As we all know, or at least I just discovered, the Cessna 172 is the most successful airplane in history. There are many different variations with different model names like the Skyhawk, the Skyhawk II, and the “high performance” Hawk XP II, to name a few. Even the U.S. Air Force used a variant of the Cessna 172 called the T-41A for student training starting in 1964.
I remember refueling a lot of 172s when I worked the line at the airpark and was happy when a 152 taxied up to the pumps. Not that I didn’t like the 172s, but pushing them back to a tie-down or spinning them around after refueling wasn’t an easy task. They were pretty heavy with low fuel, and topping them off made it that much harder to push. Plus, I think the apron around the fuel pumps had a slight grade to it making it a little more challenging. The good thing is that I learned the proper way to use a T-Bar, and I had no trouble using the leg press machine at my high school gym!
I decided to list the Cessna Skyhawk photos on a separate page, even though these airplanes have the same airframe, but with minor variations. The different models that I have pictures of are the Cessna Skyhawk, the Skyhawk II, the Skyhawk II/100, and the Hawk XP II. I grouped them by model name and arranged them by their numerical year.
The Cessna 150 is a successor to the famous tail dragger Cessna 140, which ended production in 1951. This new Cessna 150 started production in 1958 and was later replaced by the Cessna 152 in the summer of 1977. The landing gear changed from a tail dragger to a new tricycle design, and the new Fowler flaps replaced the older narrow hinged wing flaps found on the 140s. The Fowler flap is a split flap that slides rearwards before hinging down, increasing its efficiency.
The American made 150s are all powered by the Continental O-200-A 100hp four-cylinder air-cooled direct-drive engine. Over 3000 Cessna 150s came off of the assembly line in 1966, and it was the first year of a swept tail. The previous years had a straight tail.
Cessna introduced the Aerobat, model 150K, in 1970 with a list price of $12,000 with just over 700 built in the US through the spring of 1977. This limited aerobatic aircraft features additional structural strength to handle higher G force, four-point harnesses, dual overhead skylights for increased visibility, and removable seat cushions for wearing parachutes. It also has a more sporty checkerboard paint scheme. Surprisingly, it retained the original Continental O-200-A engine without any modifications to increase power or performance.
I was always fascinated with this airplane and enjoyed seeing it fly into the airpark when I was younger. I remember the excitement when I heard the pilot radio in that they were on final approach, and I would run outside to see the plane come in for a landing. I also remember refueling a Skymaster when I was working as a line boy in my teens, and I’ll never forget the sound of it on takeoff. Excellent aircraft and great times!
I recently scanned these promotional photos that my father received as an authorized Cessna dealer from the 1960s and early 1970s. Wow, do these bring back memories!
I just finished scanning this really cool brochure of the Republic Thunderbolt Amphibian “Post Victory Private Plane”. This brochure is four pages that opens up to a larger picture of the same cover art with additional drawings of the plane in use. I’ll photograph it in the future because it’s too big for my scanner and add it to this post. It’s interesting to read about the direction of Republic’s thinking after the war with this airplane which was based off of P.H. Spencer’s amphibian prototype. Click the download button below and feel free to share!
I just found this great article on the P-47 written by LT. COL. WILLIAM R. DUNN, USAF (RET.) that Tony cut out of the September 1975 issue of AIR FORCE Magazine. See the link below for a free download and please share!
Since this is the 43rd anniversary of The Blizzard of 1977, it’s only fitting to look back at the hanger collapse at Buffalo Air-Park and remember the planes that were lost. I was only 9 at that time and still remember the sadness I felt seeing so much destruction.
My father was born in Italy on October 31st, 1911. He became a US citizen in June of 1920 along with his parents, my grandparents, Michele and Anmina Riccio. He would have been 108 years old. He passed away on February 5th, 1976.
I remember as a young kid that Halloween wasn’t a day he enjoyed. It wasn’t because it was his birthday, but he was constantly being interrupted during dinner time by of all the neighborhood kids ringing our doorbell for Trick or Treat.
So Happy Birthday Dad and enjoy your peaceful flight!
I believe this photo was taken sometime in the 1940’s. The original building was only a single story and then Tony added the second story later on. Also added was a right rear addition for the snack bar and restrooms.
The front service area was to the left as you walked through the front door and accessible through a separate left side exterior door with access to the apron. Knowing Tony, most likely this photo would have been staged.
This is a photo of the lounge with the snack bar in the back. It would have been located on the right side as you walk through the front door. Tony is the man behind the counter on the right and he is helping a gentleman on the left. A woman is sitting in a chair reading while the two men talk.
This photo shows some exterior building renovations with new awnings and signs. The trim has been painted brown and landscaping was added under the front windows. I believe that the snack bar was also renovated at this time which included a longer counter with additional stools, an expanded menu, and a larger dining area. It was promoted as a small restaurant by a new exterior sign.
Check out the hand written menu! This photo shows that the wall has been opened up and the counter has been extended. The aircraft artwork was also hung and it looks as though the counter was in the middle of being painted brown. I love the mustard container sitting on the counter!
These last 2 photos show that the snack bar was renovated into a small restaurant with an additional seating area. The wall was opened up and a longer counter was installed. New artwork was hung over the counter which replaced the single propeller that was there originally. The payphone and restrooms were located through the entrance way to the left of the window. Although the restaurant was eventually closed and replaced by vending machines I still remember sitting on these stools when I was young. Unfortunately the restaurant was removed before I had a chance to see it.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
I added 2 new pages and both are articles on Buffalo Air-Park written in the 1950’s. You can use the menu at the top or bottom of this site to access the pages or click on the links below to take you there directly.