Cessna 152 vs 150 | Choosing Your Training Aircraft

The Cessna 152 vs 150 both are iconic training aircraft with key differences. The newer 152 features a 110 hp engine, offering better performance and a wider cockpit than the 100 hp Cessna 150. Despite the 152’s improvements, the 150 is prized for its lower operational costs and historical value. Choice between them depends on personal preference and training requirements.

Cessna 152 vs 150

The Cessna 152 vs 150 both are two of the most iconic training aircraft, each with unique features that have endeared them to generations of pilots. The primary distinction lies in their engines; the Cessna 152 is equipped with the Lycoming O-235, delivering 110 horsepower, whereas the Cessna 150 utilizes the Continental O-200-A, slightly less powerful at 100 horsepower. This difference in power impacts not only performance but also the aircraft’s fuel efficiency and capacity.

Cessna 152 vs Cessna 150
Cessna 152 vs 150

The Cessna 152 vs 150 both start with a base fuel capacity of 26 gallons, but they offer options for long-range tanks, with the 152 extending to 39 gallons and the 150’s capacity varying slightly across its models. Furthermore, the fuel efficiency and octane requirements diverge, reflecting the engines’ operational characteristics.

The Cessna 152 requires 100 octane fuel, while the Cessna 150 operates efficiently on 80 octane, hinting at the latter’s slightly more economical operation. Despite these differences, both aircraft share commonalities in their fixed-pitch propellers and carbureted fuel systems, underlining their legacy in aviation training. While the Cessna 152 might offer a bit more in terms of power and potential range, the Cessna 150’s enduring presence in flight schools worldwide speaks to its reliability, efficiency, and the fondness pilots continue to hold for this classic trainer. Check out our comparison of the Cessna 150 vs Cessna 172 to see how they differ.

Cessna 150 vs 152
  • “LR” stands for Long Range tanks, showing an option for extended fuel capacity.
  • “KIAS” refers to Knots Indicated Airspeed, while “KCAS” stands for Knots Calibrated Airspeed.
  • Differences in engine models and power highlight the slight variations in performance capabilities between the models.
  • The fuel burn rate and service ceiling are critical for planning long-distance flights, with each model offering unique advantages.
  • The Cessna 152 shows an improvement in certain specifications over the Cessna 150, such as engine horsepower and standard empty weight, reflecting the evolution of the design over time.
  • The 1985 Cessna 152, despite having the same engine horsepower as the 1978 version, might have subtle updates not reflected in the table.
  • The Cessna 150 models show a wide range in useful load and service ceiling, indicating the impact of different design choices over the years.

Cessna 152

Cessna 152
Cessna 152

The Cessna 152 is a popular, single-engine aircraft known for its reliability and efficiency, making it a favorite among flight schools and private pilots alike. Produced in different versions, such as the 1978 and 1985 models, both come equipped with a Lycoming O-235 engine, boasting 110 horsepower and a fixed-pitch propeller. Despite their similarities, there are slight differences; for instance, the standard empty weight increased slightly from 1,081 lbs in the 1978 model to 1,109 lbs in the 1985 model, affecting the maximum useful load.

Both models have a fuel capacity of 26 gallons, expandable to 39 gallons with long-range tanks, and share a stall speed in landing configuration at 43 knots, ensuring steady landings. The average fuel burn at 75% power remains low, making the Cessna 152 an economical choice for training and personal use. With a service ceiling of 14,700 feet and a climb rate of 715 feet per minute, it showcases solid performance for a small aircraft. Its durability, affordability, and straightforward operation have cemented the Cessna 152’s status as a go-to aircraft for pilots honing their flying skills.

Cessna 150

Cessna 150
Cessna 150

The Cessna 150 stands as an iconic two-seater, single-engine light aircraft, beloved since its 1959 introduction. With its Continental O-200-A engine delivering a steady 100 horsepower across versions, it embodies simplicity and endurance.

Modifications over the years included tweaks in fuel capacity and the introduction of long-range tanks, enhancing its range and flexibility for pilots. The 1977 150M model, in particular, featured a noticeable increase in weight and adjustments in load capacity, reflecting improvements in its design and functionality.

Renowned for its straightforward operation and maintenance, the Cessna 150 offers a climb rate of 670 feet per minute and service ceilings up to 15,300 feet, depending on the model. Its affordability and dependable performance have solidified its reputation as an ideal starter aircraft for flight training and casual flying, making it a timeless choice for aviation enthusiasts.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Engines & Fuel

When comparing the Cessna 152 vs 150, particularly focusing on their engines and fuel systems, we dive into the heart of what makes these aircraft tick and how they perform in the skies. Both models are beloved by pilots for training and leisure flights, but they have some differences worth noting.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Engines

At the core, both the Cessna 152 and the Cessna 150 are powered by four-cylinder engines, but they differ in the models and specifications. The Cessna 152, available in its 1978 and 1985 versions, houses the Lycoming O-235 engine. Both iterations of this model have a horsepower (HP) of 110, showcasing a robust power for a small aircraft. On the other side, the Cessna 150, with its versions from 1959, 1968, and 1977, is equipped with the Continental O-200-A engine, each offering 100 HP. This slight difference in horsepower points to the Cessna 152 having a bit more “oomph” for takeoffs and climbing, making it a tad more powerful than its predecessor.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Fuel Capacity and Efficiency

Fuel capacity and efficiency are where pilots see more of the operational differences between these models. Both the Cessna 152 and the Cessna 150 start with a base fuel capacity of 26 gallons, but they offer options for long-range tanks. The Cessna 152 extends to 39 gallons, while the Cessna 150 varies more, with the 1959 model going up to 42 gallons and the later models, 150H and 150M, up to 38 gallons. This means that, depending on the model, you can plan for longer flights without needing to refuel.

