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Cessna 152 Aerobat
Single-engine two-seat high-wing aerobatic-capable monoplane, USA


Archive Photos [1]


[1978 Cessna 152 (N67282, s/n 15281722) at the 2009 Cable Air Show, Cable Airport, Upland, California (Photo by John Shupek)]

Cessna Model 152 Series Overview [2]


  • Cessna 152
  • Role: Multipurpose civil aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Cessna
  • Introduction: 1977
  • Produced: 1977-1985
  • Number built: 7,584
  • Developed from: Cessna 150

The Cessna 152 is an American two-seat, fixed tricycle gear, general aviation airplane, used primarily for flight training and personal use. It was based on the earlier Cessna 150, including a number of minor design changes and a slightly more powerful engine running on 100LL aviation gasoline.

The Cessna 152 has been out of production for more than thirty years, but there are still a large number of aircraft in flying condition. Due to the aircraft's durability many examples have flown more than 15,000 hours and over 60,000 landings and are still in regular use for flight training.

Development [2]


First delivered in 1977 as the 1978 model year, the 152 was a modernization of the proven Cessna 150 design. The 152 was intended to compete with the new Beechcraft Skipper and Piper Tomahawk, both of which were introduced the same year. Additional design goals were to improve useful load through a gross weight increase to 1,670 lbs (757 kg), decrease internal and external noise levels and run better on the then newly introduced 100LL fuel.

As with the 150, the great majority of 152s were built at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas. A number of aircraft were also built by Reims Aviation of France and given the designation F152/FA152.

Production of the 152 was ended in 1985 when Cessna ended production of all of their light aircraft; by that time, a total of 7,584 examples of the 152, including A152 and FA152 Aerobat aerobatic variants, had been built worldwide.

In 2007 Cessna announced that it would build a light sport successor, designated the Model 162 Skycatcher, although production ended in 2013.

Design [2]


Powerplant

All Cessna 152s were manufactured with a Lycoming O-235 engine which has been in production since 1942. The Lycoming provided not only an increase in engine power over the Cessna 150, but also was more compatible with the newer 100LL low lead fuel.

Cessna 152s produced between 1977 and 1982 were equipped with Lycoming O-235-L2C engines producing 110 hp (82 kW) at 2550 rpm. This engine still suffered some lead-fouling problems in service. In 1983 it was succeeded by the 108 hp (81 kW) O-235-N2C which featured a different piston design and a redesigned combustion chamber to reduce this problem. The N2C engine was used until 152 production ended in 1985.

Airframe

The airframe is mainly of metal construction. being primarily of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy with riveted skin. Components such as wingtips and fairings are made from glass-reinforced plastic. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque with vertical bulkheads and frames joined by longerons running the length of the fuselage. The wings are of a strut-braced design and have a 1° dihedral angle. The tapered (outboard) portion of each wing has one degree of washout (the chord of the tip section has 1° lower angle of attack than the chord at the end of the constant-width section). This allows greater aileron effectiveness during a stall.

The 1978 model has a one piece cowling nose bowl that requires removing the propeller to remove it. The 1979 model introduced a split-nose cowling nose bowl that can be removed without removing the propeller.

Flying Controls

Dual controls are available as optional equipment on the Cessna 152 and almost all 152s have this option installed.

The Cessna 152 is equipped with differential ailerons that move through 20° upwards and 15° downwards. It has single-slotted flaps which are electrically operated and deploy to a maximum of 30°. The rudder can move 23° to either side and is fitted with a ground-adjustable trim tab. The elevators move up through 25° and down through 18°. An adjustable trim tab is installed on the right elevator and is controlled by a small wheel in the center of the control console. The trim tab moves 10° up and 20° down relative to the elevator chordline.

Landing Gear

The Cessna 152 is equipped with fixed tricycle landing gear. The main gear has tubular steel legs surrounded by a full-length fairing with a step for access to the cabin. The main gear has a 7 ft 7 in (2.3 m) wheelbase.

The nosewheel is connected to the engine mount and has an oleo strut to dampen and absorb normal operating loads. The nosewheel is steerable through 8° either side of neutral and can castor under differential braking up to 30°. It is connected to the rudder pedals through a spring linkage.

