Flew a C177R Cardinal Yesterday for the First Time

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Bonchie, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,156
    Location:
    Huntsville AL

    Display name:
    cgrab
    No powerflow...pretty much stock but I did get a lightweight starter this year. Never had an issue with the CG, I do carry a few tools and oil and the RG battery is a couple of pounds heavier than the original.
     
  2. Dbarbee

    Dbarbee Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Sapulpa, OK (KRVS)

    Display name:
    Daniel Barbee
    That hasn't been my experience, I guess it depends on what you're comparing it too.

    I moved up from a 160HP (RAM STC) 172M with 2300 lb gross weight and 38 gallon fuel tanks. (I've also flown 180 HP 172's, 182's, PA28's, & a V35 Bonanza) In the summertime in the 172M (90F-100F) with two onboard, full fuel, and a weeks worth of baggage the best I could do was 118 TAS at 9-9.5 GPH and climb speed would drop below 500 FPM by the time we got to around 4,000'.

    In my 180 HP Fixed Gear Cardinal with 60 gallons of fuel and 2500 lb gross weight and the same loading and summertime conditions I regularly see 128-129 TAS at 10.5 GPH and can maintain at least 500 FPM up to about 6,000' and at least 300 FPM up to 8,000'-9,000' where I usually cruise. (With the 172 I didn't bother trying to climb above 6,000' in the summer)

    The performance certainly doesn't compare to a 177RG or a 182 but for the combination of performance, looks, cabin space, visibility, and ease of ingress/egress we're sure happy with it.
     
    Pilawt likes this.
  3. C_Parker

    C_Parker Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2019
    Messages:
    137

    Display name:
    x
    I'd really like to fly a 177RG at some point. There's one at an airport near me, if a good example had come along when I was 182 shopping last year I very well might've bought one. Seems like a great little cross country aircraft.
     
  4. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,494
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    There is a semi-abandoned 177RG sitting on the ramp at a small airport near me. I was told it belongs to a Doctor and he doesn't fly it much any more and it is out of annual...

    I'll keep an eye on it...
     
    YKA likes this.
  5. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Down at Llano, or another one?
     
  6. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,494
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    Gatesville
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  7. JohnAJohnson

    JohnAJohnson Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    Gulf Shores, AL

    Display name:
    JohnAJohnson
    I owned a 177B for ten years and have owned a 177RG for the last six months. Loved the B and only had a problem with forward CG when I took my 320 pound friend for a ride. And then, I'd make sure I didn't have more than 30 gallons in the tanks and then it was within the envelope. Changing to a Sky-tec starter (10 pounds lighter) allowed 38 gallons in the same scenario. The W&B is easily manageable, and the RG looks to be at least as accommodating. I saw 126 (easy to do) - 130 (rare, must have a really aft CG) knots true on 10 gallons of gas in the B, and I see 145-149 knots true on 10.5 gallons of gas in the RG. I don't know if I've ever taken off in the RG and not seen at least a 1000'/min climb, but the B wasn't that good of a climber. Cold days when light, sure, 1000-1100'/min, but otherwise, 600-800' was more like it. Hot and heavy, it was lucky to hit 500'/min. I miss the B for its simplicity, but love the RG for its speed.
     
  8. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,779
    Location:
    Columbus, OH

    Display name:
    Greg
    As I contemplate an upgrade between an oldish 177 and an even older 182, this commentary is great to read! My buddy who has never owned anything but a 152 is in another state with his A&P as I write this about to do a prebuy tomorrow on a 180 FG 177. Fingers crossed it's a keeper and he flies it home Sunday.

