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KAFB Aero Club Cessna 172 “Red Baron”


Model ID#:





Skyhawk “Red Baron”







R. Miller

Model Scale:




historical significance

First Albuquerque Visit:    1979

SKU: Model-0547 Categories: ,

Additional Information:

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. The 172 was developed from the 1948 Cessna 170 but with a tricycle landing gear instead of the conventional landing gear. The Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. Since 1956, Cessna has delivered more than 44,000 aircraft and the 172 remains in production today.

The “Military Aero Club” began in the late 1950s at Sandia Army Base, with two military T-34s and a Cessna 190. The aircraft were parked near the old tower and the club office was located in an old firehouse. The aircraft were only available to rated military pilots and no training was provided. In 1959, the military club moved to Sandia National Laboratory’s area and merged with the Sandia Flying Club. The Sandia Flying Club had a dirt runway located approximately 4 miles south east of what is now Kirtland’s golf course.

Fast forward to 1968 and the a new club reopened and relocated to an area south of the Kirtland Air Force Base Operations Hangar, Bldg. 333. The club’s aircraft included two T-34s, a Cessna 150, and two Navions. Membership was small, only four or five pilots and about as many students. After a short closure, the club reopened and acquired a Citrabria and began offering aerobatic lessons. Club members were also allowed for the first time to park their private aircraft on the field. Called the Kirtland Aero Club in 1989, the club now had four T-41A military trainers and two Cessna C-172 aircraft (the civilian version of the T-41A). The Kirtland Aero Club name was changed to the Kirtland Flight Center in 1997 in response to an Air Force initiative.

Over the years, the Kirtland Aero Club had a variety of different aircraft at various time including: Cessna 152s, Cessna 172RGs, Cessna 182s, Cessna 182RGs, Cessna 210s, Piper Arrows (turbo and non-turbo versions), a Piper Warrior, and a Decathlon. Multi-engine aircraft included a Beechcraft Duchess, and a Cessna 310.

The Kirtland Aero Club, for a short time, had this Cessna 172, the “Red Baron” N-5117-F, for club training beginning April 1, 1979. There are no photos of this unusual Cessna 172 aircraft on file.