec at Fighter Pilot adventure flights!”

- Graham Gill

“What an awesome experience in the back seat of Steadfast. Super helpful and friendly team and the flying experience was entirely out of this world. How many people can say they have flown in a formation with and tail chased a Mustang while flying in a World Record holding Yakovlev. Simply beyond words! Real bucket list stuff!”

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“What a blast – another adventure off my bucket list. My father was a WWII Spitfire fighter pilot and was awarded a DFC & Legion of Honour for his role in D Day. He has now passed and I have always wanted to experience a flight in a WWII fighter. My first wish was a Spitfire and if not available a P-51 Mustang. Finding a two-seater fighter is not easy but Fighter Pilot solved the problem. Thanks to Cameron and his P-51D I was able to experience the thrills, power and adrenalin of a flight in a Mustang. This was the ultimate flight and a dream come true. Thanks to Rebecca, Cameron & Fighter Pilot team for the experience. The DVD was a bonus to maintain the memory.”

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