Cessna 150 Performance - Important Things You Should Know About The Performance Specs
If your looking for a 2 seater airplane, you probably have the Cessna 150 on your short list as it is very popular and there seems to be at least a few of them at almost every airport! Not only that, they are very popular for flight training. Now as far as the performance of this great airplane goes, I want to share with you a couple important things you should know.
IMPORTANT: The thing you have to realize about the Cessna 150 is that there are A LOT of different versions of this airplane. So you are going to want to make sure you pay close attention to the model you are looking at. Also, make sure you verify the performance with the pilot operating handbook as well.
2 Things Every Pilot Should Know About The Cessna 150's
First - The Fuel Burn Rate (Not Bad For The Age)
It is very obvious that the 150 does not go really fast... But the tradeoff is the fact that your not going to be burning a lot of gas when you go flying or use your airplane for training. Most people report that they burn about 6 US gallons per hour with the 150.
That is not a lot of fuel to burn in a small airplane! The great thing about this is because the fuel burn is so cheap, your going to be able to put a lot of flying time in on this airplane and get a lot of hours. That's good because the more hours you get, the better it looks for your insurance when you go to get into a bigger airplane! (Hopefully!)
Of all the performance specifications associated with the Cessna 150, I would say that the fuel burn is the most important one as it is directly attached to your wallet! Sure an extra 20 knots of cruise speed would be nice, but burning around 6 gallons per hour is even better!
Something Important To Think About
The thing that a lot of pilots DON'T think about is the fact that over time as the price of fuel increases, having an airplane that does not burn a lot of fuel should help the value of it. Over time, aircraft that don't burn a lot of fuel should see an increase in demand.
It just makes sense that people would start to focus more on smaller airplanes. Were already seeing this with the LSA movement and the abandonment of light twin aircrafts. Have you seen the used market for light twins? Some of them have been sitting for a really long time.
Sure, there will always be a market for bigger aircraft, but at the same time - a lot of pilots are going to be increasingly focusing on smaller airplanes like this one where the fuel burn rate is really low.
Second - You Are Still Going To Have A Good Cruise Speed
Depending on who you talk to about the cruise speed of the 150, your going to get a different answer! Not only that, each model is going to potentially adjust your cruise speed as well. But the generally you are going to be able to expect about a 117 mph cruise speed with this airplane.(1)
That is stated at 75% power and flying at 7,000 feet! Now, I don't know if your airport is at sea level, but flying to 7,000 feet in a 150 is a job in itself! That said, you are going to want to be more concerned with your ground speed. With a plane this small and light, you can get a pretty good ground speed going if you have a nice tail wind!
All in all, the performance specs are pretty good with the 150 considering its age. But for the price of one these days - you really need to take a second good look!
Don't Underestimate This Important Issue
One of the things that the Cessna 150 gets a "bad rap" for is that it does not go vey fast in terms of the cruise speed. Sure it is not the fastest airplane in the sky, but if you look at it you will see that it compares very nicely with a lot of the LSA aircraft on the market.
And the great thing about buying a Cessna 150 is that you are not going to have to pay anywhere near the price that you would if you were buying a new or newer Light Sport Aircraft.
So when you think about the power & speed for the investment you are making in buying a Cessna 150 - your going to get a pretty good deal. Sure it is not the newest thing in the sky, but your not exactly paying $100,000 for this classic either.
Nothing wrong with an LSA, but getting a 150 that has a similar cruise speed for a lot less is also a pretty attractive deal as well.
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References: #1 - Sourced 02/01/2012 http://www.cessna150.net/Information/perspec.html
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