    My wife has expressed an interest in more elbow room and speed so I'm weighing my options and keeping an eye on TAP & Barnstormers. I was one of those who, as an inexperienced new PP, bounced a 177 twice and went around before getting my speed on book and landing properly. It spooked me at the time but I've always said the Cardinal and I have some unfinished business. All this talk makes me want to own one!
     
    mcdewey likes this.
  9. DeeG

    DeeG Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,011
    Location:
    Cashmere, WA

    Display name:
    DeeG
    What a beauty! I've always lusted after a 177, especially an RG. Got my first and only ride in one many years ago when we took our Stinson to FL. Had to detour to Ocala because of nasty storms outside of Orlando. While Pete was finding a place to hangar the Stinson, I found a Cardinal out on the ramp. Owner showed up and asked if I wanted to fly it. You have to ask???? wooo hooo! It was an awesome 40 minutes. lol.
     
    Ghery likes this.
  10. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Wichita

    Display name:
    James
    [​IMG]
     
    iflyvfr likes this.
  11. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,494
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
  12. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    37

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    I’ve been told to stay away from the 177Rg and find a decent FG due to maintenance- the extra speed (And climb?) for this model seems worth it, but that depends completely on the $$$

    What’s your experience been?

    135 on 7gph is great

     
  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    8,024
    Location:
    Somewhere else

    Display name:
    Unwanted Guest - Perma-ban Pending
    Rubbish.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  14. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Don’t worry about the purchase price the real question is can you afford an operating budget and an occasional $5-10k bill. We put north of 500 hours on the Cardinals in my crew per year and things do break and prices are getting expensive for the rarer parts. If you only fly 40 hours a year you weren’t as likely to run into those issues but of course you do have things that tend to last longer when they’re operating more frequently. I’m maintaining 2 RGs for my boss and he runs one as well so we see more averages and issues than most.
     
    YKA likes this.
  15. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    Maryland

    Display name:
    Pugs
    I will be in the market here in a couple years and the 182/177 RGs are both on the short list. What are the parts you're finding are scarce when you go looking?
     
    YKA likes this.
  16. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    New Jersey (KMMU)

    Display name:
    Gary M
    I've got 200 hours in a 1977 FG Cardinal. 180 horse, slotted stabilator, 60 gallon long range tanks. It flew like a dream, and also looked really cool just sitting still. I really wish I still had access to it. The only issue with it in a club setting was making sure the pilot who had it before you didn't fill the tanks all the way if you were planning to fly with 3 or 4 people.
     
  17. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    9,533
    Location:
    Lincoln NE

    Display name:
    Brian
    Price insurance for anything RG. I'll stick with FG insurance premiums.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,755
    Location:
    CMI

    Display name:
    Jim
    33r5yl.jpg
     
  19. av8orDave

    av8orDave Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Messages:
    31

    Display name:
    av8orDave
    An FG Cardinal owner here (1971 177B). We've owned our plane for a couple years now and fly about 100 hrs per year. No issue finding parts (so far). The only thing to be aware of is the Cessna service bulletin on the spar... other than that, Cardinals are no more hassle than any other small plane from a maintenance standpoint.
     
    Scott Mitchell and Pugs like this.
  20. Brad W

    Brad W Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    615

    Display name:
    BLW2
    I enjoyed my long ago time in the 177RG (N1967Q and N34480)...not much, only about 16 hours total as a renter, so I can't speak to much, especially maintenance items and such...
    except to say I seem to recall some issues with the large entry doors being caught in the wind while loading and unloading...maybe some hinge damage issues ?

    I recall the thing feeling very slow/heavy in the climb out...I remember it performing better than it felt....
    and not that it ever mattered to me when flying, but I always hated the way they look with the gear in transit on departure.....

    overall I liked them a lot!
    I never had the pleasure of flying a fixed gear version....
     
  21. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    37

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    Can I have an example for a high time pilot?
     
  22. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    37

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    Ok-
    Put it into real terms- what’s the difference in maintenance and overall operating cost RG vs FG?
     
  23. Dbarbee

    Dbarbee Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Sapulpa, OK (KRVS)

    Display name:
    Daniel Barbee
    I’m not sure what you consider high time but when I was shopping for a Cardinal I got insurance quotes for the FG and the RG.

