Compare the fixed costs, variable cost, and performance of Cessna 185F to over 500 jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft, with accurate data from Conklin & de Decker.
As popular as the Cessna 180 is, people were always asking for more. Specifically, more power and more useful load. In 1961, Cessna responded to this with the Model 185. Over 6,000 Model 180/185s were produced. The Model 185 shares the same cabin as the 180, but is powered by a more powerful 260 hp (1961–1966) Continental IO-470 or 300 hp Continental IO-520 engine. The Cessna 185 continued production until 1985’s 185F model.
The bigger engines did three things for the 185: 1) increased the gross weight, 2) decreased the takeoff run, and 3) added a few knots to the cruise speed. In 1973, a new “Camber Lift” wing was introduced. Developed by Robertson Aviation, they also have a modification to retrofit older models with the better STOL wing. After 1979, a three-bladed propeller was made standard equipment.
As with the Cessna 180, floats and skis are as popular as wheels and operators praise the aircraft for its load carrying capability. The already good STOL capability of the 180 was improved with the 185 and the fuel-injected engine adds to the hot and high performance. Being a “bush” airplane, there are a number of STOL modifications.
The Cessna 185 remains a popular model and its residual values confirm its popularity.
Continental Con IO-520-D 1