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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



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


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


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



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