    At the time I had approximately 1,000 total hours, 35 in RG, 80 in constant speed, and 0 in make/model and I was quoted $1200 for the FG and $2500 for the RG.

    Now after putting over 500 hours on my FG in the last 4.5 years my insurance is down to $879. I think it’s reasonable to assume that if I’d bought an RG the rate would’ve dropped proportionally as I logged more RG time and would be somewhere around $1800 today. (Still more than double the FG insurance cost)
     
    Scott Mitchell and YKA like this.
  24. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    Maryland

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Assuming two equal planes? The cost of a gear swing at annual.

    My clubs has two 182s - A 1981 182RG and 2000 182S. Maintenance wise not a big difference in costs at all. The RG is perhaps a bit higher but just because it's 20 years older. Both get flown by a wide variety of pilots. The gear on the RG has had zero issues.
     
    Scott Mitchell, YKA and Ravioli like this.
  25. Jeff Creamer

    Jeff Creamer Pre-Flight PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Georgia

    Display name:
    JJC
    What kind of payload are you guys realistically getting in your 177’s? Is it a true 4 person plane? I thought it was more 3 person and 4 with less fuel type plane.
     
  26. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    9,533
    Location:
    Lincoln NE

    Display name:
    Brian
    All good airplanes have large fuel tanks that let you choose fuel endurance or cabin load...

    177s hold 48 gallons minimum which is .32 gallons of fuel per horsepower for the 1968 model, essentially 6.4 hours +/- of fuel with no reserve. No one would want to sit in these for more than 3 hours straight with 4 adults on board....
     
  27. Dbarbee

    Dbarbee Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Sapulpa, OK (KRVS)

    Display name:
    Daniel Barbee
    Payload for my 1976 FG with 60 gal long range tanks filled halfway (30 gal) is 685 lbs. That’s enough to take four people with an average weight of 170 lbs for a $100 hamburger or sightseeing for a couple of hours.

    Payload with fuel to the bottom of the fill necks (about 40 gal) is 625 lbs and enough take three people with an average weight of 175 lbs on a short XC with a 25 lb overnight bag each for a weekend getaway.

    Payload with full tanks (60 gal) is 505 lbs and will take two people with an average weight of 175 lbs and three 50 lb bags on a long XC for a 1-2 week vacation.

    The best way I’ve heard it put was, 2 people with a weeks worth of luggage, 3 people with overnight bags, or 4 people with a toothbrush.

    Payload isn't dramatically higher than some of the older 172's like the P model, but the cabin room, ease of ingress/egress, visibility, and the few extra knots sure are sure nice extras.
     
    GMascelli likes this.
  28. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Zero issues - unless - your mechanics aren't up to speed. I test flew one RG (that we didn't buy) that had had TWO nose gear collapses because of MX errors. That can get expensive on engines and make insurance difficult in a hurry. Also had one gear-up personally due to the failure of a hydraulic line.
     
  29. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,600
    Location:
    Olympia, Washington

    Display name:
    Ghery Pettit
    No experience with a 177, but I'd like to. Our club has a 172N with the Penn Yan 180 hp upgrade. 50 gal in long range tanks. Club rules are to put a plan away with full tanks, but with the 180 hp upgrade that still allows about 755 pounds in the cabin with full tanks. It wouldn't be a 4 seats full and full fuel with 4 adults who weigh as much as my wife and I do, but close. At 8.3 gal/hr (cruise burn according to the charts) that's 6 hours of fuel to tanks dry. Given 3 hours of comfort before a potty stop, I don't worry about running out of gas, and in 20 years have never come close. Sounds like the 188 would be similar.
     
  30. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,321

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    you mean other than the shooting...
     
  31. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,271
    Location:
    Monterey County

    Display name:
    NordicDave
    Cessna's original intent was the Cardinal would replace the Skyhawk as their basic recreational GA plane. Bigger, more comfortable, more aerodynamic, better ergonomics, etc.

