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Cessna 120, 140, 140A Information & Other Stuff

Photos page, click here



Information is compiled from various resources and is subject to correction. I welcome your comments and corrections.

I flew five different 140's a couple of hours over the years.
  N1152D (15715), 140A, 6.5 for my Commercial at American Flyers, 12/61
  N2794N (13055), .5 local at Coatesville, PA, May '64
  N1794V (14041), 3 hours dual given at Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa OK, late '64
  N89094 (8098), 12 hours dual given, Harvey-Young Airport near Tulsa, OK, late '64 (Now N2246C)
  N76447 (10879), 4.5 hours dual given, while dodging cow pies in a pasture near Dayton, VA, Feb. '69

My Father's 4-place '120
 

My father, the late Chris D. Stoltzfus of Coatesville, PA, bought a new '120, in 1946 I believe. I'm trying to figure out the registration.

He had it in almost every state east of the Rockies. After his death someone told me that Father had told him, over a cup of coffee, that you should never run it with the tach on the red line - it should be either over or under but never on. It was tongue-in-cheek I'm sure, but my guess is that Father ran it wide open a lot of the time. There were places to go and things to do. He blew the engine once, down south - landed in a field, tied it to a farmer's fence, and came home until it was replaced.

One Sunday afternoon, Father, my twin Karl and cousin Billy and I went to Lancaster, PA. The '120 was there and he wanted to take it home, to Stoltzfus Airport at Coatesville. Well, Karl was (and is) much taller than me. Billy was a cousin, so of course he got to share the right seat with Karl. And guess who got to ride home in the baggage compartment! That was a few years ago, but I recall that I couldn't see out and I was all scrunched up to get in. Twenty miles in a Cessna 120 baggage compartment is a long trip. Anyway - that's my story and I'll stick to it.


Cessna 120 and 140 Series Parts
 
Preferred Airparts, in Kidron, OH, has some new surplus parts for these aircraft in their huge inventory. They buy inventories of new parts from dealers and others and resell them at big discounts. You do need part numbers when contacting Preferred, and you can search their inventory from the web site. Consider them for airframe, engine and accessory parts, and for Goodyear and Cleveland wheel and brake parts. (Oh, BTW, Preferred is owned by my sons Ken and Brian.)

FAA TCDS, Type Certificate Data Sheets
  The 120 and 140 at TCDS A-768
  The 140A is 5A2
  Check for the latest revision and search for TCDS on other aircraft here

FAA STC's, Supplemental Type Certificates.
 
Major modifications to an aircraft such as a larger engine, different propeller, installation of different wheels and brakes or replacing fabric with metal, are approved under an STC when persons want to sell the modification to others. Otherwise they are often done on a Field Approval, and at least in days past, on an FAA 337.

You can go to this page to search the FAA web site for STC's for an aircraft. For example, enter Cessna 120 in the search box and it will bring up a long list. Or, click on "By Make" in the left column, click on"C" in the alphabetical list across the top, scroll down to "Cessna", and click on the desired model. The most specific ones will be at the top of the column, and toward the bottom you'll see some that are irrelevant.

120, 140, 140A Year and Serial Numbers, according to FAA Specs A-768 and 5A2
  1946 120, 8003 to 11,842
  1946 140, 8001 to 11,842
  1947 120, 11843 and up
  1947 140, 11843 to 14364
  1948 140, 14365 and up
  1949-50, 140A, 15200 to 15724
You CANNOT rely on the "year" information shown on the FAA Aircraft Register. It is notoriously inaccurate

As of 10/25/10 the following aircraft are on the U.S. Register. Many of these are not active at this time.
  1024 120's
  2438 140's
  296 140A's

120 and 140 Differences
  The 120 was the economy version of the 140
    No flaps
    No window behind the door
    Electrical system optional
  Paint and Interior options (See p9 in the Micro-Tools.net parts manual in the left column)
    The '46 140 had eight combinations of exterior and interior colors, the '47 and 48 each had two
    All 120's were Sumac Red paint with Cessna Reddish Brown interior and interior trim, and no headliner!
  The 140A has metal wings with square tips, one wing strut, #1500 gross weight instead of #1450, and of course interior, instrument panel and other new features.

Engines
  1946 120 and 140 could have a C-85-12 (taper shaft) or C-85-12F (flange shaft)
  1947 and '48 120 had C-85-12F
  1947 140 had C-85-12F
  1948 140 had C-90-12F
  140A had C-90-12F, with optional C-85-12, 12F or 14F
  Cessna 120 and 140 landing gear extensions, 1946 and '47 aircraft
 
Have you wondered about those obviously "after thought" landing gear extensions on some 120 and 140's? Well, here's the deal.

The airplane was nose heavy because of the position of the axle and wheel, and obviously they were being flipped over more than most aircraft. Cessna designed a “Landing gear adaptor plate” to move the axles forward three inches. Item 208 (p6) and Note 4 (p8) in TCDS A-768 address the matter. The 1948 and later aircraft had the main gear angled forward to address this issue, and those gears may be installed on earlier aircraft. See photos below.
 
Cessna 120, 140 landing gear extension
Cessna 120, 140 axle extension
1948 Cessna 120, 140 landing gear
  Here's the adapter plate as used on some 1946 and 1946 Cessna 120 and 140's.. It's obviously an after-thought but it has certainly reduced the number of tip-overs. Here's a 1948 140. The main gear is slanted forward to move the wheel forward about 3".  
 
Other Interesting Topics in FAA TCDS A-768
      P3, note the many propeller options
      P7, Item 606, "Weight Shifter." I wonder if that was because of the C.G. issue with the landing gear
      P7, Item 607, spray system installation!
      P8, Note 3, details on differences between the 1947 and 1947 models

  Ads, Articles, Brochures
    I'll be posting some advertisements and magazine articles. In the meantime, does anyone out there have a brochure on these aircraft that I could buy, beg or borrow to scan and post?

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