Fuel efficiency is another critical aspect. The 1978 Cessna 152 has an average fuel burn at 75% power of 6.1 gallons per hour, providing a baseline for comparison. However, the average fuel burn rate for the Cessna 150H is about 5.6 gallons per hour, indicating that the Cessna 150 can be a bit more fuel-efficient, extending the flight duration on the same amount of fuel.

Both aircraft require high-octane aviation fuel, with the Cessna 152 models needing 100 octane and the Cessna 150 models being a bit more flexible, operating on 80 octane. This difference in fuel requirements reflects the engine’s design and performance characteristics, with the higher octane fuel supporting the slightly more powerful engine of the Cessna 152.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Performance

When comparing the performance of the Cessna 152 vs 150, the 152 typically outshines its predecessor. Thanks to its stronger 110 hp engine, the Cessna 152 enjoys a higher climb rate and can reach a slightly greater altitude, making it more versatile for a variety of flight conditions. It also means that the 152 can handle a bit more weight, offering a slight edge in payload capacity. On the other hand, the Cessna 150, with its 100 hp engine, may not climb as quickly or fly as high, but it’s known for being slightly more fuel-efficient, which can be a plus for longer training sessions or flights. Both aircraft are renowned for their ease of use and reliability, making them top choices for learning pilots. Ultimately, the choice between the two often boils down to the specific needs and preferences of the pilot or flight school.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Cockpit

When you step into the cockpits of the Cessna 152 vs 150, you’ll notice some differences that might influence your flying experience. The Cessna 152’s cockpit is a tad wider than that of the 150, offering a bit more elbow room and making it feel slightly more spacious. This can make longer flights more comfortable, especially for larger pilots or when flying with a companion. Additionally, the 152 often comes with updated instruments and avionics, reflecting its newer design and production era. This means you might find the 152’s cockpit layout to be more modern and user-friendly.

On the other hand, the Cessna 150, while cozy, has a charm and simplicity that many pilots appreciate. Its instrumentation is straightforward and functional, embodying the classic era of flight training. Both cockpits are designed with visibility in mind, ensuring pilots have a clear view of their surroundings. The choice between them may come down to personal preference for comfort, modern features, or the nostalgic appeal of flying a classic.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Safety

When it comes to safety, both the Cessna 152 vs 150 have proven track records, making them reliable choices for pilots. However, the Cessna 152 has a slight edge due to its newer design and enhancements. With its more powerful engine, the 152 can handle adverse conditions a bit better, offering more responsive handling and a higher margin for pilot error. This makes it a forgiving aircraft for students learning the ropes. Additionally, the 152’s updated design incorporates improvements in structural integrity and systems reliability, which can contribute to overall safety.

The Cessna 150, while slightly older, remains a safe aircraft with countless hours of flight training to its name. Its simplicity means there’s less that can go wrong, and many pilots value the straightforward, hands-on flying experience it provides. Both aircraft have strong safety cultures surrounding their operation, emphasizing proper maintenance and pilot training as key factors in ensuring safe flights. Ultimately, the safety of either aircraft depends largely on the pilot’s adherence to training and maintenance protocols.

Cessna 152 vs 150 Price

When comparing the prices of the Cessna 152 vs 150, the Cessna 150 generally comes out as the more budget-friendly option. On average, you can find a used Cessna 150 for around $20,000 to $30,000, depending on its condition and how well it’s been maintained. The Cessna 152, being a bit newer and having a slightly better performance, typically costs more, with prices ranging from $25,000 to $35,000 for a used model in good condition. These price differences reflect the 152’s upgraded features, including its more powerful engine and slightly larger cockpit. However, both aircraft are considered affordable options for individuals or flight schools looking to purchase a reliable, easy-to-fly plane. Keep in mind that the actual cost can vary based on the aircraft’s year, maintenance history, and any additional avionics or upgrades.


In aviation, the Cessna 152 vs 150 are cornerstones of flight training, each offering unique benefits for aspiring pilots. The 152, with its more powerful engine and greater fuel capacity, provides improved performance and range, appealing to those seeking enhanced capabilities. The 150, known for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, remains a favorite in flight schools worldwide. Both models embody the spirit of aviation education, enabling pilots to choose between the 152’s upgraded features or the 150’s classic charm, each a significant part of aviation’s rich learning heritage.


Which is better for beginners, the Cessna 152 vs 150?

Both aircraft are excellent for beginners. The choice depends on personal preference, availability, and specific training needs. The Cessna 152 offers slightly more power and a larger fuel capacity, while the Cessna 150 is known for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Can I transition from flying a Cessna 150 to a Cessna 152 easily?

Yes, transitioning between the two is typically straightforward due to their similar design and handling characteristics. The primary adjustments would be adapting to the differences in engine power and fuel management.

Are both aircraft suitable for cross-country flights?

Both the Cessna 152 and 150 can be used for cross-country flights, especially if equipped with long-range tanks. However, the Cessna 152’s slightly higher power and fuel capacity might offer a bit more flexibility and comfort for longer distances.

What is the fuel efficiency like between the two models?

The fuel efficiency can vary based on several factors, including flight conditions and aircraft weight. Generally, the Cessna 150 is known for being slightly more fuel-efficient, thanks in part to its lower power engine and the use of 80 octane fuel, which can be more economical.

Is there a significant difference in maintenance costs between the two?

Maintenance costs can vary, but they are generally comparable for both aircraft. The Cessna 152 might incur slightly higher costs due to its larger engine and the specifics of its components. However, overall costs will largely depend on the aircraft’s condition, usage, and local maintenance rates.

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