Courageous Fliers Pilot Most Popular Plane in the World


The 172 has four seats, one engine, and one wing mounted above the cabin, so it’s classified as a single-engine high-wing monoplane. It sits on three wheels that can’t be retracted, also known as a fixed tricycle landing gear. It flies at a top speed of about 145 MPH.

From the outside, a modern 172 doesn’t look that much different from its historic predecessors, but today’s Skyhawks have more powerful engines, other technological improvements, and updated cockpit instruments and gauges (also called avionics).

The 172 has a reputation of being tough and reliable. Just how reliable? On December 4th, 1958, Robert Timm and John Cook took off from Las Vegas in a specially modified Skyhawk. Their flight was to raise awareness and money for the Damon Runyon Memorial Cancer Fund.

The pair took turns sleeping and got fuel, food, and water by flying low over a vehicle on a desert highway once a day (guess that’s what “uploading” meant back then). The two men set an amazing endurance record that still stands today, flying for an unbelievable 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes, and 5 seconds before finally landing on February 4th, 1959.

The Cessna 172 has earned its place in aviation history, and it’s where Flight1’s Courageous Fliers get to earn their wings.

– Russell Goutierez

Endurance Flight Photo: