Used Aircraft Guide

April 2014 Issue

Cessna Cardinal

An economical cruiser that looks more modern than a Skyhawk, the fixed-gear Cardinal is a good choice for performance-seekers on a budget.

Although the design is more than four decades old, the Cessna 177 Cardinal—with its racy sloped windshield, wide doors and strutless wings—looks more modern than the newest Skyhawks coming out of Cessna’s Independence, Kansas, plant. Yet, sadly, the Cardinal is a poster child for why innovation and audacity in general aviation development has often met dismal results in the market. Despite high expectations for a design that would usher in new thinking in light aircraft, the Cardinal had a rocky start and was gone from Cessna’s inventory a decade after it emerged.

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