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The Cessna 172 is an easy Metal Earth model. It consists of about 19 pieces on one sheet of metal. Assembled, it measures 4.45" x 3.59" x 0.98" (11.4 x 9.2 x 2.5 cm). More Skyhawks have been built than any other aircraft.
Each Metal Earth model is laser etched in meticulous detail on 11 cm (4.33") metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions. For maximum dramatic effect, display your model on the LED Display Base or the Solar Spinner (sold separately, see the Related Products below).
Please note that Metal Earth models have sharp edges and are not suitable for small children. Metal Earth was originally called MetalWorks.
Are you curious...?
If you know somebody so fortunate as to own an airplane, odds are pretty good that it's a Cessna 172. This single-engine four-seater first flew in 1955 and is still being produced today. In fact, with more than 43,000 produced by 2015, the Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the most popular aircraft ever manufactured.
The 172 was born when Cessna affixed a tricycle landing gear to its venerable model 170 tail-dragger. It was an instant hit, with over 1,400 built in its first year of production. They refined the design over the next few years, finally lowering the rear deck to permit a rear window in 1963. The airframe has not changed since then, although there have been some engine and control updates over the decades. Cessna suspended production in the mid 1980s but fired up the assembly lines again in 1996.
In 1958 a 172 set a world record for flight endurance that still stands: as part of a cancer research fund-raiser, pilots Robert Timm and John Cook took off from McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas in a used Cessna 172 and didn't land again for 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds. They took on food and water by matching speeds with a chase car on a desert road and hoisting the supplies aboard with a rope and bucket. Fueling was accomplished in a similar manner. When their engine-driven generator failed early in the flight, a wind-driven generator was hoisted aboard, taped to a wing strut, and plugged into the cigarette lighter; it provided their electricity for the rest of the flight. They finally called it quits after their engine, which had run continuously for 1,558 hours (plus whatever time was on it before their flight), could barely lift the plane again after they descended to refuel. That plane is on display at McCarran today.