Aircraft Comparison By

Cessna 172 vs Piper PA-28 Cherokee

Both Cessna 172 vs Piper Cherokee planes have their advantages in different areas. This is mainly due to their design, engines, and other features. Let’s find out the winner in different areas.

Aircraft: Cessna 172 Skyhawk Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Cessna 172 Skyhawk 5
1965 PA 28 180 Piper Cherokee
Country: United States United States
Manufactured: from: 1956 to: Present from: 1961 to: Present
ICAO: C172 PA28
Price: $0.307 million $.5 million
Avionics: Garmin G1000 glass cockpit -
Engine: 1x Lycoming O-360 L2A 1x Lycoming O-320-E2A
Engine Type: Piston Piston
Power: 160 horsepower 150 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed: 123 knots
228 Km/h
108 knots
200 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref): 47 knots 47 knots
Travel Range: 687 Nautical Miles
1,272 Kilometers
465 Nautical Miles
861 Kilometers
Fuel Economy: 26.4 nautical mile / gallon
12.916 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling: 13,500 feet 14,300 feet
Rate of Climb: 730 feet / minute
3.71metre / second
660 feet / minute
3.35metre / second
Take Off Distance: 497 metre
1,630.56 feet
502 metre
1,646.96 feet
Landing Distance: 407 metre
1,335.29 feet
564 metre
1,850.37 feet
Max Take Off Weight: 1,157 Kg
2,551 lbs
975 Kg
2,149 lbs
Max Landing Weight: 1,157 Kg
2,551 lbs
975 Kg
2,149 lbs
Max Payload: 398 Kg
877 lbs
421 Kg
928 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 56 gallon
212 litre
50 gallon
189 litre
Baggage Volume: 0.85 m3
30 ft3
.6 m3
21 ft3
Seats - Economy: 4 seats 4 seats
Seats - Business Class: - -
Seats - First Class: - -
Cabin Height: 1.2 metre
3.94 feet
1.09 metre
3.58 feet
Cabin Width: 1 metre
3.28 feet
1.01 metre
3.31 feet
Cabin Length: 3.6 metre
11.81 feet
2.5 metre
8.20 feet
Exterior Length: 8.3 metre
27.23 feet
7.1 metre
23.29 feet
Tail Height: 2.72 metre - 8.92 feet 2.22 metre - 7.28 feet
Fuselage Diameter: 1.1 metre
3.61 feet
1.15 metre
3.77 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter: 11 metre
36.09 feet
9.14 metre
29.99 feet
Wing Tips: No Winglets No Winglets
More Info: Cessna 172 Skyhawk Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally.

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    About the Cessna 172

    The Cessna 172 is a four-seat, single-engine plane powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A four-stroke engine. It has a maximum speed of 140 mph and a service ceiling of 13,500 feet. Also, it’s equipped with an adjustable control wheel for enhanced control, a full glass cockpit with Garmin G1000 avionics, and an autopilot system.

    Why was it developed and built?

    The Cessna 172 was designed in 1955 to be a small, lightweight plane capable of carrying four passengers. It was an economical and reliable alternative to larger, more expensive aircraft.

    What purpose does it serve?

    The Cessna 172 is designed for short- to medium-range recreational, personal, business, and instructional purposes. It can be used for sightseeing, photography, training, and other uses.

    About the Piper PA-28 Cherokee

    Here comes the competitor of Cessna 172. The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a four-seat, single-engine plane powered by an Avco Lycoming O-360 four-stroke engine. It has a maximum speed of 142 mph and a service ceiling of 14,300 feet.

    Why was it developed and built?

    The Piper PA-28 Cherokee was developed in 1960 by Piper Aircraft. It was designed to be a low-cost, easy-to-operate alternative to the larger, more complex aircraft of the time. And it was designed for use by both general aviation and business travelers.

    What purpose does it serve?

    Primarily serving as a light training and recreational aircraft, the Piper PA-28 Cherokee is also used for business trips and family travel. It’s equipped with advanced avionics and autopilot systems and an adjustable control wheel that enhances the plane’s maneuverability.

    How are the Cessna 172 and Piper PA-28 Cherokee different?

    Two of the most popular aircraft on the market are the Cessna 172 and the Piper PA-28 Cherokee. Let’s look at the key differences between these two models.


    The Cessna 172 is known for its superior performance—it has a greater range (696 miles) and faster cruising speed (140 mph) than the Piper PA-28 Cherokee (465 miles; 124 mph). If you need a plane that can get you quickly and reliably, then the Cessna 172 should be at the top of your list.

    Fuel Efficiency

    Despite having better performance figures than its rival, the Cessna 172 is less fuel efficient than the Piper PA-28 Cherokee. The latter model has a fuel burn rate of only 7 gallons per hour, while the former burn 11 gallons per hour at cruise power setting.


    The Cessna 172 has a wingspan of 36 feet, while the PA-28 Cherokee’s wingspan measures only 30 feet. This means that the PA-28 Cherokee requires less space to land and turn than its rival, making it ideal for tight quarters or operations in remote locations.


    Both planes are known for their reliability. If you want something extra dependable, go with the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, designed simply so fewer mechanical components can fail or malfunction over time.

    Comfort Level

    The Cessna 172 has more cabin space than its rival, making it much more comfortable for passengers during long flights. It also has better soundproofing systems, so passengers won’t have to worry about engine noise as much during the flight.

    How are the Cessna 172 and Piper PA-28 Cherokee similar?

    The Cessna 172 and Piper PA-28 Cherokee are the most popular single-engine planes on the market today. Let’s look at some similarities and why these planes have become two of the most sought-after aircraft for pilots everywhere.

    • The Cessna 172 and the Piper PA-28 Cherokee are similar in performance specifications.
    • Both aircraft are equipped with retractable landing gear, which helps to minimize drag while in flight.
    • They have dual braking systems that allow pilots more control over their aircraft during landings and takeoffs.  
    • Both planes have four seats, making them ideal for small groups of people who want to travel together. Also, they are equipped with the latest avionics.

    Finally, both planes feature high wings that allow better handling in turbulent air conditions and give pilots better visibility when taking off or landing on short runways.  

    What’s better about the Cessna 172?

    The Cessna 172 is a legendary aircraft that has been thrilling aviators for decades.

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    • It has a stable and reliable control system, superb speed and maneuverability, and impressive features in its cockpit.
    • The abundance of safety features built into the design makes the Cessna 172 stand out from other planes.
    • From automated stall warnings to a reinforced fuel system designed to withstand turbulence, there are plenty of reasons pilots feel safe flying this plane.

    Plus, with an all-rounder design, it can take on different tasks. Whether you’re looking for pleasure flights or mission-critical operations, you can confidently fly with the trusty Cessna 172!

    What’s better about the Piper PA-28 Cherokee?

    The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a great option for experienced pilots and those new to flying, as it balances robust performance and cost-effectiveness.

    • It has an impressive range of up to nine hundred miles, with options to simultaneously carry four passengers in the air.
    • What’s more, its two Lycoming engines offer reliable power output, providing unsurpassed control at higher altitudes.
    • With rugged and spacious interior construction, the PA-28 Cherokee can accommodate more cargo than most other single-prop aircraft on the market today.
    • Its excellent handling characteristics make it even easier to fly safely under all weather conditions, giving you peace of mind when you take to the skies.

    The Piper PA-28 Cherokee is a great choice for anyone looking for an aircraft that can offer reliability and safety while still being inexpensive enough to fit a tight budget.


    Finally, deciding between the Cessna 172 and the Piper PA-28 Cherokee comes down to personal preference. Both planes offer something unique, so it’s important to consider all the factors before making a final decision.

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    About the Author

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    With a passion for aviation, as well as surfing and scanning the web, Rocco is in his element analyzing aircraft data and the differences and similarities between aircraft.