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#88185 - 08/07/12 05:48 PM 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN
Awkward Bird Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1014
Loc: Boulder Creek, CA
Our club has a new plane that I got to fly yesterday evening. Its an 1978 172N with a 180HP engine in it. That plane can REALLY climb and cruise! especially compared with the other 172s I fly at the club. It even out climbed the SP I'm used to flying. It was very nose heavy during landing compared to what I am used to, but it was a blast to fly.

A little side question. I noticed this 172N has 30 degrees of flaps. I'm used to 40 degrees of flaps on 172Ns. Are there different flap options for different model years of 172Ns? Just curious.
"I fly because I wouldn't want to do anything else." ~ A. Cluff
Musing and misadventures -

#88188 - 08/07/12 06:07 PM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Awkward Bird]
Pilawt Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 1392
Loc: Vancouver, WA
All 172Ns came from the factory with 40 degrees of flap.

If the 180 hp conversion on the one you flew was done with the Air Plains STC, there are actually two different STCs for the 172N.

The first is the conversion to the 180-hp O-360 engine. That STC alone makes no changes to the airframe aft of the firewall, and does not change the gross weight from the original 2300 pounds. Thus the useful load is reduced by the added weight of the engine.

A second STC provides for installation of a physical limitation in the flap mechanism (photo below) to prevent extension greater than thirty degrees. When that is done, gross weight of the 180 hp 172N is increased by 250 lb, to 2550 lb. Reason being, the airplane would not be able to meet FAA climb guidelines for balked landing with full 40 degrees of flap at the heavier weight.

My '78 172N happens to be one of the very few with the 180 hp engine and 40 degrees of flap. It was my dad's airplane before he passed away, and when he did the 180 hp conversion in 1997 he bought both of the STCs but never had the flap limit installed. So it still has the 2300 lb gross weight. That doesn't bother me much, because I like flying into short fields, and I have no friends. grin

I have the parts for the flap limit, and can have it done any time. But for now I like it the way it is.

The 1981-86 Model 172P, the 172Q, 172RG, and all "restart-era" 172s are limited to 30 degrees of flap from the factory, as well. The flap limit in the 172P allowed the gross weight to be increased to 2400 lb without an increase in power.
Jeff Jacobs
KVUO / Vancouver, WA

#88189 - 08/07/12 06:14 PM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Pilawt]
Awkward Bird Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1014
Loc: Boulder Creek, CA
Thanks for the quick info Pilawt! I had a feeling someone here would know smile
"I fly because I wouldn't want to do anything else." ~ A. Cluff
Musing and misadventures -

#88190 - 08/07/12 06:37 PM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Awkward Bird]
Rusty Rudder Offline
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 5030
Loc: NorthEast
Very interesting, I would have rather had the 40 degrees than the paper that says 2550 on it... (I've got the 172 w/180 Penn Yann)

Good accurate info pw, thanx!
Take-off's are optional, landings are manditory

#88196 - 08/07/12 07:30 PM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Rusty Rudder]
Nintendo Pilot Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 1631
Loc: Utah
That 180 HP engine is nice isn't it AB?
1979 Cessna 172N (N9478E) w/180 hp conversion by Air Plains
Alan C.

Youtube Channel

#88255 - 08/08/12 01:55 AM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Nintendo Pilot]
Nightowl Offline
Club Sponsor/Speed Demon
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1826
Loc: Northwest lower Michigan
Our 172N has the 180 hp AirPlains conversion with the STC to increase max gross weight to 2550 lbs (restricting max flap extension to 30 degrees and beefing up tires to six-ply). It really does climb like a homesick angel, and we have flown often with four adults on board, so am very happy with the gross weight increase. I usually land with 20 degrees of flap or less and rarely use 30, so 40 would be overkill for our usual needs (our three previous Cessnas all had the 40 degree flaps, so definitely have used them in the past).

Another advantage is that our STC includes a change to the flap extension speed, allowing 10 degrees of flap at 110 kts, with any further flap deployment kept to 85 kts or less (just as the 172Q POH specifies). Dropping 10 degrees at 110 kts gets us down to 85 kts quite nicely, so this has proven to be very beneficial, especially on instrument approaches.

And yes, I've flown the 172P, R, and SP, and our airplane, being lighter, does outclimb them all. And it also can carry more passenger payload than our CAP 182T when fueled for a similar mission.

The 180 hp engine is what should have been in the 172 all along.

'77 C172N, AirPlains 180 hp conversion

Our sigmap has been flown entirely using aircraft with capabilities at or below those of the C-172.

#88303 - 08/08/12 01:25 PM Re: 172N with 180HP conversion = FUN [Re: Nightowl]
Pilawt Offline
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 1392
Loc: Vancouver, WA
One important benefit to the more powerful engine is that it allows one to maintain a higher airspeed while climbing, helping the engine to stay cool during a long climb on a hot day.
Jeff Jacobs
KVUO / Vancouver, WA


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