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A Classic Daily Flyer

Cessna 170s fill a lot of flying needs while looking good

By Randy Dufault

July 25, 2018 - Seventy years ago Cessna made a logical move and released the next step up from its two-seat 140 model. The new 170 model sported four seats and a larger engine. Although it was smaller, it also adopted some of the styling found on the larger Model 195 Cessna released the year before. The result was a classic-looking, all-metal taildragger that could serve as the flying sedan for any growing family.

“It’s four-place, it will carry enough things, it will go fast enough, it will go far enough, and it looks beautiful,” Dave Finemore from Longmont, Colorado, said about his 170. “It’s just the perfect combination of all of those things. With my family of four we all can get in it.”

Dave and nearly 60 other 170 owners traveled to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 to celebrate the type’s 70th anniversary and, according to him, “talk all things Cessna 170.”

Dave credits Todd Farnsley, EAA 527866 and a 170 owner from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with coming up with the idea.

“We were at the AOPA fly-in in Norman [Oklahoma], we camped right next to each other, he said wouldn’t it be great and I know somebody we can talk to.”

A conversation with VAA judge and 170 owner Dan Wood got the wheels in motion to establish a dedicated parking spot and an acknowledgement of the anniversary. An extremely active Cessna 170 online community quickly spread the word.

Most of the planes attending AirVenture are parked in Vintage rows 76, 77, and 78.

Cessna produced more than 5,100 examples of the type before production ended in 1956. Introduction of the nose wheel-equipped Cessna 172 signaled the end of the line for many of the tail wheel-equipped models. However, estimates are that more than 2,000 170 examples are still in the air.

Dave owned a number of different airplanes before the 170, but is still happy with his current ride.

“I could get something faster, but it just wouldn’t be as much fun as having this old, classic airplane,” he said. “There is something about the [170] that draws a crowd.”

“Pavement, backcountry, it will lift enough, it’s just really a great Cessna design, where they took all of the compromises and rolled it into something that really just works.”

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