FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS > Limitations and CG > Q: I've heard that all the later higher gross weight Cessna 182's really suffer in performance and service ceilings. Is this true?

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Q:  I've heard that all the later higher gross weight Cessna 182s really suffer in performance and service ceilings.  Is this true?

A:  Yes and no.  Although airframe changes over the years have generally contributed to increased performance, additional gross weight will always detract from it. Cessna's increased gross weights and lower useful loads have sometimes been assailed as a "smoke and mirrors" trick with an accompanying penalty of reduction in performance and service ceiling. Our STC is no different... the higher gross weight and useful load comes with a performance penalty and a reduced service ceiling. (Exactly how much?  See your flight manual supplement).

Critics often fail to note, however, that performance and service ceiling numbers are listed for maximum gross weight. You still have an adaptable airplane. On those days that you need the extra performance of a previous model, simply fly your airplane at that previous gross weight. On those days that you don't, enjoy the added flexibility and loading envelope permitted by the higher MGTOW. Like all things in aviation, compromise and tradeoffs are the order of the day.  Our STC lets you decide what those tradeoffs will be.

Another factor here is diminishing useful loads. It is not proper to compare airplane models or model years based on useful loads. Why? Because useful load numbers are totally dependent on on your basic airplane empty weight vs. your MGTOW, and this varies tremendously based upon what avionics or supplemental systems have been installed in your airplane.