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The older Cessna's (like 172,152) have an average wing span of about 10m, which would need about 2 lanes of some highway or some other road and would be easily available on some National Highway. The taxiing speed that Cessna can achieve is pretty decent. So, what problems would a person face trying to use a Cessna as a Car, one of them could be space, but what are some other problems, barring any regulatory/legal issues? Mainly I am demanding an answer from fuel, speed, and safety point of view.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would look at the mileage the costly ATF is giving me, plus would it meet the emission guidelines set for road cars? $\endgroup$ – Firee Aug 4 '15 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ The regulatory/legal issues are the difficulties. If you can ignore them completely then in theory you can drive anything that moves, no matter how dangerous, expensive, impractical or just ridiculous it is. I'm not sure what answer you expect here, but if you have a specific reason or background for asking then please add it, it might help to get answers. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 4 '15 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ i suspect the propeller violates some number of safety standards as well -- cars are supposed to be designed to minimize risks to pedestrians in a n accident, and a propeller also does that. $\endgroup$ – cpast Aug 4 '15 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ Here is an article about an australian who drived his plane to a near pub: theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/nov/03/… $\endgroup$ – jklingler Aug 4 '15 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ @mins Sure there is! You'd just need to flip the switch at regular enough intervals. Minor retrofitting may be required. $\endgroup$ – user Aug 5 '15 at 8:18
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Even assuming there is room - wings and the propellor could quite easily hit something or a pedestrian not looking where they were going... etc etc. An aeroplane is quite difficult to steer on the ground because the flight controls don't work very well if at all at low speeds - you use the steerable nosewheel which is connected to the rudder pedals and also the brakes (one on each rudder pedal that affect the main wheels).

Due to the large areas of body and not least the wings and tail it would be affected by winds at street corners for example. It would have to keep its speed fairly low (10-20mph). Any faster and it would be very stressful for the pilot and quite easy to lose control of it. It would also be difficult to judge clearances from other objects at higher speeds. Cars don't have wings stuck out 15 feet either side of the driver!

Having said that I am sure it is far easier to drive an aeroplane on the ground than it is a car in the air!

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    $\begingroup$ An airplane is not all that difficult to steer on the ground, particularly something like a Cessna 152 or 172 (steerable nose wheel, differential braking). The suspension and tires however are hardly roadworthy: You wouldn't be able to take curves at the posted speed limits, much less the speeds people normally drive. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Aug 4 '15 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ Sure I agree with you, I was trying to compare it to the ease of driving a car. Now if it was a taildragger that would be a different story alltogether.. $\endgroup$ – Philip Johnson Aug 4 '15 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ There are other things I've thought of, like the road would have to be smooth, the engine would be idling for long periods and the plugs would get lead deposits on them (it would do 10-20mph at a very low power setting), you would have to slow right down for corners to avoid tipping over, and finally the brakes would overheat after a few uses because they are small compared to a cars and not designed to be used on the ground too much. Not sure about fuel consumption it doesn't sound too efficient, although fuel consumption is similar to a SUV when in the air. Hope this answers your question! $\endgroup$ – Philip Johnson Aug 6 '15 at 8:01

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