Cessna 172H

The Air Corps currently operates five Cessna FR172H aircraft. These aircraft first entered service in 1972 and operate seven days a week carrying out a wide variety of roles for the Air Corps.

Although carrying out many different roles, the vast majority of operations in which the five Cessna FR172H aircraft are involved in, are aerial surveillance and monitoring of cash and prisoner & explosive escorts. Additionally, a vital secure communications link is provided to ground units which may not otherwise be achievable during operations in remote and mountainous areas. Excellent slow flight characteristics, high wing for ground surveillance, coupled with endurance in excess of four hours makes these aircraft an ideal platform for such operations.


  • Escort Surveillance & Monitoring
  • Inshore Fishery Patrol
  • Drogue Towing
  • General Utility
Cessna Statistics
Aircraft Type Cessna FR172 H
Role(s) Escort surveillance & monitoring, inshore fishery patrol, drogue towing and general utility
Crew 1 Pilot
1 Signalman or Drogue Operator (Role dependent)
Powerplant 1 x Continental IO-360-D
Wing Span 11.15 metres (36 feet 7 inches)
Height 2.68 metres (8 feet 9 inches)
Length 8.17 metres (26 feet 9 inches)
Armament Not Applicable
Entered Service 1972
Cessna Performance
Max T/O Weight 1,157 Kilograms (2,548 pounds)
Service Ceiling 10,000 feet
Cruise Speed 110 knots
Maximum Speed 161 knots
Endurance 4 hours, 30 minutes
Range 500 nautical miles

Read more about Air Corps Training

1916 - 2016

A Remembrance

State Commemoration Ceremony

> Find out more


Friday 29th April 2016 - Deployment of LÉ RÓISÍN (P51)

2pm. - Deployment of LÉ RÓISÍN (P51) to Mediterranean on Humanitarian Search and Rescue Operations[more]

Tuesday 19th April 2016 - Pre-Deployment Mission Readiness Exercise

2pm on - Pre-Deployment Mission Readiness Exercise, 53rd Infantry Group UNIFIL (Lebanon)[more]