This 1968 Cessna 177 Cardinal Is a Sleek, Well-designed ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick

Designed to replace the 172 Skyhawk, the sharp-looking Cardinal eventually lost out.

Today Cessna’s 177 Cardinal makes a nice alternative to the 172 Skyhawk. [Courtesy: Ted Greenfield]

Each day, the team at Aircraft For Sale picks an airplane that catches our attention because it is unique, represents a good deal, or has other interesting qualities. You can read Aircraft For Sale: Today’s Top Pick at daily.

It may be hard to believe, but there was a time in the 1960s when Cessna felt its venerable 172 Skyhawk had run its course and needed replacement. Designers and engineers seemingly had a field day coming up with improvements to make the successor model, the 177 Cardinal, an even bigger hit than its predecessor.

The Cardinal looked like a winner, with sleeker, more modern lines, no wing struts, and full-flying stabilator. Owners loved its large, wide-opening doors and the way its windshield stretched far forward ahead of the wing to improve visibility. For many reasons and to the surprise of Cessna officials, customers continued to favor the 172. After several years of production, Cessna discontinued the Cardinal, but the aircraft has enjoyed a loyal following ever since.

This Cardinal has 7,134 hours on the airframe and 250 hours on its Lycoming O-320 engine since overhaul. The panel includes a Garmin GTN 345, GTX 335, dual G5s, King KX155, and EDM 930 engine monitor. The aircraft was last painted in 1986 and received a new interior in 2021.

Pilots in the market for an economical, utilitarian aircraft with better looks than many of its competitors in the category should look into this 1968 Cessna 177 Cardinal, which is available for $135,000 on AircraftForSale.

You can arrange financing of the aircraft through FLYING Finance. For more information, email

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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