The 175 was designed to fill a niche between the Cessna 172 and the heavy-duty Cessna 180. The engine of the 175 was rated at 175 hp (130 kW), or 30 hp (22 kW) more than the engine of the 172. Between 1958 and 1962, a total of 2,106 were built. The basic airplane was marketed as the 175, and the plane with a package of optional equipment and a special paint scheme was marketed as the Skylark.
The airframe of the 175 is all metal, constructed of aluminum alloy. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque structure, with exterior skin sheets riveted to formers and longerons. The strut-braced wings, likewise, are constructed of exterior skin sheets riveted to spars and ribs. The landing gear of the 175 is in a tricycle arrangement, with main gear legs made of spring steel, along with a steerable nosewheel connected through an oleo strut used for shock absorption.
While it incorporates airframe changes, the 175 is very similar in appearance to the 172 of the same vintage. The most noticeable difference is the distinctive bulge in the cowling to accommodate the gearbox of the engine.
The GO-300 engine
An unusual feature of the 175 is the use of the geared Continental GO-300 engine. Whereas most single-engine airplanes use direct drive, this engine drives the propeller through a reducing gearbox, so the engine runs at 3200 rpm to turn the propeller at 2400 rpm. The GO-300 engine suffered reliability problems and helped give the 175 a poor reputation. Many Skylarks flying today have been converted to larger-displacement direct-drive engines.
The reputation of the GO-300 may not have been deserved, since the problems associated with it were the result of pilots who were familiar with direct-drive engines simply not operating the engine correctly. Pilots unfamiliar with the engine often operated the engine at low RPM settings (2300) appropriate to direct-drive engines, while the 175's Operating Handbook called for 2900 RPM. This prevented the engine's air-cooling system from operating effectively and resulted in a lack of reliability.
Many of the higher-powered versions of the 172 in fact belong to the 175 type design. Included in this group are the P172D Powermatic, most T-41s (the -B, -C, and -D models), the R172K Hawk XP, and the retractable gear 172RG.
Specifications (Cessna 175A)
Published - July 2009
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