Aircraft Recognition 2 0 0 7 With your Host: Jerry Hough Questions? Call me at 616 575-1905
Today’s Agenda • Welcome to the first lesson in aircraft recognition training. You get to test your knowledge before the training slide appears. Once again, I suggest strong coffee before you begin! • Last year, some of you asked for airborne pictures. They are included in lesson 2. • Bottom line is this….Aircraft recognition is a lifelong adventure for those afflicted with the disease. It’s not something you can learn quickly since many of the differences are subtle at best. • In the heat of battle, you may try to use your new found knowledge and misapply it. The danger is that when you issue a control instruction to a specific type, the pilots think you really know your airplanes, and…if you were wrong and misidentified the type, no pilot responds to your instructions. • Comes down to this: When you are absolutely certain, go ahead and use the exact type aircraft BUT, if there’s any doubt, be generic to get the result you need!
Wanda’s Personal Favorite The Alon ERCOUPE Now truthfully, have you ever seen a prettier airplane??? Since the boss really likes these, I strongly suggest that you make every effort to identify them correctly……
Let’s Start With the Factory Builts First.......the CESSNA's
These are two of the most common, you will see at least a hundred of them. To tell them apart: The C140 is the smaller 2-seater while the C170 seats 4. Most C140’s have a fat wing with no taper and a rounded tip. Most C170’s have a single strut and a tapered wing. C-140, C120 is same without rear side window and flaps. C140A has tapered wing Rear window on C170 is larger C140 has sharp angle between fuselage and vertical tail C170B has curved fairing between fuselage and vertical tail. (C170A tail like C140) The C170 nose is noticeably longer because of bigger engine. C-170B, C170A has no taper to wing and same looking vertical tail as C120/140
Early Cessna 150’s had the same square tail as their larger siblings. Some were converted to the “Texas Taildragger” configuration. This one even has the bigger 150hp engine conversion.
These two Cessna’s are very similar, NOT! . To tell them apart: The C180 is a 4-seater while the C185 can squeeze in 6. The C185 has the bigger engine, with two landing lights below the spinner. The C180’s light is in the wing The C185 has a third side window where the C180 only has two (this is easy to see from the side) C-180 The Dorsal fin on the C185 is much bigger and extends farther forward than the C180’s To disquinguish from the C170, both of these have a square vertical tail, where all the C170’s tails are rounded C-185
There are actually C190’s and C195’s. Originally, the C195 had the bigger engine….But now days, I can’t tell them apart. To tell these from the C170, 180 & C185…. C-195’s These two have a C170B type tail, but are much longer and have a radial engine. Also, the entire wing has a gradual taper with no strut. Cessna Airmaster is similar, but smaller with a much skinnier tail. (Only 1 or 2 Airmasters will be here)
These are two of the most common versions of Cessna’s popular Shyhawk and Skylane. They are easy to tell apart if you look, but call a Skyhawk a Skylane and you will get no response to your control instruction. So be sure or be general……To tell these two apart: The Skyhawk’s rear window is rectangular, the Skylane’s is a teardrop that comes to a point at the rear. Skylane has two landing lights below the spinner, like the C185. Skyhawk has landing light in the wing, or two close together in the nose. In the air, the Skylane nose looks larger and deeper (bigger engine). The dorsal fin on the Skylane is longer and has more of a curve. The dorsal fin on the Skyhawk has a distinct kink in it. (Easier to tell from the side than in this picture) C-182 Skylane C-172 Skyhawk
Thru about 1963, the Cessna 172, 175, 182 series aircraft looked very similar, with no rear window and a square tail. Main difference was the size of the engine and cabin room. You will also see early Cessna 210’s, that look just like a C182 (after the slanted tail started) but with retractable gear and a bigger engine. Yes, these early 210’s even have wing struts. So be sure, or be generic…. C-175 Skylark
C-172 Cutlass Single engine retractable gear Cessna’s, with wing struts, are usually either a Cutlass or Skylane RG. True, early C210’s did have struts, but we won’t see that many of them. Like their fixed gear counterparts, the fuselage differences are pretty much the same. .The Skyhawk’s rear window is rectangular, the Skylane’s is a teardrop that comes to a point at the rear. The dorsal fin on the Skylane is longer and has more of a curve. The dorsal fin on the Skyhawk has that distinct kink in it. C-182 Skylane
Single engine retractable gear Cessna’s, without wing struts, must be either a Cardinal or a Centurion. Notice the cardinal has a teardrop rear window, like the Skylane, and a steeply raked windshield. The Cardinal also has the same angular bend in the dorsal fin as the Skyhawk. The Centurion has more of a sweeping curve into the vertical tail. Centurions may or may not have open gear wells without doors. C-177 Cardinal The fixed gear Cardinal is the only tricycle geared Cessna without wing struts. Same with the steeply raked windshield. C-210 Centurion
Most big Cessna singles with three windows on the side are Stationair’s. Longer versions are the C207. Early versions of the 206 were designated the C205 Super Skylane. C-207 w/Turbine Some C206/207’s have been converted to Turbo-Prop engines. They’re the ones with really long cowlings. C-206 Stationair
By the mid 60’s, all twin Cessna’s had the pointed tip tanks. Only the early C310’s had the square tail
Oval windows and a really skinny rear fuselage and tail help you tell the C335 (unpressurized) & C340 from the 400 series twin Cessnas. C-335 / 340 There will only be 1 or 2 of these Champion Lancers at Oshkosh. This is a 2-seat twin with a classic Aeronca fuselage and slightly more streamlined tail. Long main gear legs like a Britten-Norman Islander. ChampionLancer