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The Cessna 120 and the Cessna 140 are single engine, two-seat, light general aviation aircraft that were first produced in 1946, immediately following the end of World War II. Production ended in 1950, and was succeeded by the Cessna 150, a similar two-seat trainer which introduced tricycle gear. The 120 and the 140 together sold 7,664 copies in the five years that the aircraft were produced.
The Cessna 140 was originally equipped with an 85 or 90 horsepower (63 or 67 kW) Continental horizontally-opposed, aircooled, four-cylinder piston engine. This model has a metal fuselage and fabric wings with metal control surfaces. The larger Cessna 170 was a four seat 140 with a more powerful engine.
The final variant of the Cessna 140 introduced in 1949 was the 140A which had a standard Continental C90 engine producing 90 hp (67 kW), aluminum covered wings and a single strut replacing the dual "V" struts and jury strut s fitted on earlier models.
The Cessna 120 was an economy version of the 140 produced at the same time. It had the same engine as the 140, but did not have wing flaps. The cabin "D" side windows and electrical system (radios, lights, battery and starter) were optional.
Common modifications to the Cessna 120 and 140 include:
*"Metalized" wings, where the fabric is replaced with sheet aluminum, eliminating the need to periodically replace the wing fabric.
*The installation of landing gear extenders to reduce the tendency of the aircraft to nose-over on application of heavy braking. These were factory-optional equipment.
*Installation of rear-cabin "D" side windows on 120s that were not originally so equipped; some pilots feel that the 120's visibility to the rear is inadequate without them.
*Installation of electrical systems on 120s that were not originally so equipped, allowing owners to install an electric starter, more sophisticated avionics and/or lights for night flying.