One of the first Cessna 152s produced, a 1978 model-year built in 1977.
First delivered in 1977 as the 1978 model year, the 152 was a modernization of the proven Cessna 150 design. The 152 was intended to compete with the new Beechcraft Skipper and Piper Tomahawk, both of which were introduced the same year. Additional design goals were to improve useful load through a gross weight increase to 1670 lbs (757 kg), decrease internal and external noise levels and run better on the then newly introduced 100LL fuel.
As with the 150, the great majority of 152s were built at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas. A number of aircraft were also built by Reims Aviation of France and given the designation F152/FA152.
Production of the 152 was ended in 1985 when Cessna ended production of all of their light aircraft; by that time, a total of 7,584 examples of the 152, including A152 and FA152 Aerobat aerobatic variants, had been built worldwide.
In 2007 Cessna announced that it will build a light sport successor, designated the Model 162 Skycatcher.
All Cessna 152s were manufactured with a Lycoming O-235 engine, whereas the 150s use either Continental O-200-A in US-built versions or Rolls-Royce 0-240-A engines in the Reims-produced version.
The Lycoming provided not only an increase in engine power over the Cessna 150, but also was more compatible with the newer 100LL low lead fuel.
Cessna 152s produced between 1977 and 1982 were equipped with Lycoming O-235-L2C engines producing 110 hp (82 kW) at 2550 rpm. This engine still suffered some lead-fouling problems in service and was succeeded in 1983 by the 108 hp (81 kW) O-235-N2C which featured a different piston design and a redesigned combustion chamber to reduce this problem. The N2C engine was used until 152 production ended in 1985.
The 152's airframe is an all-metal construction. It is primarily aluminium 2024-T3 alloy, although some components such as wing tips and fairings are made from glass-reinforced plastic. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque structure: it has vertical bulkheads and frames joined by longerons which run the length of the fuselage. The metal skin of the aircraft is riveted, which allows loads to be spread out over the structure. The wings are of a strut-braced design and have a 1 degree dihedral angle. The tapered (outboard) portion of each wing has one degree of washout (the chord of the tip section has one degree lower angle of attack than the chord at the end of the constant-width section). This allows greater aileron effectiveness during a stall, although it is much less than the 3 degrees used in Cessna 172 wings.
 Flying controls
Dual controls are available as optional equipment on the Cessna 152 and almost all 152s have this option installed.
The Cessna 152 is equipped with differential ailerons that move through 20 degrees upwards and 15 degrees downwards. It has modified Fowler (slotted, aft-traveling) flaps which are electrically operated and deploy to a maximum of 30 degrees. The rudder can move 23 degrees to either side and is fitted with a ground adjustable trim tab. The elevators move up through 25 degrees and down through 18 degrees. An adjustable trim tab is installed in the right elevator and is controlled by a small wheel in the center of the control console. The trim tab moves 10 degrees up and 20 degrees down relative to the elevator chordline.
The Cessna 152 is equipped with fixed tricycle landing gear. The main gear is a tubular steel undercarriage leg surrounded by a full length fairing with a step for access to the cabin. The main gear has a 7 ft 7 in (2.3 m) wheelbase.
The nose wheel is connected to the engine mount and has an oleo strut to dampen and absorb normal operating loads. The nosewheel is steerable through 8 degrees either side of neutral and can caster under differential braking up to 30 degrees. It is connected to the rudder pedals through a spring linkage.
The braking system consists of single disc brake assemblies fitted to the main undercarriage and operated by a hydraulic system. Brakes are operated by pushing on the top portion of the rudder pedals. It is possible to use differential braking when taxiing and this allows very tight turns to be made.
The 152 is also fitted with a parking brake system. It is applied by depressing both toe brakes and then pulling the "Park Brake" lever to the pilot’s left. The toe brakes are then released but pressure is maintained in the system thereby leaving both brakes engaged.
The standard tires used are 600 X 6 on the main gear and 500 X 5 on the nose wheel.