“You should see all the Cessna 195s!”
You hear this all the time at AirVenture when someone comes back from Vintage Aircraft Parking. Often, there are rows and rows of the high-wing taildraggers with their distinctive bumped cowls.
It’s not unusual to find multi-generational families of C195 owners camped beneath the wings of their airplanes, ready to tell you the story of the vintage machine and extol its virtues. Many will tell you they are not the owners of the airplane — they are merely its caretaker for the time being.
And don’t be surprised if you are invited to join the Cessna 195 Type Club when you visit.
“You don’t have to own an airplane to join,” says Aubie Pearman, president of the International Cessna 195 Club.
The International Cessna 195 Club was started in 1969 by Dwight Ewing, making it one of the first type clubs to be founded. The mission of the club is to “promote the use and enjoyment of the Cessna 195 series and other classic Cessna aircraft.”
“It started out primarily as a social organization,” says Coyle Schwab, a former president of the club. “There was a quarterly newsletter. There was a core of 15 to 20 people who were the most enthusiastic members of the club, the spark plug of the organization, who went to the annual fly-ins around the country and occasionally contributed pictures and stories and notes to the newsletter, along with things like where to find parts. With the creation of the Internet and the type club’s website in 1999 or 2000 or so, the club really took off and became more interactive.”
“The club is truly becoming international, and more so than just a couple of members from Canada. Australia has started to import Cessna 195s,” he notes.
Schwab has been a member of the club since the early 1980s. Today the club has 368 members from 44 states and 10 countries. Dues are $35 a year. Resources available to members include quarterly newsletters, pages of indexed maintenance topics, operating and maintenance manuals, performance charts, check lists, as well as lists and dates of national and regional fly-ins.
Both Schwab and Pearman note the club’s website has greatly impacted the club’s membership. They point out that the forum pages are particularly popular.
“You meet a new member that you interact with on Hangar Talk and you feel like you have known them forever,” Pearman explains.
The club also has Club Caravans, which are “awesome adventures planned and led by a volunteer club member,” he continues. The 2014 Caravan was held at Gaston’s Trout Fishing Resort near Mountain Home, Ark.
One of the most important parts of the type club, say both Pearman and Schwab, is that it keeps the members updated about maintenance issues that may impact older airplanes. This is very important as the airplane is “vintage.”
For example, when the crash of a C-195 in New York was attributed to a loss of engine power caused by the failure of oil lines made of copper, the club took an active role in helping members and, by extension the FAA, find a cost-effective means of addressing the issue.
“Air Repair Inc. holds the Type Certificate for the engine,” says Schwab. “They came forward with a service bulletin for engine repair every 100 hours or to replace the copper oil lines with a stainless steel line kit.”
Sometimes the FAA calls on club members for technical advice when there has been an accident involving a Cessna 195.
Another place where the Cessna 195 Type Club shines is helping new owners learn to the fly their airplanes. The club connects those new owners with qualified pilots who can teach the quirks and characteristics of the C-195. Most insurance companies require a pilot to gain a certain amount of dual instruction in a new-to-them airplane before they can be insured.
“Checkouts are very important, because it is in the first 25 hours of the new owners flying the Cessna 195 where the accidents often occur, such as ground loops,” says Schwab.
By far the most common exchanges come from new members who are looking to become aircraft owners. Club members are eager to share their stories.
“I have owned my current C-195 since 1998. I have put about 1,200 hours on it. It is the family hauler,” says Pearman.
He notes he has a pocket of piloting certificates, including type-ratings in several aircraft, but the Cessna 195 is his favorite.
“The Cessna 195 is one of those airplanes that puts a spell on you,” he explains. “It has a draw like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, or Elvis. It’s something classy and iconic. The 195 aura drew me in as a young college kid. It was the combination of the look, sound, round engine, tailwheel and utility that sold me on the Cessna 195. And today, thanks to a network of several service providers, and The 195 Factory in New York State, the Cessna 195 is better supported than most antique aircraft.”
Cessna 195s rolled out of the factory between 1947 and 1954 and, together with the Cessna 190, represented the last of Cessna’s radial engine designs. The 195 was referred to as “The Businessliner” in marketing materials because, at the time, it cost the princely sum of $12,000, which was more than many houses sold for in those days. The airplane was marketed as a cost-saving device for the up-and-coming corporate type who had a lot of territory to cover, and couldn’t afford to spend the time driving. The C-195 was the first Cessna airplane to be completely constructed of aluminum and features a cantilever wing, similar to the pre-war Cessna 165 Airmaster. It sports a straight taper from root chord to tip chord and no dihedral. The C-195 airfoil was later used as a template for Cessna’s popular 150, 170 and 180 lines. A military variant, the LC 126, was also built. The 190/195 fuselages are large in comparison to other Cessna models because the 42-inch diameter radial engine had to be accommodated upfront.There are two rows of seats: Two individual seats in the first row, with a comfortable space between them, while up to three passengers can be accommodated on a bench seat in the second row. Seasoned C-195 pilots will tell you the best way to get in the cockpit is to back in, recognizing that you are walking up hill.
The airplanes have a reputation for being able to haul a lot of supplies or people long distances in relative comfort.
A total of 1,180 of the Cessna 190 series were built.
The Cessna 195 by the numbers
- Crew: One
- Capacity: Four passengers
- Length: 27 feet, 4 inches
- Wingspan: 36 feet, 2 inches
- Height: 7 feet, 2 inches
- Empty weight: 2,100 pounds
- Gross weight: 3,350 pounds
- Fuel capacity: 75 US gallons
- Powerplant: 1 × Jacobs R-755 radial engine, 300 hp
- Propellers: 2-blade Hamilton Standard constant speed propeller
- Maximum speed: 185 mph
- Cruise speed: 170 mph at 70% power
- Stall speed: 62 mph power off, flaps 45°
- Range: 800 miles at 70% power
- Service ceiling: 18,300 feet
- Rate of climb: 1,200 feet/min