Cessna’s 150/152 Series Was the First Airplane Many of Us Ever Flew
Cessna’s impact upon general aviation is impossible to ignore. Hundreds of thousands of student pilots took the controls of an aircraft for the first time in a Cessna single engine high-winged tricycle-gear aircraft. Many of those first-time yoke-turners were flying 150s or 152s. You could, and still can, find them in hangars and on parking aprons at just about any air patch you care to visit. The 152 is the most produced two-place aircraft on the planet and the third most produced general aviation aircraft ever. So if you haven’t already done so, go for a ride in a 152 Aerobat via the film ‘Flying Fun’ uploaded to YouTube by Periscope Film.
Building on the 150
The differences between the original 150 and the 152 were minimal. 152s had a higher useful load thanks to a gross weight increase to 1,670 pounds. The basic design characteristics of both aircraft were the same, but the 152 benefitted from s lightly more powerful engine. All Cessna 152s were powered by a Lycoming O-235 horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine- essentially the same powerplant found in general aviation aircraft since 1942. The O-235 had a few more available horsepower and ran better while burning that newfangled 100 octane low-lead (100LL) fuel.
From 1977 until 1982, 152s rolled out of Cessna’s Wichita Kansas plant equipped with Lycoming O-235-L2C engines capable of 110 horsepower at 2,550 RPM. Cessna changed to the O-235-N2C engine beginning in 1983 to avoid lead-fouling problems experienced with the -L2C engine. The -N2C was slightly less spritely, putting out 108 horsepower at 2,550 RPM. Piston design differences along with redesigned cylinder heads resulted in the engine Cessna would bolt on 152 firewalls until production of the airplane ceased in 1985.
The 152 Aerobat’s airframe was beefed up to accommodate a +6g/-3g flight maneuvering envelope. Cessna built 315 of them beginning in the second year of production (1978), offering four-point harnesses, skylights, and jettisonable doors as standard equipment, along with a checkerboard paint scheme and removable seat cushions to allow parachutes to be worn by the crew. Approved maneuvers included barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, lazy eights, spins, aileron rolls, Immelmann turns, Cuban eights, and stalls (except whip stalls).