    Sales for the first year in 1968 beat all expectations, then plummeted. Cessna under powered the 68 model with O-320 at 150HP. Eventually the plane received a 180HP engine but it was too late as the plane developed a poor reputation for load & speed performance. Though Cessna tried, they could never overcome the buzz from the launch year model performance issues.

    The anticipated segue from 172 to 177 never materialized.

    Especially as the Cardinal moved into the 70's it was a terrific plans with a very loyal following to this day. May of the 68 models have upgraded engines.

    I like the 180HP C177 Cardinal in nearly every way, for me the headroom is low to account for the the thicker carry-through wing spar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  32. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    2,601

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    This. I've always felt that if you showed me a plane that could fill the tanks and the seats, I'd show you a plane that needed bigger tanks or more seats.
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  33. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    8,549

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    All that, and the Cardinal was considerably more expensive to build.
     
  34. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,494
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    Based on some first hand inside information I received from a Cessna representative, the Cardinals were sold with nearly zero or slightly negative cost return. That cantilever wing ate up materials and man hours...
     
    PeterNSteinmetz likes this.
  35. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,653
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    Well, I guess I still enjoy and benefit from their donation 51 years later.
     
    Scott Mitchell and IK04 like this.
  36. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,369

    Display name:
    somorris
    As I recall back when we were trying to find a Cardinal to buy, one of the primary problems with the 68 model was that folks wanted and did fly it like a 172, especially on takeoff and landing. I have heard that if it was flown as it was designed, takeoff performance was acceptable in most instances. I would still like to have one, but our mission no longer justifies it. They are a little on the expensive side, but if you join and spend some time on the CFO Online site, there are a lot of folks there that love them. Maybe they are worth the extra dollars ?
     
    Scott Mitchell likes this.
  37. Scott Mitchell

    Scott Mitchell Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2020
    Messages:
    37

    Display name:
    Scott Mitchell
    I’m an airline pilot 15kTT. 1200 hours in Cessnas and about 500 in RG’s mostly in 210’s but 150+ in 172&182RGs. Just don’t know how much that translates to lower insurance $.


    QUOTE="Dbarbee, post: 3033143, member: 24477"]I’m not sure what you consider high time but when I was shopping for a Cardinal I got insurance quotes for the FG and the RG.

    At the time I had approximately 1,000 total hours, 35 in RG, 80 in constant speed, and 0 in make/model and I was quoted $1200 for the FG and $2500 for the RG.

    Now after putting over 500 hours on my FG in the last 4.5 years my insurance is down to $879. I think it’s reasonable to assume that if I’d bought an RG the rate would’ve dropped proportionally as I logged more RG time and would be somewhere around $1800 today. (Still more than double the FG insurance cost)[/QUOTE]
     
  38. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2021
    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Kamloops

    Display name:
    YKA

    210 can, unless your friends are all fat. Then get new friends who are good and fit, instead of replacing the plane. Lots of range, and just put the smallest people in the back. Five hours flying will leave you with reserve fuel.
     
  39. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,228
    Location:
    Austin, Texas

    Display name:
    Jim - In Texas!

    The Arrow is a phone booth with its tiny interior. The Cardinal’s cabin is wider than that of a 182 and far more rear seat legroom. The Cardinal has the best cockpit visibility of any airplane in its class, it is almost a bubble canopy, especially compared to the strutted Cessnas, with their nuclear submarine like visibility.

    The Cardinal has a Cherokee style horizontal stab, so it is Piper like in the landing flare, but with far less drag.
     
  40. FlyingTiger

    FlyingTiger Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Northeast PA

    Display name:
    FlyingTiger
    Our FBO just purchased a 177 RG to replace their Arrow III that failed inspection for the wing spar AD. Looks like a step up in all areas so I am pretty excited to get checked out. Nice ramp appeal as well, sharp looking plane.
     
    AKBill, IK04 and Cluemeister like this.