The braking system consists of single disc brake assemblies fitted to the main gear and operated by a hydraulic system. Brakes are operated by pushing on the top portion of the rudder pedals. It is possible to use differential braking when taxiing and this allows very tight turns to be made.

The 152 is also fitted with a parking brake system. It is applied by depressing both toe brakes and then pulling the “Park Brake” lever to the pilot's left. The toe brakes are then released but pressure is maintained in the system thereby leaving both brakes engaged.

The standard tires used are 600 × 6 on the main gear and 500 × 5 on the nosewheel.

Modifications

There are hundreds of modifications available for the Cessna 152. The most frequently installed include:

  • Tailwheel Landing Gear: Taildragger conversions such as the ‘Texas Taildragger’ conversion are available and have been fitted to some 152s. It involves strengthening the fuselage for the main gear being moved further forward, removing the nosewheel and strengthening the tail area for the tailwheel. This greatly improves short field performance and is claimed to give up to a 10 kn (19 km/h) cruise speed increase.

  • STOL Kits: The wings can be modified using a number of STOL modification kits, some improving high speed/cruise performance but most concentrating on STOL performance. Horton's STOL kit is one of the better-known of the latter. It involves fitting a more cambered leading edge cuff to increase the maximum coefficient of lift, fitting fences at the aileron/flap intersection and fitting drooped wingtips. Stalls with these modifications are almost off the airspeed indicator, since instrument error is high at high angles of attack. It has been said that landings can be achieved in two fuselage lengths with the kit installed in addition to a taildragger modification, by balancing power against drag. Takeoff performance is also improved by varying degrees depending on the surface.

  • Engine: The engine's power can be increased by various modifications, such as the Sparrow Hawk power package, increasing it to 125 hp (93 kW). The disadvantage of the Sparrow Hawk conversion is that it uses pistons from the O-235-F series engine and therefore the engine recommended time between overhauls is reduced from 2,400 hours to 2,000 hours.

  • Other Popular Modifications Include:

    • Flap gap seals to reduce drag and increase rate of climb.

    • Different wingtips, some of which claim various cruise speed increases and stall speed reductions.

    • Auto fuel STCs, which permit the use of automobile fuel instead of the more expensive aviation fuel.

    • Auxiliary fuel tanks for greater range.

    • Door catches to replace the factory ones that often fail in service.

    • Belly fuel drain valves to drain fuel from the lowest point in the fuel system.

Variants [2]


  • Model 152: Two-seat light touring aircraft, fitted with a fixed tricycle landing gear, powered by a 110-hp (82-kW) Lycoming O-235-L2C piston engine, 6,628 built. Available with a number of avionic options, aside from the standard Model 152 there was a Model 152 II with an enhanced package of standard avionics and trim features. The Model 152 II with Nav Pac included more standard avionics for IFR use. The Model 152T was a standard option package for use by flying schools, the "T" indicating "trainer" and not a sub-model. Type approved in 1977 and produced as 1978 to 1985 model years.

  • Model A152 Aerobat: Two-seat aerobatic-capable aircraft, 315 built. Certified for +6/-3 gs and had standard four-point harnesses, skylights and jettisonable doors, along with a checkerboard paint scheme and removable seat cushions to allow parachutes to be worn by the crew. Type approved in 1977 and produced as 1978 to 1985 model years. The following aerobatic maneuvers are approved: chandelles, steep turns, barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, vertical reversements, lazy eights, spins, aileron rolls, Immelmann turns, Cuban Eights and stalls (except whip stalls).

  • Model F152: Reims-built Model 152, 552 built.

  • Model FA152 Aerobat: Reims-built Model A152, 89 built.

Operators [2]


Civilian Operators

  • The 152 is popular with flight training organizations and is also widely operated by private individuals.

Military Operators

  • Argentina: Argentine National Gendarmerie operated three from 2004.
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh Army four A152 Aerobat procured in 1982.
  • Bolivia: Bolivian Air Force - 12 in service as of 1987.
  • Botswana: Botswana Defence Force Air Wing two A152.
  • Gabon: Gabonese Air Force one F152.
  • Lesotho: Lesotho Defence Force one A152.
  • Mexico: Mexican Navy operated seven from 1979.

Cessna 152 Specifications and Performance Data [3]


Type:

  • Two-seat cabin monoplane.

