Imagine you have designed an excellent aircraft. It’s reliable, economical and requires minimal maintenance. Customers love it. There’s just one problem – your plane is a two-place design, and your company doesn’t yet have the strong four-place offering that customers are looking for. What do you do? Simply stretch the design, add two seats, and make a couple of tweaks for weight and balance, right?
That’s exactly how the Cessna 170 line was born. By the late 1940’s, the Cessna C140 was an established two-place aircraft, and Cessna saw potential to round out its’ product offerings with an equally strong four-place model. Rather than starting from scratch, they simply used the design of the C140 as the basis for the new C170 which was released in 1948.
Cessna waited less than a year after initial release before creating the next version – the 170A – which was produced through 1951. The “A” saw the addition of a dorsal fin for directional stability as well as enlarged flaps with additional extension. It also switched out the original’s fabric-covered wings in favor of all-metal construction.
In 1952, the line received significant structural design revisions with the debut of what would become its most popular version – the 170B.
Although the earlier versions of the 170 had been well-received, with the 170B, Cessna saw room for improvement in overall handling characteristics. Inspiration came largely from the Model 305 (military designation L-19 or O-1 Bird Dog) which the Air Force, Army and Marines had used for reconnaissance starting in 1950.
First up on the 170B re-design was the wings. The wings of both the 170 and 170A had no dihedral, but the Model 305 did. For the 170B, the designers added three degrees dihedral along with a twist from the roots to the tips. Hinged flaps were swapped out for a semi-Fowler design similar to the modified Fowler used on the Model 305. These revisions worked together to improve the stall characteristics.
Finally, enlarging the trim tab and inserting a mass balance in the tips of the re-shaped elevator alleviated the heavy stick forces that were inherent to earlier 170 models.
Specifications of Cessna C170b
- Cruising speed: 104 kias
- Maximum speed: 121 kias
- Maximum range: 410 nm
- Service ceiling: 15,500 ft
- Stall speed: 50 kias
- Rate of climb: 690 fpm
- Takeoff distance (50’): 1,820 ft
- Landing distance (50’): 1,145 ft
- Engine make/model: Continental C-145-2
- Horsepower: 145
- Propeller: McCauley two-blade fixed
- Fuel burn (at 75%):6 gph
- Max gross weight: 2,200 lbs.
- Empty weight: 1,220 lbs.
- Useful load: 980 lbs.
- Max payload (with full fuel): 728 lbs.
- Useful fuel capacity: 37 gal.
- Length: 25 ft.
- Height: 6ft 5in
- Wingspan: 36 ft.
- Wing area:6 sq ft
- Seats: 4
- Cabin width: 40 in.
- Cabin height: 48 in.
- Baggage capacity: 120 lbs
If you decide to take the plunge and purchase a Cessna 170B, we have several essential items that you'll need.
Cessna 170B Standard Size CheckMate - The most complete, highly endorsed and recognized aviation checklists in the industry! You'll realize CheckMate checklists' incredible value the 1st time you use one. Many endorsements from Instructors of the Year, independent Flying Magazines and Aviation Safety Organizations have said it best: "Very comprehensive and practical. A worthy contribution to aviation safety" - Rod Machado, Writer, National Speaker, National Accident Prevention Counselor, Western Region Flight Instructor of the Year.
Cessna 170B 1952-55 Owner's Manual - These aircraft manuals are NOT an FAA-approved replacement for your aircraft's POH. They are offered as reference material, perfect for research purposes too!