Cessna Skywagon back in production with Bushliner


An American company has started ‘remanufacturing’ Cessna’s 180/185 Skywagon single-engine bush aircraft.

Washington State based Bushliner is offering a certified Cessna 180/185 and also an Experimental 1800/1850 version.

Cessna’s 180/185 Skywagon has a dedicated following and even now, 36 years after production of the big tailwheel single stopped, it’s still in use as a bush aircraft.

Some 10,500 Skywagons were produced between 1953 and 1985 when Cessna stopped production of its single engine range because of high liability costs. When production restarted in the 1990s, the Skywagon was not one of the chosen models.

However, pilots and operators keep them going, with a bunch of STCs available to make them even more useful, usually transporting cargo and/or passengers to remote strips, lakes and snowfields in Canada and Alaska.


Bushliner offers ski and float versions of its remanufactured 180/185 Skywagon

Bushliner Aircraft specialises in complete airframe overhaul which starts with disassembly of the aircraft. Every component of the aircraft is inspectes, with fasteners replaced, structural components replaced as required, primed and painted, assembled with new systems, engines and avionics installed.

“No current aircraft on the market offers the same performance or has the same reputation as the Cessna Skywagon family,” said Bushliner. “Unfortunately the existing Cessna 180 and 185 fleet is deteriorating beyond economical repair.

“Cessna anticipated the aircraft would be needed for, and designed them to last for 15-20 years of normal use. Many of these aircraft are well beyond 40 years old and have been abused hard for that time.”

Bushliner says its aircraft are designated ‘equivalent to new’. However, it’s not a cheap process! Complete aircraft overhauls start at $489,000 although they are covered by a 5-year tip to tail warranty.










See 15 comments


  • Taildragger Logan says:

    now if only it had a stick

  • John Thompson says:

    That’s a lot of hype about a company that hasn’t rebuilt even one plane yet. Their first one is in the works, making them a far cry from “experts” on the matter.

  • John says:

    Why the misleading headline. These are rebuilt, not new. They are not back in production. ? that’s my Greta Thunberg face of disapproval ?

    • Tony Chapman says:

      Every single part is brand new minus the data plate. Rebuilt? Maybe technically/legally. But indefatigably new.

    • Colin says:

      From their web page:
      “SUPER-CYCLONE” kits are a replica of a Cessna 180-185 offering the same advantages with improved performance. The kit is an all aluminum construction. The performance increase comes primarily from a longer wing, an extra foot per side at the root of the wing, not at the wing tip, thus a longer flap, better STOL, cruise, payload and fuel capacity, without reducing aileron control.

      They are remanufacturing certified aircraft as well as kitting/building replica versions.

  • Bob says:

    Were bullshit snow this would constitute a blizzard

  • Bill says:

    Quick question: If it’s technically a rebuild, why the experimental certification? Love seeing this happening but it seems to come at nearly the price of a new 182.
    Thanks, and looking forward to more information.

  • Terry says:

    The most enjoyable and memorable time of my aviation career was spent flying a C-185 on Wheels/Floats/Skis. Its great to see someone taking the initiative to return some of these great bush planes to their original condition to allow another generation the pleasure of flying them. It’s just too bad that the cost in these times are so high.

  • Red says:

    Soooo…NOT a brand new a/c and you’re telling me that I have to find and purchase an existing 185, get it to Cessna, then pay them half a million dollars to rebuild it?? That’s gotta be a joke, right?! Hahaha. Good luck with that Cessna.

  • robert obrien says:

    You are spot on my friend…

  • robert obrien says:

    BTW: I have a pair of Aqua 3190’s straight floats for sale for the C-180/185 advertised in Barnstormers at the moment… I’m in Maine USA, not a scammer.

  • Waylon says:

    Does it honestly matter what anyone builds or rebuilds! Its never gonna be offered at an affordable price therefore it just ends up as another pipe dream for both sides. Builder and buyer. With the absolutely ridiculous price inflation we’ve just witnessed in aviation the term general aviation is on the way to extinction. Students can’t afford lessons, buyers can’t afford planes, younger mechanics become extinct due to the lack of aviators in general and everything goes down the drain. Everyone that keeps putting high BS prices on aircraft and idiots that keep paying are 100% killing the future of aviation and are to stupid to realize it.

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