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The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is arguably one of the most prolific light aircraft in the world. Over 44,000 of these four seat high wing aircraft have been produced to date. The 172 was developed as a tricycle landing gear equipped version of the tail dragging Cessna 170. Achieving its first flight in 1955 early Skyhawks included the high rear fuselage and straight tail of the original Cessna 170 however in the early 1960s a new raked tail was developed and a lower fuselage used to allow for a rear window to be installed in the cabin - this configuration has formed the basis of the Skyhawk ever since. The Cessna 172 has seen significant military use and has been used, primarily as a trainer, by 19 different nations.
Flying Scholarships for Disabled People is a charity with immensely strong links to the Air Tattoo. The charity is based here at RAF Fairford in Douglas Bader House and was founded by Tim Prince and Paul Bowen - the founders of RIAT - in memory of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader. The Patron of the Charity is his Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein who succeeded his late father in the role. The charity has helped over 400 disabled people through its scholarship scheme to learn to fly a light aircraft and continues to grant around 12 scholarships per year. FSDP is one of the main charities that directly benefits from the proceeds of the Royal International Air Tattoo.
The Cessna 172SP that will be appearing on static display at this year's Air Tattoo is one of the aircraft taking part in the Big Wing Tour this year to celebrate the charities 40th year - flying 40 ex scholars to 40 airfields all over the UK. Photo Credit: Ian Revell