This 1981 Cessna 172RG Cutlass Is a Not-Too-Complex ‘AircraftForSale’ Top Pick

Retractable gear and a bump in power turn the venerable Cessna 172 into a more efficient traveler.

1981 Cessna 172RG Cutlass. [Courtesy: Seitz Aviation]

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.

When Cessna developed the retractable version of its venerable 172, its intent was to take a share of the market for entry-level complex airplanes, which previously had gone mostly to the Piper Arrow. The Arrow had been around since 1965, so it enjoyed a significant head start, but Cessna tailored the Cutlass specifically to help aspiring commercial pilots fulfill requirements for complex-aircraft time.

Today the Cutlass also offers private pilots a better-performing version of the 172 that generally maintains the forgiving flight characteristics and familiarity of the standard version. Many people who train in 172s grow fond of the type and wind up purchasing one. For those buyers who would benefit from a modest increase in power and cruising speed, the Cutlass can be an ideal fit.  

This 1981 Cessna 172RG has 9,201 hours on the airframe, 260 hours since overhaul on its 180 hp Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine, and 1,154 hours on its McCauley two-blade propeller. The aircraft’s logbooks are complete, and its windshield recently was replaced. The Cessna’s useful load is 970 pounds. 

The panel features mostly Bendix-King avionics, including a KMA 26 audio panel, KLN 94 GPS, Dual KX 155A Nav/Coms, KT 760 transponder, 300 ADF, KT 760 Transponder, 300 ADF, ARC Navomatic 300A autopilot, and SkyBeacon with ADS-B Out.

Pilots looking for the well-known reliability and easy handling of a 172 with performance-enhancing features, such as a 180 hp engine, retractable gear, and constant-speed propeller, should take a close look at this 1981 Cessna 172RG, which is available for $119,000 on AircraftForSale.

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

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