Cardinal Facts: Fixed Gear
If you're an expert and notice a defect in this list, please drop a note
to the Webmaster, Keith Peterson.
Facts and considerations by year:
1968 Fixed Gear
Air intake in cowl under spinner.
Large, trapezoidal engine cooling air inlets.
Landing lights in wing. (two PAR36)
150 horse engine (Lycoming O-320-E2D).
Fixed pitch propeller.
No over-voltage switch: thermal circuit breaker in circuit.
Long, pointed wheel pants.
Steps on fuselage.
Often converted to 180 HP engine.
Overview: The '68 was intended as a replacement for the 172, and it
was decided that the market wanted a 150 horse engine. A large number
were built, and later modified with a slot in the stabilator. After
this modification it flew ok, but was never known as a strong performer.
Owners of the '68 describe it as an honest, capable airplane, and are
quick to point out it's lighter weight and better efficiency. The thin
wing is more efficient than later wings, and many '68 owners are
flying quite happily.
Most Cardinal owners, however, would recommend caution in a '68. Don't
plan to fill the seats on a warm day, and take the performance numbers
with a grain of salt.
If you are careful this year can provide excellent performance at a
Check out this page for an owner's discussion of the '68 year's reputation.
1969 Fixed Gear
180 HP O-360 engine (O-360-A2F)
Fixed Pitch propeller
Gross weight increased from 2350 to 2500
Additional structure added to wing spar root (helps gross weight)
Changes to landing gear (which also enables the gross weight)
Air intake moved to baffle
Flat cowl below spinner
Still large engine cooling intakes.
Over-voltage switch added to regulator field circuit
Overview: The '69 is a great improvement from the '68 in load carrying ability.
New airfoil with blunter leading edge.
Fuel capacity increased 1 gallon per side.
Prop changed to Constant Speed.
Added split master switch (battery/alternator)
New engine: Lycoming O-360 (O-360-A1F6)
New, smoother cowl design.
First year of rudder trim.
Emergency section added to Owner's Manual
The wing mounted landing lights move to a cowl-mounted PAR46 (4522) landing light.
There are some other small part changes, such as wingtips and nameplates.
Fuel vents cross over to opposite wing tip.
Seats have two seat rail pins after #1537, 3rd aircraft built in 1972
Engine changed to O-360-A1F6D with Bendix dual mag.
Cowl changed to more streamlined shape.
Latching pins added to doors.
Dual cowl-mounted PAR36 (4509) landing lights are offered as an option.
Improved seats: rear seats move from bolts to retainers.
Shoulder harness storage changed from wire clips to trays.
Marker beacon system in panel made smaller.
Stabilator abrasion boots become an option.
Bumper plates added to fuselage near latch gear.
Belly quick-drain becomes standard.
Heating ducting changed, improved.
New, rounder wheel pants.
Panel changed to full width.
Marker beacon moved into audio panel.
Specs and instruments changed from MPH to Knots.
'Owner's manual' becomes 'Pilot Operating Handbook' in GAMA format
New paint type used.
Higher incidence of filiform corrosion under factory paint.
Fuel selector type changed to rebuildable version.
28 volt electrical system.
Avionics master switch standard.
We are seeing clues that the external power port was moved to the rear, like are seen on all RGs.
Higher incidence of ill-fitting panels as Cessna used their last parts.
Painted with primer.. lower filiform corrosion than prior years.
Special package, "Cardinal Classic", includes:
Drink holders under panel
Rear seat writing desk behind the pilot's seat.
Wood grain panel overlay
Heavier empty weight
Last year of the Cardinal: 80 built.
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