Cessna Model AW
United States — Single-engine high-wing four-seat tourer monoplane

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Note: The following photos of the Cessna AW "West Wind III" (N8782) were taken by Skytamer Images for the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California. John Shupek of Skytamer Images is the webmaster for the Yanks Air Museum. Visit the Yanks Air Museum for enlarged photos. Click on any photo to visit the Yanks Air Museum website.

Cessna AW "West Wind III" (N8782, c/n 107) at the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, CA (Photos by John Shupek)

Cessna Aircraft Company

The Cessna Aircraft Company was founded by Mr. Clyde V. Cessna, a pioneer in U.S. aviation since 1911, and was incorporated in 1927. The builder of more aircraft than any other company, Cessna Aircraft had origins in a Blériot monoplane that was repeatedly crashed by a Kansas farmer Clyde V. Cessna in 1911. Clyde Cessna's Blériot was so modified that it eventually became the first Cessna aircraft. Clyde Cessna build two more aircraft at the Jones Motor Car plant at Wichita during the 1916-17 timeframe. Clyde Cessna then returned to farming until he was invited to head Travel Air in 1925. He soon withdrew from Travel Air and formed the Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company on 8 September 1927. Later that year, Roos departed, and the company became the Cessna Aircraft Company on 18 December 1927.

The Cessna Model A was a 1920s American high-wing four-seat tourer built by the Cessna Aircraft Company, the first in long line of high-wing single-engine monoplanes.

Cessna AW

The first Cessna design built in any numbers was the Cessna Model A. It was a four-seater with a mixed wood and steel-tube construction with fabric covering. The aircraft was built in a number of variants fitted with different engines. The airplane was good, but the timing was bad. While sales were brisk in the beginning, the 1929 stock market crash spelled disaster. The Cessna Aircraft Company had gone public, and the board ordered the factory closed in 1931.


  • Model AA: Fitted with a 120-hp (89 kW) Anzani 10 engine, 14 built.
  • Model AC: Fitted with a 130-hp (97 kW) Comet engine, one built.
  • Model AF: Fitted with a 150-hp (112 kW) Floco/Axelson engine, three built.
  • Model AS: Fitted with a 125-hp (93 kW) Siemens-Halske engine, four built.
  • Model AW: Fitted with a 125-hp (97 kW) Warner Scarab engine, 48 built. One was purchased by Eddie August Schneider in which he set three transcontinental airspeed records for pilots under the age of twenty-one in 1930.
  • Model BW: A three-seat version with a 220-hp (164 kW) Wright J-5 engine, 13 built.

Specifications (Cessna AW) 3,4,5

General Characteristics

  • Type: Four-seat High-wing Cabin Monoplane
  • Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company
  • First Produced: 1928
  • Number built: 50

Power Plant

  • Powerplant: Warner Scarab
  • Horsepower: 110 to 120-hp
  • Airscrew: Standard Steel Propeller Company


  • Wing Span: 40 ft 2 in (12.24 m)
  • Wing Area: 224 ft2 (20.81 m2)
  • Length: 24 ft 8 in (7.52 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)


  • Empty Weight: 1,225 lbs (556 kg)
  • Gross Weight: 2,260 lbs (1,025 kg)


  • Service Ceiling: 12, 000 ft (3,658 m)
  • Cruising Speed: 110 mph (177 km/h)
  • Top Speed: 128 mph (206 km/h)
  • Range: 630 miles (1,014 km)


  1. Photos: John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  2. Wikepedia. "Cessna Model A." [Online] Available http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_Model_A, 13 December 2009
  3. The World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers, Bill Gunston, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, ISBN 1-55750-939-5, 1993
  4. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1956-57, Leonard Bridgman, John W. R. Taylor, Jane's All the World's Aircraft Publishing Company, Ltd., London, 1957
  5. Cessna AW display sign, USA Yanks air Museum, Chino, California

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