The Cessna 177 - But Make Sure You Understand These 2 Important Things
The Cessna 177 was originally designed to replace the Cessna 172 & was produced for about ten years (1968-1978). It clearly never did replace the 172, but it is still a great used Cessna airplane that you should seriously consider if you are looking to get a Cessna...
As with most other Cessna's, the 177 has a very tight following in terms of the people that like it. Meaning --- the people who like this model REALLY like it a lot. That is why you will likely find versions of this airplane that have a lot of hours on them and are being sold by the original owners.
SIDENOTE: You are going to want to make sure you pay attention the different versions of the 177 that are for sale on the market. The original model has a 150 horsepower engine in it and is going to under perform somewhat compared to the 180 horsepower models.
That said, this is a very fast airplane for its category & is a pleasure to fly... Not only that - it is a Cessna and that means you are going to get a well built airplane that you should be able to enjoy for decades to come.
#1 - You Should Really Like The Performance Specs (Here's Why)
The original version of the Cessna 177 was not that great in terms of performance. It had a 150 horsepower engine and cruised at roughly 115-120 knots. That is not all that bad and is in line with that of some of the older model 172's.
But Cessna decided to make it even better and increased the horsepower to 180hp among a few other things and that added about 10 knots of cruise speed to the 177. Cessna again went back to the drawing board and made some more changes and got the 177B to perform even better.
But the real gem of the 177 brand is the 177 RG (Retractable Gear). This version is great little four seater that performs very well. It has a 200 horsepower engine, retractable gear and cruises at about 145 knots. (Depending on your altitude of course...)
That is a great cruise speed for a 4 seater that is not turbo charged... So if you are looking at buying a 177, your going to want to make sure you consider spending the extra few bucks and upsize to the 177. In my opinion, your going to get a better airplane that will really perform well for you.
#2 - You Can Get A Good Deal Still (But Watch Out For This)
If you are looking for a four seater that will perform well and is a high wing airplane, your going to want to really look at the 177 as it is very well priced. There are not a ton of them on the market, which is really good as you don't want to buy a plane that is being dumped.
There were only a bit over 4,000 of these models created, so you are probably not going to see hundreds of them up for sale at any given time. That is a good thing as you want to get an airplane that is in somewhat high demand so you can be able to resell it someday and hopefully make back some or all of your money.
A good 177RG is probably going to run you around $65,000 USD and up. That is pretty good considering it goes about 145 knots! And a fixed gear 180 horsepower version is going to run you about $30,000 USD to about $60,000 USD.
IMPORTANT: You have to make sure you buy one that has good fundamentals.. Low total time and lots of time left before you need to rebuild the engine. Don't just fall in love with the digital dash or the nice leather interior.. Those things are nice, but you need to first make sure you get one that is solid and will last for years to come.
So make sure you keep your eye open for a good 177 that fits in your budget. You might have to wait a bit as it can take some time for a good one to show up on the market that is going to be a good fit for you.
But be patient and in the end you should get one that your going to enjoy for years to come. The biggest asset you have when you are buying a Cessna 177 is your patience. They are not a super popular airplane so your going to have to make sure you take your time in finding the right one.
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