By ignorance, the Cessna 172 and Cessna 182 are no different. Both have 4 seats, high wing planes that tighten each wing. But for pilots they are significantly different aircraft.
The main difference between 172 and 182 is the engines. Both were produced for more than 40 years and during this time the plant came with different engines. Since the 172N was introduced in 1977, the factory standard engine has produced 160 hp. Prior to that, 172 engines ranged from 145 to 160 hp. Many older aircraft have been upgraded in the market after the creation of more powerful engines, including the popular 180 hp. version. All such changes are made through an STC or supplemental type certificate issued by the FAA.
Although the 182 runs on several different engines, the standard non-turbo models always weighed in at 230 hp. This difference in horsepower has several consequences. One, of course, is speed. 182 at 15-20 knots faster than 172. It can also climb 200 feet per minute faster. Usually aircraft with larger engines can also lift more weight. The standard late model – 172 maximum weight – 2450 pounds, and 182 3100 pounds. Not all that difference is a payload, an empty 182 – about 300 pounds. heavier than his smaller cousin.
Not all differences between 172 and 182 are as easy to evaluate as performance and performance. Being heavier, the 182 is a more stable aircraft than the 172. It doesn’t bounce around very hard, and tends to track better in the direction you want. This is a good feature if you are going to do a lot of flying on instruments. (Flying in the clouds or without a visual reference to the ground.)
With more than 200 horsepower and controlled propeller pitch, the 182 is also considered a high-performance aircraft. This means that in order to manage them, you need additional instructions, both according to the regulations and the requirements of insurance companies.
In terms of pricing, the typical price for a used 1978 172 would be as low as $ 40,000, while a similarly equipped 182 would be at least $ 20,000. In 182 it will be more expensive and own. Insurance, inspection, engine overhaul and operating costs will be much higher. For example, 182 will consume about 3 gallons per hour more fuel.
None of these things make one plane better than another. What sets the plane apart is how you intend to use it. If you want a simple aircraft that is relatively cheap to operate, it requires 172. If you want to use your aircraft for transportation and are going to travel in the weather, the 182 is best suited to your goals.
Finally, as for distinguishing one plane from another, it is the nose. The 182 has a fuller cap section to cover the larger engine and more streamlined windshield.