Wings:

  • Braced high-wing monoplane.
  • Wing section NACA 2412 (tips symmetrical).
  • Dihedral 1°.
  • Incidence 1° at root, 0° at tip.
  • All-metal structure of light alloy.
  • Conical camber glass-fiber wingtips optional.
  • Modified Frise-type ailerons and electrically-actuated NACA single-slotted trailing-edge flaps of light alloy construction.
  • No trim tabs.

Fuselage:

  • Conventional semi-monocoque structure of light alloy.

Tail Unit:

  • Cantilever structure of light alloy with swept vertical surfaces.
  • Trim tab in starboard elevator.
  • Ground-adjustable rudder tab.

Landing Gear:

  • Non-retractable tricycle type.
  • Land-O-Matic cantilever main legs, each comprising a one-piece machined conically-tapered spring steel tube.
  • Steerable nosewheel on oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber strut.
  • Main wheels size 6.00-6 with nylon tube-type tires, pressure 2.07 bars (30 psi).
  • Nosewheel size 5.00-5 with nylon tube-type tire, pressure 2.07 bars (30 psi).
  • Toe-operated single-disc hydraulic brakes.
  • Rudder pedal extensions and wheel fairings optional.

Power Plant:

  • One 82 kW (110-hp) Lycoming O-235-L2C flat-four engine, driving a McCauley two-blade metal fixed-pitch propeller with spinner.
  • Fuel tanks in wings, with total capacity of 98 liters (26 US gallons), of which 92.75 liters (24.5 US gallons) are usable.
  • Optional long-range tanks have a total capacity of 147.5 liters (39 US gallons), of which 142 liters (37.5 US gallons) are usable.
  • Refueling points on upper surface of wing.
  • Oil capacity 5.7 liters (1.5 US gallons).

Accommodation:

  • Enclosed cabin seating two side by side.
  • Vertically adjustable seats for pilot and co-pilot; inertia-reel shoulder harness and dual controls optional on standard model.
  • Baggage compartment behind seats, backs of which hinge forward.
  • Baggage capacity 54 kg (120 lbs).
  • Optional 'family seat' can be fitted in baggage space, for two children not exceeding 54 kg (120 lbs) in combined weight.
  • Door, with opening window, on each side.
  • Heating and ventilation standard.
  • Windscreen defroster standard.
  • Cabin skylight windows optional.

Systems:

  • Hydraulic system for brakes only.
  • Electrical system includes a 28V 60A alternator and 28V battery.

Optional Electronics:

  • Cessna Series 300 nav/com (standard on 152/II)
  • Series 300 transceiver
  • Series 300 nav/com with remote VOR/LOC or VOR/ILS indicator
  • Series 300 ADF, marker beacon with three lights and aural signal
  • Transponder with 4096 code capability
  • Slimline microphone, and
  • Padded headset with attached microphone and control wheel operating button.

Standard equipment:

  • Stall warning indicator
  • Variable intensity instrument panel red floodlights
  • Cabin dome lights
  • Navigation lights
  • Map compartment
  • Safety belts
  • Baggage retaining net, and
  • Control locks.

Optional equipment (standard on 152/II):

  • Dual controls
  • True airspeed indicator
  • Navigation light detectors
  • Heated pitot
  • Courtesy lights
  • Omni-flash beacon
  • Alternate static source, and
  • Emergency locator transmitter.

Other optional equipment:

  • Rate of climb indicator
  • Turn coordinator
  • Sensitive altimeter
  • Directional and horizon gyros
  • Turn and bank indicator
  • Flight hour recorder
  • Outside air temperature gauge
  • Electric clock
  • Rearview mirror
  • Control-wheel-mounted map light
  • Tinted windows
  • Cowl-mounted landing light
  • White strobe lights
  • Cabin fire extinguisher
  • Winterization kit
  • Anti-precipitation static kit
  • Full-flow oil filter
  • Quick drain oil valve, and
  • External power socket.

