This 1977 Cessna A185F Skywagon Is a Turnkey Adventure Machine and an ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick

The sought-after Skywagon taildragger is also at home on floats, skis, and tundra tires.

1977 Cessna A185F Skywagon [Courtesy: Pierre Laneuville]

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.

For many pilots the Cessna 185 is the ultimate all-around taildragger. When the airplane came to market in 1961, essentially as a heavy-duty version of the existing 180, it was an immediate hit, though interest grew significantly a few years later when Cessna upgraded its powerplant from a 260 hp Continental IO-470 to a 300 hp IO-520. The change contributed to the model’s legendary ability to operate off-airport and from short strips with heavy loads.

Even though 185 production ended in 1985, it often seems that the aircraft’s popularity never really faded and, indeed, continued to grow to the point where it appears to be more popular today than ever. The airplane for sale here offers the versatility of wheels, floats, or skis, and has modifications that make it especially well-suited for travel into remote areas. It is difficult to look at this Cessna 185 without imagining airborne adventures on the remote rivers and lakes of Alaska, Maine, or Minnesota.

This A185F has 6,800 hours on the airframe and 1,000 hours on its Continental IO-520D engine since a major overhaul. The engine’s six cylinders were replaced more recently and have accrued 300 hours. The engine is equipped with GAMI injectors and rests on a special Seaplanes West engine mount.

Additional upgrades include P.Ponk-reinforced landing gear (wheels are included), modifications for wheel skis, a BAS tail-pull handle, Aqua 3190 floats, and Aeropod tailcone access panels. The VFR panel includes an JPI EDM 830 engine monitor. 

Pilots looking for a powerful, utilitarian taildragger with generous and flexible load-carrying capacity should consider this 1977 Cessna A185F, which is available for $184,000 on AircraftForSale. 

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

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