reply to post by whatisanameanyway
Ummmm....it was a boneheaded Private Pilot in a Cessna 177. This is a very similar, with minor variations, to the Cessna 172 (more on that
Oh, and your title? Capitol "evacuated"? Going to your own link, it says:
The Capitol was not evacuated, but tourists were turned away for a time....
That's from the USAToday article.
Now, a Cessna 172 (aka "Skyhawk") ---image (Canadian registered):
...is a four-place single engine high-wing airplane, a "typical" Cessna, in a way. ("Wheel pants", the fairings that cover the wheels were
factory-included....but, many people hated them, because they were made of a very cheap fibre-glass-like material, and prone to cracking around the
attaching screw holes, etc...from vibration, flexion, people who didn't know any better, stepping on them to get in, etc).
Powerplant is a Lycoming, has about 150 horsepower (IIRC). This is one of the most popular-selling light airplanes, because for years it was fairly
"affordable", and relatively simple to operate. Nowadays, it's more popular as a trainer than the old Cessna stand-by, the 150/152 (which is out of
production). Rarely do you see many new single-engine airplanes, though...most are in the 15-20 year old range. (or older).
The Cessna 177 (also dubbed the "Cardinal") ...image next, for reference. This is a late 70s/early 80s-style paint scheme for Cessna, and it is also
sporting Canadian registration:
was innovative when it was introduced back in the late 1960s, because it is slightly larger (still only four seats) and has a little bit more
horsepower (eventually, later versions up to 180 HP) than the 172, and was the first "smaller" single-engine Cessna that used a stronger main wing
spar, to eliminate the distinctive wing "struts", as they're called. Contrary to popular layperson belief, they actually don't hold the wings "up and
out".....they are designed to be under tension, in flight, and provide the strength in that direction...to prevent the wings from breaking at the
roots, where they attach to the fuselage, and folding up under flight loads.
The Cessna Cardinal and the Cessna 210 "Centurion" are the only high-wing through-spar singles from Cessna (I believe)....update
forgotten about the iconic, and Classic, Cessna 190/195, form the 1940s and 50s. Sexy beast...
-- and the Centurion is not currently in
production (IT was innovative, in its day, for being the first retractable-gear high-wing design).
The Cardinal, as I said, is more streamlined, removing the struts cuts out some parasitic drag...one more thing unique, for Cessna (but common on most
similar sized Pipers, for instance) is the "flying stabilizer"...(called a "stabilator", mash-up of "stab" and "elevator") where the entire horizontal
stabilizer is one-piece, and hinged to rotate as one unit....as opposed to the conventional movable elevator/fixed stabilizer design.
Anyway...both the Skyhawk and Cardinal (BTW, for a while there was yet another
version, the 177RG (for "Retractable Gear")....had a bigger
engine yet (200 HP) and is actually a pretty nice machine, for it's size and entry-level market for sleek, affordable and retractable. They actually
even tried to market a 172RG
also...it was a dud, underpowered and was a desperate sales tactic....Only produced for a few years,
though, so aren't many around. The 177RG, though is nicer and the advantage to retracting the gear is the reduced drag (higher speeds, less fuel
burned) but, it DOES add complications, because of the mechanism and hydraulics needed.
Like I was saying both the fixed-gear airplanes, each about 150 HP, cruise at only about 110 to 125 knots. Not much of a "threat"....and easily
observed, and intercepted. AND, the pilot likely in a whole heap of trouble....which would be the case for any violation of the FAA regulations, to
include airspace violations like this one.
edit on 1 January 2011 by weedwhacker because: (no reason given)