The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955, more 172s have been built than any other aircraft.
Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. Cessna delivered the first production model in 1956 and as of 2015, the company and its partners had built more than 44,000. The aircraft remains in production today.
The Skyhawk's main competitors have been the Beechcraft Musketeer and Grumman AA-5 series (neither currently in production), the Piper Cherokee, and, more recently, the Diamond DA40 and Cirrus SR20.