David Yeoman is archetypical of many longtime EAA members. His profession is all about aviation, as he’s part of the Rockwell Collins team that furnishes some of the most advanced avionics, inflight entertainment and other digital systems for multi-million dollar military, commercial and general aviation aircraft.

It's fitting that his passion be aviation, though that is no doubt a product of his father bringing him to his first EAA Airventure Oshkosh air show in 1971, when he was just three years old. His first flight was in his father’s Flaglor Scooter, a 650 lb. homebuilt powered by a 1.5 liter, 40-hp, Volkswagen air-cooled boxer four. Yeoman recently realized a lifelong dream when he bought a 1952 Cessna 195. It’s his sixth aircraft, his fifth tail-wheel model and by far his favorite yet. Yeoman hangars the aircraft at Cedar Rapids, Iowa close to the Rockwell Collins facility at The Eastern Iowa Airport. It’s parked at Oshkosh this week in the Classics Area on “Route 195,” sponsored by Barron Aviation of Perry, MO, a firm specializing in Cessna 195 restorations.

“Airplanes are supposed to have wheels in the back. But, by the time I was born they didn’t make them any more. The Cessna 195 always caught my eye at Oshkosh. You have to have an interest in nostalgia. I love the art deco look of the airplane, the bumps on the cowling.”

No doubt he also enjoys the sound of the 300-hp, seven-cylinder, Jacobs R-755 radial. Cessna’s Model 190 and Model 195 Businessliner were the only radial-engine-powered aircraft the firm built after World War II. More than 1,150 were produced from 1947-54. The aircraft was relatively expensive to buy and, due to its tail-wheel configuration, it was considerably more challenging to handle on the ground than tricycle landing gear competitors, such as the Beech Bonanza.

The aircraft features all-aluminum construction, a 36.1-ft. span; strutless, straight taper wing with NACA 2412 airfoil and no dihedral; front and rear seating for four people; and a generously sized aft luggage bay. Owners get used to buying oil by the gallon to replenish the engine’s 5-gal. reservoir. Typically, oil consumption by the Jacobs was 1-2 quarts per hour, but modern overhauls by top-notch shops, such as Air Repair, Inc, in Cleveland, MI, can reduce oil consumption to 1 quart every 6 to 10 hr., according to John Barron of Barron Aviation.

Some aircraft have crosswind main landing gear that swivel up to 30 deg. to allow the aircraft to land in a crab.

Yeoman says mastering the Cessna 195’s handling characteristics wasn’t difficult for him. But, he’s been flying tailwheel airplanes since he was a teenager. “The deck angle is steep when it’s on the ground, so there is limited forward vision, especially around the cowl. It’s more difficult than in the Cessna 170 I used to own.”

The aircraft cruises efficiently at 139 KTAS while burning 14-15 gph, says Yeoman. Push up the power to 17 gph and it will cruise at 165 KTAS. He’s equipped the aircraft with an all-in-one Garmin GTN 650, full IFR instrumentation and a two-axis autopilot.

John Barron cautions would-be Cessna 195 buyers. He says that plenty of “bottom feeders” purchased the aircraft when they went out of production in the mid 1950s because they were relatively inexpensive. Many have damage history resulting from ground-handling mishaps and several have been patched together without being properly aligned on factory fixtures. Hill Aviation, Butterfly Aviation and Barron Aviation are the only firms in the U.S. that have a complete set of construction jigs for proper repairs of Cessna 195 airframes, Barron says.

Owners should budget $25,000 for engine overhaul, up to $35,000 if the aircraft needs new hoses, cooling baffles, exhaust components, engine mounts and accessories. Other parts cost about the same as those for a Cessna 185, according to Barron.

In pristine condition, but without avionics upgrades, these airplanes command about $135,000 in the marketplace. Sixty years ago, the Cessna 195 was viewed as general aviation trash. Now it’s seen as a treasure.