Glamorous may not be the way to describe the venerable Cessna 152 (and it’s slightly older but nearly identical sibling the, Cessna 150), but reliable and forgiving are. The mainstay of training fleets for almost 50 years, the high winged Cessna is almost a perfect training aircraft, with great training characteristics, nimble handling and a forgiving nature.
The big brother the aforementioned Cessna 152, the Cessna 172 looks similar and shares a lot of the same characteristics, but is larger, has a more powerful (and thirsty) engine and can seat 4 people including the pilot. It’s handling characteristics are even more stable than the Cessna 152, with a heavier feel to the controls. In slow speed flight it is also more forgiving, yet in higher speed flight it is far better suited for longer touring journeys.
Piper PA-28 Warrior/Cherokee
The Piper PA-28 takes aircraft design in a slightly different direction, with the wing of the aircraft being lower on the fuselage than the previous Cessna aircraft. The PA-28 comes in several different flavours, the Cherokee and the Warrior being the most common, with engine powers varying between the types. They are all however fundamentally the same aircraft, with almost identical characteristics in flight. Like the Cessna’s, they are exceptionally stable, well behaved and forgiving to learn to fly in. They do fly differently to the Cessna’s, but often the choice between the Cessna and the PA-28 is down to cost per hour and how the aircraft feels when you sit in the very different 4 seat cockpit, rather than which one is “easier” or “better” to fly.
The new kid on the block, these composite Italian aircraft are being found at more schools around the country. With a modern aerodynamic look and efficient engines, they certainly look appealing to fly. Inside you’ll often find more modern avionics, with gauges replaced with computer screens to show data such as the speed, altitude and heading. Flying charactaristics of these aircraft are very agile with a slightly less forgiving stall (when you fly too slowly and the aircraft stops producing lift), but their well balanced controls and great visibility inspires a lot of confidence when learning.
Of course this list is not extensive and there are many more types of aircraft that you can learn to fly in. From the fairly standard PiperPA-38 Tomahawk, to the more unusual and classic DeHavilland Tiger Moth, any single engine aircraft can be used to learn to fly, it more depends on the depth of your wallet and the challenge you wish to give yourself.