Cessna Aircraft – from American Car Sales to Global Aviation Pioneer

Well over a hundred years ago, when aviation was in its absolute infancy, a car salesman called Clyde Cessna witnessed a flying machine for himself and was wonderstruck. The Wright brothers had proved that flight was possible only seven years previously, but, undeterred, Cessna sold his car dealership and invested all his money in an airplane kit.

In June 1911, on his thirteenth attempt at taking off – with no formal flight training (because there was none) and no instruction manual (ditto) – Clyde managed to get his monoplane airborne. His contraption, “Silverwing”, made from spruce and linen, was the very start of Cessna, an American general aviation legend known the world over for producing small and light, often piston-powered airplanes and single-handedly responsible for earning countless pilots their wings.

Cessna is now a brand of Textron Aviation (Headquarters in Wichita, Kansas) and, over the years, there have been quite a few Cessna single engine models as well as jets. These include the ubiquitous Cessna 150 and 152, the Cessna 262 Skycatcher, the Cessna 170, the 175 Skylark, the 177 Cardinal, the 182 Skylane up to various Citation Jet models. However, none has stood the test of time better than the Cessna 172 Skyhawk.

Quite simply, the Cessna 172 is so good that it’s still in production today after 60 years. Deliberately designed to be easy to fly, although there have been a few tweaks and modifications over the years, the aircraft looks much the same as it did when it was first built in the 1950s.

Cessna, launching the careers of pilots the world over

Synonymous with being robust, reliable and forgiving of misjudged landings, the 172 has launched the careers of hundreds of thousands of pilots. One reason for this is that it’s a high-wing monoplane, which essentially means that its wings sit high above the cockpit. Consequently, a student pilot gets a very good view of the ground making it easier to judge the landing and thereby safer, even if they make a few mistakes. It’s even been said that Cessna’s own marketing department nicknamed the 172 the “land-o-matic” because it was so adept at touching down just fine even when in the hands of less experienced pilots. It remains – quite rightly so – one of the most popular light aircraft in the world today.

The Cessna 172 without fuel and passengers weighs just under 800kg, has a maximum speed of roughly 140mph and a fuel tank that will get you 800 miles. It can seat up to four people and their light luggage. That’s a lot of scope, whether you’re flying for business or pleasure.

Whichever model of Cessna you fly, we think it’s imperative that you travel with a portable GPU (ground power unit). If you’re wondering why, then have a look at this article here. Our lightweight, portable engine starting units also known as battery packs are there to give you peace of mind; you know that you’ll always be able to get back up into the air and on with your journey, even if your engine’s battery runs flat.

Ground Power for Cessna Aircraft

START PAC’s range of Ground Power Equipment is capable of starting any type of electrically started engine providing faster cooler starts for your engine or clean continuous power (using one of our power supplies) for avionics. Most of our GPU units are Patented with our 10 second Quick Change removable battery design that can be easily switched allowing the user to change them out in the field without any tools, return shipping or downtime. Not only that, but their lightweight compactness means that they can be tucked easily into the 172’s cabin, or that of any other Cessna aircraft model.

It stands to reason that if you have an aircraft as robust and as aerodynamic as a Cessna, you will also want a reserve starting solution that is just as deserving of praise. That’s where START PAC comes in and we have a range of GPUs ideal for every electrically started Cessna airplane flying today.

Cessna has been around since 1911 and START PAC is already in its 24th year. Be prepared and have a START PAC because just like Cessna, START PAC will keep you flying.

The following is a list of all the Cessna aircraft models START PAC provide mobile ground power units, starting units and mobile maintenance power for:


Cessna 150B

Cessna 350

Cessna 195

Cessna 340A

Cessna 404 Titan II

Cessna 525 CitationJet


The following Cessna models were built by Reims Aviation: