The C180 Skywagon was first produced in 1953 with 4 seats and a carbureted 220hp engine, and were manufactured through 1981. The Cessna 185 was introduced in 1961 with fuel injected 260hp then later with 300 hp., and manufactured until 1984.
There are now too many STC’c and Mods for both of these aircraft to mention all of them. Various STOL, performance, and engine mods up to a 550 cubic inch engines on either airframe seem to be very popular. It all depends on what your mission and load requirements are. This aircraft is also a good choice on floats.
The Cessna 180 is more docile and lighter on the controls than the C185. By having a lighter Gross weight and with a pair of larger tires, the 180 gets in and out of very short runways.
Being carbureted they can burn either Avgas or auto gas and typically burn less gas than a C185, depending on your engine. Most owners fly with 4 total seats in the aircraft to allow more baggage space.
The 1970 stock C180 has a takeoff run of only 625’ and a landing roll of 480’. A Gross weight of around 2,800, compared to 3,350 for the C185.
The Cessna 185, with 6 seats and 300 hp, carries a few hundred pounds more payload with a take off run of 825‘ and a landing ground roll of 610 feet. Between the two aircraft, the C185 is definitely the workhorse.
Heavier on the controls, it burns 3-4 more gallons an hour, but still a great off airport aircraft. There’s even a belly pod option to add more cargo space. Many are flown on floats and ski’s, especially in Alaska.
Both of these aircraft can be (and are) a handful in crosswind landings on wheels, with limited forward visibility on the runway depending on technique. They need to be flown all the way to the tie-down, as many articles have mentioned. Prices range from $60,000 to $300,000 with various options including avionics with glass panels.
Insurance pieces weigh heavily on make/model time and tail wheel time. Most insurance companies do not consider these aircraft as basic transitional aircraft, for pilots learning to fly tailwheel aircraft.
A $100,000 Hull value with at least 500 hrs TW and 100+ hrs MM might be in the $1,200-$1,600 range, Where as a $175,000 hull with a good pilot will be in the $2,400-$2,800 range.
Many companies require an IFR rating for the C185. Either aircraft will challenge you on every landing, but give incredible performance for back country or off airport flying.
BWI specializes in Cessna 180 and 185 insurance and has an exclusive Cessna 180/185 insurance program.
Our office is open 12 hours a day, we are focused on providing unmatched customer service and in depth aviation policy knowledge.
If you would like a free quote, give us a call at 800-666-4359 or submit a quote request online at www.bwifly.com