Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

177 vs. 182 Ownership

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Of The Kremlin
Nov 25, 2001
AlbieF15 wrote:

Are you a St Louis fan, a birdwatcher, or by chance are you an owner or fan of the Cessna 177? I'm a frustrated cardinal owner wannabe. If I ever start work and things settle down I'm interested in getting one. Just wondered if you might be a souce of info.

I've started looking at 182s also--seems like an SUV of a Cessna that is just a solid honest airplane.

What do you know about autogas STCs? Are they "penny wise and pound foolish" as far as maintaining your engine to TBO, or do they do just fine?

I stopped by an FBO and saw AVGAS at 2.50/gal, then filled up my expedition this weekend at .92 cents on a trip to Mississippi. That got me thinking that an older skylane, even though it had a higher hull price, might be a more economical alternative (even at 15 gph) if I could burn Mogas.

Again--I'm an airplane owner wannabe--talk to me as if I were a small child when you explain the issues to me

Thanks for your reponse.
In fact, I've never even sat in a Cessna 177.

As such I can't be of much help regarding that aircraft type. In fact our family airplane is a Skylane, go figure. It has served us very well, short-fields, heavy loads, and faster than some Arrows. Downside is that it burns more gas and the valuations are ludicrous. Great airplane.

In practice we see a solid 13 – 13.5 gph, in our ‘71 182N. In 1976 they go from the 0-470-R to the O-470-S. The –S has a higher compression ratio and makes the same power 2500 RPM, instead of 2700. We have the autogas STC, as the previous owner paid for it. There is no change to the aircraft of course, just a placard or two. He refused to ever burn autogas in it, but wanted the STC for “emergencies”. We’ll if you’re in that kind of a pinch who cares if it’s legal, but hey, to each his own. We have never put autogas in it either, but more because it’s a hassle than for any operational reason. There’s a guy at our airport who has a 172 who runs exclusively autogas. It’s a sight to behold. Lets do the math, 79.4 gals usable in our Skylane, that’s 16 five-gallon gas cans. That’s a 100 dollar investment right there. Several times I’ve put 65 gallons in, so you’d need at least 10-12 cans to make it in one trip to the gas-station most of the time. You’d have to put the seat down in most SUVs to carry that many cans. One spill and the car will stink for ages. One has to muscle the cans up on top of the wing. And it screws the local FBO, who we do depend on for other services, like coffee.

On a safety note, the STC specifically prohibits any fuel containing alcohol. It attacks some of the seals in the aircraft fuel system and that’ll just ruin your day, eventually. MTBE, Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, is that an alcohol? I’m not a chemist, but it kinda sounds like it, and I haven’t seen a gas pump in ages that wasn’t placarded as containing it. So that’s something to research as well. As far as engine health, the 0-470 fouls plugs like you wouldn’t believe if you don’t aggressively lean it, in the air and especially on the ground. So the lack of lead would be nice, but your detonation margin is reduced. The O-470R is of fairly low compression ratio in the first place, however, and it has been researched and certified, so you should have sufficient detonation margins in place, but they will absolutely be smaller than if you were running 100LL. Brutal engine mismanagement might be able to cause detonation on the autogas, but I neither am I a powerplant engineer.

One subscription that will pay for itself is the Cessna Pilot’s Association, who publish a great monthly dissection of Cessna specific maintenance and operating issues, with a lot of technical expertise behind the editors.
If I were to buy an airplane I would buy a Grumman Tiger hands down. It's bone simple (fixed gear, fixed prop) and it's still as fast as an Arrow on less HP. It doesn't have the useful load of a 182, but the 182 is buring an extra 30 lb/hr of fuel and going slower. The tiger is powered by an O-360 A1A (180HP), which is probably the most reliable pistion airplane engine out there. The tiger is also cheaper than the Cardinal and way cheaper than a 182. The Cardinal and the 182 also fly like grayhound busses, the tiger has a much more nimble control feel. Anyhow enough salesmanship, fly one for yourself and see.

Beech Musketeer Sundowner

Don't forget about this under-valued line of aircraft. They have more room than most planes in the same category. The fly great and have approximate speeds of a 172. All for much less. Plus Beechcraft makes a great plane. If you can find a Super III Musketeer they have a fuel injected 200HP Lycoming engine vs. 180 on the Sundowner. This helps with climb rate. Some have fixed gear and CSP but they are fairly rare. You can find a IFR Musketeer for around $40k. At least 10-15 less than a comparable 172 or Piper Archer. These are not speed demons but they are very roomy inside. They have the same should room as a Bonanza. Check out myplaneonline.com/bmo if you want more specs on these birds.

Good luck

I have time in both, but more in the RG than the fixed. Both are totally cool airplanes and great to fly. Good instrument platform and great x-c machines. If you get one, don't get the real early model with, is it, 160 hp, I believe. Get a later one with more hp.

This has been several years now, but I recall there was some kind of AD out for the horizontal stab.

182 is a good, solid choice and will haul a ton of payload. But for really stylish, sexy airplane, I like the Cardinal.
The Cessna Cardinal is a great airplane. I have flown quite a few hours in the 177 and rate it highly for IFR and cross country flying. I've flown it from Massachusetts to Florida and back several times. It also is a good looking airplane that is fun to fly.

As for the 182, I do not have alot of flight time in them. I've flown the 172 and 206 more and like those as well. From what I understand the 182 is an excellent plane for short field flying and can carry a decent payload.

Decisions! Decisions!

As for the autogas STC, it is a good emergency provision, however I would not be comfortable with the idea of using fuel containing alcohol in aircraft.

Fly safe, and enjoy what ever aircraft you choose to buy.
The 182 hands down. Payload, speed, resale, flying, parts, everything you could want. The 177 is slow, thats why the airspeed is in MPH and not Knots. Look in one and you will see. A good flying airplane and good looking on the ramp, however looks are not everything. Many great 182's out there, in about any price range. Join AOPA, they have many sources of help with AD listings for airplanes and background checks. Good luck

Don't take my word for it, but I had a student that had an STC for autogas in his Piper Warrior and he said that he needed leaded gasoline to comply w/ the STC. Maybe he meant that he couldn't use gasoline with alcohol???

I'm not sure, anyone know for sure???

All autogas STC's allow for the use of unleaded automotive gasoline, there is no other kind, with MTBE, no alcohol additives are permitted. The 182 is the best all around single ever made bar none. If you want one I know 2 independent owners with theirs for sale, 1 1960 VFR only, 1 1962 IFR capable and low time! I am not a broker.
I've been putting auto fuel in my 1947 Bonanza for over two years now - it runs great. Some mechanics tell me not to, other's say it's ok. The ney sayers tell me that the auto gas will eat all of the rubber seals and leave a residue. However, if it eats rubber seals than how come we put it in our cars? I add Marvel Mystery Oil to take care of any residue - works great. Good luck.


Latest resources