The Cessna 175 was created to fill the void between the slower 172 and the costlier 182. Production began in 1958 and ended in 1962, with 2,106 built. Pilots did not trust longevity of the higher speed, geared Continental GO-300 engine, even with a promised a 15-mph edge on the 172 and better short-field landing and takeoffs. Visible changes to the 175 began in 1960, with a swept vertical fin and engine cowling molded more closely to the engine, partly to eliminate the nice place for birds to build their nests. In 1961, push-button starting was added, and in 1962, a 175C was produced with a constant-speed propeller, cowl flaps, and a 100-pound increase in gross weight. The 175 is also certified to install either skis or floats.
The Continental GO-300 A-C engine produces more horsepower than the Cessna 172, for a slight increase in performance. This was Cessna’s first attempt to use a geared engine that would allow it to turn at 3,200 rpm while turning the 80-inch propeller at only 2,400 rpm. Due to the higher engine speed, the recommended TBO was reduced to just 1,200 hours. Engine cooling is a problem; some owners suggest that training is not a good use for this aircraft. The Cessna 175’s airframe is similar to that of the Cessna 172. In the development of the 175, the wings were strengthened and a bigger cowling was added to accommodate the engine. Earlier models of the 175 were distinguished by the straight vertical tail, while the later models have a swept-back tail. Most engines do not make the 1,200-hour TBO; mainly due to some pilots’ unfamiliarity with geared engine airplanes. Some owners suggest running the engine at 3,000 rpm to better the possibility of reaching the 1,200-hour TBO. Parts have been reported hard to find for the Continental GO-300, leading some owners to switch to the more reliable but expensive ($31,000) Lycoming O-360 A1A. Advantages include a 2,000-hour TBO, 100LL fuel, and an 8-knot increase in speed. The Franklin 215-hp engine is also an option. Inside, the airplane is similar to the 172. The fuel is gravity fed from a right and left fuel selector, and 80 octane is the recommended fuel grade. Higher octane fuels are not recommended. The fuel tank holds 52 gallons, but only 43 are usable.
The Cessna 175 is said to be responsive, similar to the 172. The major difference is the 15-mph faster cruise. Short-field performance is said to be terrific, and a STOL kit may be added to help out. Keep in mind that the 175 should climb at a higher airspeed to aid in the cooling of the engine.