Dimensions, external:

  • Wing span (standard): 9.97 m (32 ft 8½ in)
  • Wing span (with optional conical wingtips): 10.11 m (33 ft 2 in)
  • Wing chord at root: 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
  • Wing chord at tip: 1.13 m (3 ft 8½ in)
  • Wing aspect ratio: 6.7
  • Length overall: 7.34 m (24 ft 1 in)
  • Height overall: 2.59 m (8 ft 6 in)
  • Tailplane span: 3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
  • Wheel track: 2.32 m (7 ft 7½ in)
  • Wheelbase: 1.47 m (4 ft 10 in)
  • Propeller diameter: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Passenger doors width (each): 0.86 m (2 ft 10 in)

Areas:

  • Wings, gross (standard): 14.59 m² (157.0 ft²)
  • Wings (with optional conical wingtips): 14.82 m² (159.5 ft²)

Weights and Loadings (A: standard 152; B: 152/II):

  • Weight empty, A: 502 kg (1,107 lbs)
  • Weight empty, B: 521 kg (1,148 lbs)
  • Max T-O weight, A: 757 kg (1,670 lbs)
  • Max T-O weight, B: 757 kg (1,670 lbs)
  • Max wing loading: 51.3 kg/m² (10.5 psf)
  • Max power loading: 9.24 kg/kW (15.2 lbs/hp)

Performance (at max T-O weight):

  • * Max level speed at S/L: 110 knots (204 km/h; 127 mph)
  • * Max cruising speed, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 107 knots (198 km/h; 123 mph)
  • Stalling speed, flaps up, power off: 48 knots (89.5 km/h; 55.5 mph) CAS
  • Stalling speed, flaps down, power off: 43 knots (80.5 km/h; 50 mph) CAS
  • Max rate of climb at S/L: 218 mpm (715 fpm)
  • Service ceiling: 4,480 m (14,700 ft)
  • T-O run: 221 m (725 ft)
  • T-O to 15 m (50 ft): 408 m (1,340 ft)
  • Landing from 15 m (50 ft): 366 m (1,200 ft)
  • Landing run: 145 m (475 ft)
  • Range, recommended lean mixture with allowance for start, taxi, T-0, climb and 45 min reserves at 45% power:
    • Standard fuel, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 350 nm (648 km; 403 miles)
    • Max fuel, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 580 nm (1,075 km; 668 miles)
    • Standard fuel, econ cruising power at 3,050 m (10,000 ft): 415 nm (769 km; 478 miles)
    • Max fuel, econ cruising power at 3,050 m (10,000 ft): 690 nm (1,278 km; 794 miles)
  • * With wheel fairings which increase speeds by approximately 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph)

Cessna 152 Aerobat Specifications and Performance Data [3]


The Model 152 Aerobat combines the economy and versatility of the standard Model 152 with aerobatic capability. Structural changes allow the Aerobat to perform 'unusual attitude' maneuvers and it is licensed in the Aerobatic category for load factors of +6g and -3g at full gross weight, permitting the performance of barrel and aileron rolls, snap rolls, loops, Immelmann turns, Cuban eights, spins, vertical reversements, lazy eights and chandelles.

Equipment of the aircraft differs only slightly from that of the standard 152. Quick-release cabin doors, removable seat cushions and backs, quick-release lapstraps, and shoulder harnesses, are standard, as are two tinted skylights in the cabin roof which offer extra field of view. Distinct external styling provides immediate recognition of the Aerobat's role.

Dimensions and Areas:

  • As for Model 152

Weights and Loadings:

  • As for Model 152 except:
  • Weight empty: 517 kg (1,139 lbs)

Performance (at max T-0 weight):

  • As for Model 152 except:
  • * Max level speed at S/L: 109 knots (202 km/h; 126 mph)
  • * Max cruising speed, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 106 knots (196 km/h; 122 mph)
  • Range, recommended lean mixture with allowance for engine start, taxi, T-O, climb and 45 min at 45% power:
    • Standard fuel, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 345 nm (639 km; 397 miles)
    • Max fuel, 75% power at 2,440 m (8,000 ft): 575 nm (1,065 km; 662 miles)
    • Standard fuel, econ cruising power at 3,050 m (10,000 ft): 410 nm (760 km; 472 miles)
    • Max fuel, econ cruising power at 3,050 m (10,000 ft): 685 nm (1,270 km; 789 miles)
  • * With wheel speed fairings which increase speeds by approximately 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph)

References


  1. Shupek, John. Photos by John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia. Cessna 152
  3. Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1978-79. London, Jane's Yearbooks, 1978, ISBN 0 531 03298 1, pp 299-300.

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