Microsoft Flight Simulator Cessna 172 Aircraft :
It is First flown in 1955. The Cessna 172 began as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildragger Cessna 170. It has since become the single most produced airplane in history, tallying over 44,000 assembled to date.
Aside from a hiatus in the 1980s-’90s, the 172 has been in production since 1956. It has four-seat, single-engine, fixed-wing design evolving into over 20 variants throughout the years. It includes the deluxe ‘Skyhawk’ model, debuted in 1960.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Introduction:
In 2006, Microsoft Flight Simulator, a take on World in Motion, was introduced to bring the technology to a wider audience. Although only eight years old, the game is considered to be one of the most essential flight simulation games of all time.
“A casual gamer would have no idea what’s going on; they’re just chasing birds.” – Global head of Microsoft Flight Simulations.
The game is the combination of what gamers love and what the industry needs: innovative new technology and truly immersive design to provide the most realistic and enjoyable flying experience possible. Today’s release includes two “brand new” flight courses, the Apollo 6, a full-scale Apollo launch with the Saturn V launch vehicle and landing module, and the fictional Syscon 77, a propeller-driven 1930s biplane.
Why Choose the Cessna 172?
The Cessna 172 (a.k.a. Skyhawk) is a relatively new airplane in the second-hand market. With prices exceeding $200,000 – an eye-watering figure for the average homeowner. But compared to similar aircraft on the market, the Cessna 172 is a steal.
With a cruising speed of 166 mph, it doesn’t slow down when fully loaded with modern avionics. For example: radar, GPS, and a sleek looking Garmin panel. All of which is housed in a durable aluminium fuselage.
A similar wing design to the Cessna 190, the 172 shares many of the same components with the 172 model. It includes retractable landing gear, brake pedals and safety belts. The 16.8′ long, a two-piece windshield helps block out wind noise. While a full, covered instrument panel allows pilots to go hands-free.
Getting to Know the Cessna 172:
The 172 is capable of a maximum cruise speed of 220 mph and can fly a distance of over 611 miles at a cruising altitude of 10,000 ft. At 730 pounds, its four-stroke piston engine gives it a 15 percent range increase over its liquid-cooled predecessor and a total range of 1,270 miles.
It can carry a crew of two – pilot and co-pilot – and a passenger up to seven. While at speeds as low as 100 mph, it can keep a distance of as far as 5 miles between its wingtips and the ground.
Aside from being a jet-powered flying machine, the Cessna 172 is also a great general aviation airplane to fly. The 172 uses a nose-mounted gearbox. It allows you to go in any direction and can hold your weight with its robust rear-mounted tire tread.
Why the Cessna 172 is so popular?
A staple of many a flight instructor and bush pilot’s early days, the Cessna 172 has an estimated 40-plus year lifespan (as per Cessna’s operating procedures). Not only can the 172 fit every passenger’s luggage, but it’s lightweight (and thus relatively fuel-efficient), quiet, comfortable and safe.
It’s rare to find another plane that can match the 172’s versatility. In addition to a staggering four-flight deck layout (which enables you to train for, control and conduct routine flights, land and take off in inclement weather or bad weather, and land with at least 10-inches of visibility), the 172 has been incorporated into popular simulators and aircraft Flight Simulators (like Microsoft Flight Simulator and Apple Flight Simulator) for decades.
How to fly Cessna 172 and take off in MFS:
Thanks to its spread of variants, Cessna is a relatively simple plane to fly. All you need is a course for an introductory flight. Although you might also want to check out the Cessna 195, a 155-seat corporate aircraft developed in the late 1980s, which replaces the 172’s original 200 hp Lycoming O-235 engine with an International Six 300 turbocharged engine – a rare engine choice for a tricycle-gear aeroplane.
The 172 also has a minimum fuel capacity of 12.5 gallons, allowing you to take it on short trips without having to refill it as often.
How to taxi and do basic manoeuvers with Cessna in MFS:
Set the speed to first level, 70 mph in the hover (e.g. 0-30mph), 70 mph taxi (e.g. 0-40mph), and take your hands off the controls. After getting in line, it’s a good idea to learn how to take off in a hurry and land on the ground. Just like with any other aircraft – by doing a combination of controlling the throttle and yoke.
For more complex manoeuvres, such as looping, there’s an on-screen throttle lever, and you can use your feet on the pedals for turn and throttle control.
In your book, one of the best reasons to learn how to fly an airplane is that you can just fly it yourself. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need some guidance. To learn to fly the 172, you’ll need to take a few moments to fly the Fight Simulator first, and it’s all available in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Cessna 172 aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator:
The 172, and its 2,850+ owners, have become a sort of ‘flying Rorschach Test’ for the Microsoft Flight Simulator series, enabling hundreds of thousands of gamers worldwide to experience a virtual flight experience from the pilot’s seat of a modern, mid-2000s Cessna 172.
Designed by legendary aviation designer Jack Bellanca. The 172 boasts a fuel capacity of an astonishing 5,000 gallons, a service ceiling of 25,000 feet, and is designed to fly with a 6,000-pound payload – comfortably seating six passengers.
Designed as a reliable workhorse. The Cessna 172 aircraft can even be commandeered for use in high-altitude special operations missions, such as in the film Silver Lining.
The aircraft can be used for fun and exploring or used for private and commercial purposes.
My experience with Cessna aircraft:
I like Cessna aircraft because they are light and easier to control. That is because they fly at low speed, especially for take-off and landing. I use the plane mainly for fun and exploring the world virtually. After taking off, I use the trim to make the aircraft stay at a level while in the air. It is easier than using a yoke or joystick. There is an autopilot option, but I never used it before.
As I prepare to land, I extend the flap to 20 or thirty degrees depending on the runway length. This aircraft can land in short runway or gravel runways and it is usually in rural areas. For more information about runway requirements click here.
Video of Cessna 172 in Flight Simulator X:
With the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s new 2020 series of aircraft, we’ve seen a gradual shift toward more realistic aircraft models that should ultimately help us better simulate the real-world aerospace industry.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, the overall fidelity of these new avionics configurations, ground stations and mission planning features should push the aviation sim industry forward as well.
If you’re interested in other aircraft simulators, PC Gamer has a thorough review of the latest offerings.
Thank you for reading this article, and feel free to share your thoughts with me about Cessna 172 in the comments below.