Cessna A185F Skywagon
Single-engine six-seat light high-wing monoplane, U.S.A.
Archive Photos 
[1983 Cessna A185F "Skywagon" (N714QR) c.1985 at the MCAS El Toro Airshow (35mm Photo by John Shupek)]
- Role: Light utility aircraft
- Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company
- First flight: 1960
- Introduction: 1961
- Produced: 1961-1985
- Number built: over 4,400
- Developed from: Cessna 180
- Variants: St-Just Super-Cyclone
The Cessna 185 Skywagon is a six-seat, single-engined, general aviation light aircraft manufactured by Cessna. It first flew as a prototype in July 1960, with the first production model being completed in March 1961. The Cessna 185 is a high-winged aircraft with non-retractable conventional landing gear and a tailwheel.
Over 4,400 were built with production ceasing in 1985. When Cessna re-introduced some of its most popular models in the 1990s, the tailwheel equipped Cessna 180 and 185 were not put back into production.
Design and Development
The aircraft is basically a Cessna 180 with a strengthened fuselage. The main difference between the two aircraft is the larger vertical fin on the 185 and the 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D engine as opposed to the 230 hp (172 kW) Continental O-470-S fitted to the Cessna 180. The exception was that a Continental Motors IO-470-F engine of 260 hp (194 kW) was initially fitted until midway through the 1966 production year. The later model Skywagon II has a factory fitted avionics package.
The Skywagon can also be fitted with floats, amphibious float, or skis. The AgCarryall variant of the 185 adds a 151-gallon belly chemical tank and removable spray booms for aerial application. It is also possible to fit a cargo pod under the fuselage that can carry an extra 300 lb (136 kg).
The 180 and 185 are widely used in bush flying, the commercial transport of passengers and freight to remote, austere airstrips, lakes and snowfields, primarily in Canada and Alaska.
- Cessna 185 Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 31 January 1961.
- Cessna 185A Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 20 September 1961.
- Cessna 185B Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 25 June 1962.
- Cessna 185C Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 19 July 1963.
- Cessna 185D Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,200 lb (1,451 kg) and first certified on 17 June 1964.
- Cessna 185E Skywagon: Six seat high wing light aircraft powered by a 260 hp (194 kW) Continental IO-470-F, landplane gross weight 3,300 lb (1,497 kg) and first certified on 24 September 1965.
- A185E Skywagon and AgCarryall: Six seat high wing light aircraft and agricultural aircraft powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D, landplane gross weight 3,350 lb (1,520 kg) and first certified on 24 September 1965.
- Cessna A185F Skywagon and AgCarryall: Six seat high wing light aircraft and agricultural aircraft powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Continental IO-520-D, landplane gross weight 3,350 lb (1,520 kg) and first certified on 16 October 1973.
- Cessna U-17A: Military version of the Cessna 185E, powered by a 260-hp (194-kW) Continental IO-470-F piston engine. Supplied by the USAF to a number of countries under the Military Assistance Program.
- Cessna U-1B: Military version of the Cessna A185E, powered by a 300-hp (224-kW) Continental IO-520-D piston engine. Supplied by the USAF to a number countries under the Military Assistance Program.
- Cessna U-17C: Four-seat light utility aircraft, powered by a Continental IO-470-L piston engine.
- The Cessna 185 is popular with air charter companies and is operated by private individuals and companies.
As part of the United States Military Assistance Program, Cessna received a contract to supply the United States Air Force with the Skywagon. These were intended for delivery overseas and were designated Cessna U-17A and Cessna U-1B.
- Argentina: Argentine Army Aviation
- Bolivia: Bolivian Air Force 7 × Cessna A185E, 8 × Cessna A185F, 5 × Cessna U-17A
- Costa Rica: Guardia Civil 3 × Cessna U-17A
- Ecuador: Ecuadorian Army 2 × Cessna 185D
- Greece: Hellenic Army 9+ × Cessna U-17A
- Honduras: Honduran Air Force received a Cessna 185B in 1962, a Cessna U-17A in 1963 and a Cessna 185D in 1965.
