Civilian

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For the average pilot, civilian aircraft form the nucleus of their world. While they might admire and desire the faster, more exciting models that are seen at military airbases, it is the slower, more functional models that bring home the bacon. In general, civilian aircraft are more affordable and are easier to obtain as they are sold by both private sellers and dealers. This section of Airplanes.com covers not only all these factors, but also takes a look at some popular classic and vintage aircraft for the connoisseurs of flying.

Cessna 172

2006 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Cessna Skyhawk 172. The tricycle-gear 4-seat Cessna 172 is one of the world’s most popular airplanes of all time. To date, Cessna has delivered more than 35,000 of the single-engine, high-wing airplanes. The 172 is a forgiving aircraft which makes it attractive for novice pilots or those who operate on short strips or unpaved runways.

Another reason given for the 172’s popularity is that Cessna has consistently improved the aircraft’s design, engine, and avionics. Some of these changes include adding a rear window, aerofoil modifications, increased fuel capacity, and more horsepower. From 1956 until 1967, the 172 ran on a 145-horsepower six-cylinder Continental O-300 engine. From 1968 until 1984, Cessna replaced that engine with a 150-horsepower four-cylinder Lycoming O-320 engine.

Cessna then ceased production of the Skyhawk 172 until 1996, when they released the 172R with the current 160-horsepower, fuel injected four-cylinder Textron Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine.

Higher performance variations of the 172R come with more features and more horsepower. The 172RG featured retractable gear and a variable pitch, constant speed propeller with a more powerful engine in the 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360.

Specifications of the current Skyhawk Model 172R:

Engine: Textron Lycoming IO-360-L2A, 160 BHP at 2,400 RPM
Landing Performance: ground roll 550 ft
Propeller: 2-bladed fixed pitch
Cruise Speed (80% power at 8,000 feet):122 kts
Takeoff Performance (total distance over 50 ft obstacle): 1,685 ft
Optional Garmin G1000 NAV III glass cockpit

Cirrus

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Cirrus Design was originally founded in 1984 as a kit plane manufacturer. Today, Cirrus produces the SR20 and SR22 single-engine piston aircraft that feature an emergency deployable parachute known as the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). In 1998, Cirrus received FAA Type Certification for the four-seat SR20 which is built from composite materials. In 2000, Type Certification was awarded to Cirrus for the SR22, a faster aircraft than the SR20, and with more available options.

Cirrus Design has also contributed to the development of the Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) for the U.S. Department of Defense. Cirrus was responsible for manufacturing the empennage, wings, and fuselage.

Women in Aviation International Trade Show

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Women in Aviation International (WAI) sponsors the International Women in Aviation Trade Show which in 2007 is expected to draw more than 3,000 women and men involved in all aspects of aviation, and the event is collaboration with Walt Disney World. Theme Park packages for trade show participants and their families with licensed childcare available for those traveling with families.

At the WAI, trade show exhibitors are scheduled to include Cessna Aircraft Company, Cirrus Design, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), Gulfstream Training Academy, and the Ninety-Nines Inc.

Among the seminars scheduled during the event is “Learn to Fly” which will be presented by Julie Boatman, certificated flight instructor and technical editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association magazine AOPA Pilot. At this seminar, you’ll learn the basics about how to obtain a pilot’s license. Pilot education seminars will include “The Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft,” “An Instructors/Student Guide to Teaching Glass Cockpits,” and “Teaching the Emergency Turn Back to the Runway.” Career Development seminars will include “Pilot Job Market: Trends for the HR Professional,” “Professional Pilot: Supply and Demand,” and “Strategic Marketing for Professional Flight Instructors.” If you’re interested in maintenance and engineering, consider attending “Aircraft Design: Concept to Reality,” “Today’s Rosie the Riveter,” “Women in Aviation – Past, Present and Future,” and “How Women Are Changing the Face of Aviation.”

Among the invited keynote speakers are Marion Blakey, FAA Administrator, Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic, Major Nicole Malachowski, USAF Thunderbird Pilot, Bonnie Dunbar, President of the Seattle Museum of Flight, and Capt. Betty Uhrig, Chevron Global Aviation’s Chief Pilot.

In addition to a silent auction, there will also be a Scholarship Awards Banquet and WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Registration for the International Women in Aviation Trade Show is available online. The Web site for the International Women in Aviation Trade Show is http://www.wai.org/07conference/index.cfm. For questions about the conference, you can contact the WAI at 937-839-4647. Mention you heard about the trade show from us at airplanes.com!

The next International Women in Aviation Trade Show will be held at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida from February 15-17, 2007 (Thursday through Saturday)

Cirrus Gets Ready for Test Campaign

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The striking new Cirrus Vision SJ50 V1 has already managed to accumulate 25 hours of test flight since it first took to the skies on July 3. Now it seems that it is ready to undergo a rather rigorous test campaign, which will ultimately help to validate the technology required to finish off the aircraft.

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Cirrus Vision SJ50 Jet Debuts At Oshkosh

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The long awaited Cirrus Vision SJ50 Jet made its much anticipated public debut at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The aircraft jetted in with a high-speed pass before landing on Runway 27 and being towed to a small stage in AeroShell Square, where it was put on display for potential clients to see.

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AirVenture 2008 Casts Spotlight on Homebuilt Aircraft

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Every year the Experimental Aircraft Association holds its AirVenture celebration, but lately fans have been worried that that the event is slipping further and further away from its homebuilt roots. Indeed, it has been giving more and more floor space to plane manufacturers like Cessna and Cirrus over the years, but this year the EAA is attempting to ensure that homebuilt aircraft gets the spotlight.

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