Cessna no longer makes the 150 or 152. It is a shame because the aircraft is reliable and a great plane. With such a tried and true design, what is stopping a different company from using the same blueprints, and making brand new Cessna 150s again. I am asking this because, as most pilots do, I often lament the prohibitive cost of general aviation. 60 years after the production of the 150, Cessna has decided to pursue creating more expensive products rather than refine the manufacturing processes to make their classic models more affordable. It seems like one way we can make aviation affordable is for pioneering individuals to develop efficient and cheap manufacturing methods to start producing again the models that have already been flight tested and certified. What am I missing here. Why has nobody tried to do this?

  • $\begingroup$ How would you propose one would acquire the necessary drawings, manufacturing tools, etc? $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2021 at 3:07
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    $\begingroup$ Someone would have to talk Cessna into selling the type certificate and tooling for the 150, and they probably aren't interested. Part of the problem is there is still too large a pool of old ones that can be restored more cheaply than building new ones. Anyway, it's a myth that aviation used to be cheap. A new 172 for 22 grand was the cost of a pretty nice suburban house in 1969, or 4 to 5 new cars. I was paying 30+ bucks an hour to rent one in 1976 when 5$ an hour was decent salary. That was a LOTTA money at the time. I didn't think I was living in a golden age of cheap flying then. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Oct 13, 2021 at 3:47
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    $\begingroup$ There would be copyright issues, unless they got permission from Cessna. (Though note that there are clones of Piper Cubs.) Besides, why would you want a copy, when for about the same money you can build something better, using modern tech? $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Oct 13, 2021 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ Note that they are still making the more popular 172. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Oct 13, 2021 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Why are older airplanes still in use? $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Oct 13, 2021 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


I think you are underestimating a few things,

  1. It's already common practice to license a design to other manufacturers. For example, Reims Aviation used to produce a large number of Cessna derivatives.
  2. Initial sale price is only a part of the total cost of ownership. Fuel use, maintenance costs and insurance make up a large fraction of the total costs. Aircraft depreciate relatively slowly (compared to e.g. a car).
  3. Old planes are designed for old methods of manufacturing. It's not an easy task to reduce manufacturing costs without modifying the design, which would require new certification.
  4. While you say it's a 'great plane', you really should say it's a 'great plane for its time'. New planes are typically better in terms of gas mileage, cruise speed, avionics, passenger comfort, safety, noise, looks, time between overhauls...

Regarding the Cessna 150 specifically, a 150 cruises at only 95 knots. I wouldn't spend money on a newly-built expensive version of something that slow when I could buy something newer and faster like a Diamond DA-20 (used or new, depending upon your budget), which cruises 20 knots faster while burning the same 6 gallons of fuel per hour. I'm probably not alone.


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