- Iran: Islamic Revolutionary Air Force Cessna 185A - no longer in service, Islamic Revolutionary Army Aviation Cessna 185A - no longer in service
- Israel: Israel Air Force Cessna 185
- Jamaica: Jamaica Defence Force - 4 × Cessna 185 from 1963 to 1985
- Laos: Royal Laotian Air Force - Cessna U-17s used as aircraft for Nokateng Forward Air Controllers during the Vietnam War
- Nicaragua: Nicaraguan Air Force 3 × Cessna U-1B
- Panama: Panamanian Public Forces 3 × Cessna U-17A
- Paraguay: Paraguayan Air Force 5 × Cessna U-17A
- Peru: Peruvian Air Force 9 × Cessna 185
- Philippines: Philippine Air Force 8 × Cessna U-17A, 9 × U-1B
- Rhodesia: Rhodesian Air Force - Two civil aircraft impressed into service, about 17 aircraft on loan from the South African Air Force, in service during the 1970s.
- El Salvador: Air Force of El Salvador 1 × Cessna 185
- South Africa: South African Air Force 24 × Cessna 185A, 12 × Cessna 185D, 9 × Cessna 185E - No longer in service.
- South Vietnam: Vietnam Air Force - About 100 Cessna U-17As and Cessna U-17Bs were used by the VNAF. No longer in service.
- Thailand: Royal Thai Army Aviation Cessna U-1B
- Turkey: Turkish Army Aviation Cessna U-1B
- United States: Civil Air Patrol
- Uruguay: Uruguayan Air Force 12 × Cessna U-17A
Accidents and Incidents
On August 19, 1989, a Cessna A185E Skywagon registered N95KW crashed shortly after a balked landing at Coastal Airport, located near Myrtle Grove, Florida. The pilot's seat latch slipped on the railing, causing the pilot to unintentionally stall the aircraft. The pilot and the two passengers on board were all severely injured. The resulting product liability trial, concluding twelve years later, resulted in a $480 million judgment against Cessna. The case was later settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum. This accident also brought about a series of airworthiness directives that affected all small Cessnas ever built.
Specifications (1978 Cessna 185 II landplane)
- Crew: one
- Capacity: five passengers
- Length: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)
- Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
- Wing area: 174 sq ft (16.2 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,748 lb (793 kg))
- Gross weight: 3,350 lb (1,520 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 ×: Continental IO-520-D , 300 hp (220 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed constant speed, 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) diameter
- Maximum speed: 155 kn (178 mph; 287 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 145 kn (167 mph; 269 km/h)
- Stall speed: 49 kn (56 mph; 91 km/h)
- Range: 720 nmi (829 mi; 1,333 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,150 ft (5,230 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,010 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
Specification for Differing Configurations
- Length: floatplane 27 ft 0 in (8.23 m); amphibian 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
- Height: floatplane 12 ft 2 in (3.71 m); amphibian 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
- Empty weight: landplane 1,745 lb (792 kg); floatplane 1,910 lb (866 kg); amphibian 2,165 lb (982 kg)
- Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): floatplane 3,320 lb (1,506 kg); amphibian 3,265 lb (1,481 kg) on land, 3,100 lb (1,406 kg) on water
- Maximum speed: landplane 136 knots (252 km/h); floatplane 141 knots (261 km/h); amphibian 135 knots (251 km/h)
- Range: landplane 516 nm (957 km); floatplane 503 nm (933 km); amphibian 482 nm (893 km)
- Service ceiling: floatplane 16,400 ft (5,000 m); amphibian 15,300 ft (4,700 m)
- Rate of climb: floatplane 960 ft/min (293 m/min); amphibian 970 ft/min (296 m/min)
- Wing loading: floatplane 19.1 lb/ft² (93.3 kg/m²); amphibian 18.8 lb/ft² (91.8 kg/m²)
- Photos: John Shupek, Copyright © 1985 John Shupek. All Rights Reserved
- Wikipedia.Cessna 185
Copyright © 1998-2018 (Our 20th Year) Skytamer Images, Whittier, California
All rights reserved