Cessna 120

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Nelson Duarte, 1987
Serial Number

Cessna 120

The Cessna 120 and 140 were designed at the end of World War II to take advantage of what was hoped would be massive growth in the private pilot training industry. U.S. Government education grants to returning veterans were allowed for pilot training and Cessna hoped to grab much of the flight school market with these two modern, simple, and relatively inexpensive designs. As it turned out both aircraft were very popular and many pilots received their introduction to flight in the 140 or 120. By August of 1946, Cessna was turning out twenty-two Model 120s and Model 140s a day. Production of the Model 120 ended in 1949 with 2,171 built.

The Model 120 is a simplified version of the Model 140. Differences include the deletion of the wing flaps and rear quarter fuselage windows and a simplified interior. Otherwise the aircraft were virtually identical in construction and appearance. The Model 120 was built with a fabric-covered wing, which has been replaced with aluminum on the museum’s example.

Wingspan 32 ft 10 in
Length 21 ft 6 in
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 1,450 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 123 mph
Service Ceiling 15,500 ft
Range 420 miles
Engines 1 Continental C-85-12 piston engine, 85 horsepower
Crew 2