C172- How big are the luggage compartments?

I'm coming to the US soon and have a C172 hired for 3 weeks for some hours building. A couple of friends are coming with me. I was wondering if you can comfortably seat 4 and have enough room for 4 weekend bags and still stay within Mass and Balance limits?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First, if you do not hold an FAA license, you must convert your foreign certificate or you cannot rent an aircraft in the USA. It is a fairly simple process, but it can take up to several months to get through all the red tape if you have not already done so. Go here for more info: http://www.start-flying.com/US_flight_training/pil...

    As for carrying 4 people and luggage in a C-172, that depends on the specific model you are planning to rent, where you are planning to fly, and the weight of the people who will be flying with you. In general, you can stay within the weight and balance limits, unless the rear seat passengers are large and you have a lot of baggage. The maximum baggage capacity is 120 pounds. But that is not the greatest of your worries.

    I own an older 150hp C-172 and in general, when carrying 4 average size adults of 170lbs each, I cannot carry any bags or very much fuel. Even the newer 172 is really only a 3 place airplane if you are planning on flying to higher elevation airports. Also, the rear seat is definitely not comfortable on long flights for anyone who is tall with long legs. With 4 people, you'd probably be much better off renting a Cessna 182 if you can afford it.

    A late model C-172SP with a 180hp engine will do a much better job than one with a 150hp (pre-1977) or 160hp engine (post-1977). With either of the lower horsepower models, they will perform poorly with 4 adults aboard, especially if you plan to fly in the western US states, particularly places such as the Grand Canyon. The high density altitudes of many western airports can sometimes limit you to only 2-3 occupants or you simply cannot climb, and in the summer time you may not be able to depart at all in the middle of the day when it is hot. If you'll be mostly flying coastal areas or lowlands, this is not so much of a problem.

    Here are some numbers: A late model 180hp Cessna 172SP has a useful load of around 825 pounds. If each front seat occupant weighs 170 pounds (men) and each rear seat occupant weighs 125 pounds (women), and each of you has a 25 pound suitcase, the total is 690 pounds which means you can carry a maximum of 135 pounds of fuel (22 US gallons), which is only enough for 1:45 flying plus the required 30 minute daytime VFR reserve. This is based on a fuel consumption of 9.5 USgal per hour at 65% power at 4,000 feet msl, and minimal taxi time before takeoff.

    I suggest that you get some aeronautical charts, get a copy of the airplane flight manual for the one you'll be renting, and do a little planning ahead of time. Here's a link with info for a Cessna 172N. http://www.flyenid.com/forms/ACE-N737RR-WtBal-TOLD...

    Have fun, good luck, and be safe.

    Source(s): Professional pilot, 9,600 hours, C-172 owner.
  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    NO. A Cessna 172 is basically a 2+2 aircraft. It won't carry four adults, plus bags plus full fuel.

    Maximum usefull load on a 172R is only 758 lbs, and with 56 gallons of fuel, your capacity is down to less than 400 lbs.

  • LC
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    How much do your friends weigh? Weight and Balance on a 172 is difficult to maintain unless two of the people are small children.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i hope they are small people! the back is uncomfortable for two medium people - especially for any length of time.

    i'm thinking 925 useful - 650 for people - 35 gals (2..5hrs+reserve) = 65 lbs of baggage

    you'll need to watch fuel carefully, because you won't be able to go full tanks - figure 15lbs of luggage in a soft bag each will be tops - that will be close!

    there is room back there for soft bags - it is a tight space, but if the bags can conform to the space, they fit better.

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