Our Cessna has been in the maintenance shop for quite some time. After getting a beautiful paint job two years ago, it was now the avionics and wings to get a makeover. The airplane’s history in pictures:
The Cessna 175 Skylark was the first model on the 3A17 type certificate and many variants of the 172, including the 172RG and Reims Rocket, were added to it over the years. The large number of aircraft produced is probably one of the reasons, why so many modifications are approved on this type. These modifications are so called STCs, or supplemental type certificates. At the moment, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is reducing the burden on general aviation wherever it can. That being said, over-regulation by the agency in its first ten years after 2003 has hurt the European light GA market considerably. Looking at the bright side, we are now over the hump and EASA realized that making new american STCs available will increase safety. Many STCs are now coming from the experimental market, approved by the FAA, and may be used on certified aircraft in Europe. Further relieve will be brought by Part-M light, not only for ELA1/ELA2 aircraft, but also those weighing up to 2,730 kg.
The Garmin G5 is such an example of an experimental and now certified instrument, of which two are being installed in our new cockpit. One as an attitude indicator and the other as an HSI – the vacuum system became redundant and has been removed. Additionally, a Garmin GTN 650 is now giving the plane LPV capability down to 200ft decision heights.
Further mods are a DME, an additional standby attitude indicator, a new turn coordinator and Golze Engineering ADL in-flight weather – and of course the Wing-X wing extensions of 45cm on each wing for a 200lbs gross weight increase and better takeoff, cruise and high-altitude performance. The airplane should be ready for takeoff by the end of next week and we are looking forward to flying the “new” plane!
The wing extension from Air Research Technology Inc. for the Cessna 175 is approved based on a Canadian STC that is recognized in EASA member states, thanks to grandfather rights.
The STC claims the following specifications, based on test flights on C180, C182, C185 and Cessna 206:
- Reduced stall speed;
- Reduced takeoff and landing distances;
- Reduced water landing impact loads by 8%;
- Increased takeoff performance by as much as 30%;
- Increased rate of climb by 12%;
- Increased lateral stability in all phases of flight;
- Increase service ceiling by almost 1,000 feet (7% more wing area);
- Increase cruise speed 2% at cruise settings of 65% and 75%;
- Increased fuel performance 1% to 2%;
- Increased flight safety margin and stability at low speed;
- STC approved in combination with other STOL kit modifications on all series of Cessna 180, 182 and 185 on wheels, skis or floats;
…and of course the increased maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 2,550 lbs, up by 200 lbs. The MTOW increase, by the way, is independent from the wing extension per se. The STC allows to strengthen the wing without installing the extensions.
Let’s find out if we’ll see the one or two percent higher cruise speed and fuel efficiency! 😉