Cessna A185F Skywagon
Single-engine six-seat light high-wing monoplane, U.S.A.

Archive Photos 1

1983 Cessna A185F "Skywagon" (N714QR) c.1985 at the MCAS El Toro Airshow (Photos by John Shupek)

Overview 2

The Cessna 185 Skywagon is a six-seat, Single-engine, 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).

Operational History 2

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.

Civil Variants 2

Military Variants 2

Civil Operators 2

Military Operators 2

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.

Accidents and Incidents 2

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) 2

General Characteristics


Specification for Differing Configurations 2


  1. Shupek, John. Photos, copyright © 1985 John Shupek. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.Cessna 185

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