Ok, this is a split off from the engine thread, where some folks started to compare cabin widths. So I went and researched them to add another sheet to my Excel Database So here’s what I found in a quick research:
The range of cabin sizes in the SE piston market is between 38 and 50 inches. That is a full 12 inches / 30 cm difference between the smallest and the widest cabin. What I found very interesting is that some cabins which are said to be spacy are in fact narrower than others which are said to be tiny. But here are the most popular types:
The Cessna 150 is the tightest with 38 inches/96 cm.
The Cessna 172 and 152 according to Cessna’s website is 40 inches / 102 cm wide.
The Grumman AA5 is 41 inches / 104 cm wide.
The Cessna 182, PA28 and Bonanzas have 42 inch/107 cm cabin widths
The Cessna 206/210 has 43 inches/109 cm
The Mooney cabin is 43.5 inches/110 cm wide.
Next in the close ball park is the Piper Saratoga/Seneca cabin with 48.25 inches and the Corvalis with 48 inches/122 cm.
Next are the Malibu with 49.6 inches / 126 cm followed closely by the Cirrus SR20/22 with 49 inches/125 cm.
The widest single engine cabin are found: In the TB9/10/20/21. According to specs the cabin is 50.3 inches / 128 cm wide.
I must say I was fairly surprised by some of these figures. Especcially Cessna’s singles had me fooled, I thought them to be wider than both the PA28 and certainly the Mooney. Also on the top end, the Socata series beats all the rest, however within very small margins.
So basically, we have two “cathegories” so to speak, the “wide bodies” between 50 and 48 inches which include the TB series, Cirrus, Corvalis and the 6 seated Malibus and Saratoga. They all are within 2 inches / 5 cm.
The narrow bodies are lead by Mooney, followed by the large Cessnas (210/206) and then by the Bonanza, Cessna 182 and Piper Cherokee/Arrow with 43.5 to 42 inches, again with a very small margin of 4 cm.
Tail end Charlies are the AA5, C172/152 and finally the C150 which are 41 and 38 inches wide.
Surprising that Mooney is wider than the rest of the narrow bodies. Is there any difference between earlier M20 versions and the long bodies or are they all the same?
I think, this is somewhat misleading. And no, I’m NOT going to get into the C172 vs PA28 argument. I don’t really know where in the cabin these measurements are taken, but I can tell you that for me (188cm / 6ft 2") the 152 is torture and the TB 20 very tight (and too low – with headset I hit the ceiling in this one). OTOH, I feel comfy in the 172RG/182RG I fly and, of course, in the 210. I suspect it also depends on the adjustability of the seats and what is there at your shoulder height. Which, obviously, will vary with your height and build.
The cabin width isn’t the only dimension that matters, and I found the 182 to be ok, just like the 177 in that department. As you say, depending on where your body parts are placed in relation to windows, doors, passengers etc. the experience may be better or worse. It also makes a big difference if you’re flying around in the summertime with a t-shirt, or in the winter dressed like the Michelin figure.
In the PA32/34 for example, the cabin is much wider than the PA28, but the seats are still mounted in the same position in relation to the sidewalls, so you’re squashed against the side unless you sit partway off the edge of the seat. Now, who was working on ergonomics at the time? Nobody? Though so…
Thanks for looking up the comparative cabin width data… very interesting. Standing with tape measure in hand I can say my plane #2 (an unusual type) has 40 inches cabin width… And it’s not really ideal.
In the interest of overall cabin comfort I’ve so far tailored the seat cushions, switched to lower profile head sets and even made a custom ignition key (for more knee clearance). It’s all working and now I fit, just. The only thing that’d make clearance across the cabin is thinner people and I guess that’s my approach… my wife is very thin
My 2 are both around 24".Why would you want any more?
My humble microlight boasts 110 cm, or 43". Not bad, eh ?!
Not that it changes your point, but the C 150 could have any of three different widths, they were widened over the years. Bowing the doors was a part of this. But, yes, they are narrow. I like to fly mine with my door off, if I have a big passenger.
I agree with the observation that the single width dimension is only a part of the picture of how roomy the cabin will feel.
That’s funny – the first thing that came up in hangar conversation today when I brought up cabin width was the fact that later 150s had curved doors and seemed wider as a result Memories from the mutual attic
Since a partially built RV 7 was also in the hangar I measured that one and found that despite the perception in flight that RV 7s are pretty wide they are 40 inches, same as my plane. Seems to me the feeling of ‘width’ or ‘roominess’ on that particular design results from the absence of any center console down the center or between the seats.
OK, I must admit that “my” 43 inches come through liberally curved doors. And the seats are not adjustable, neither are the pedals, so it is just as well that my physics are (for Europe) “average”.