The Cessna 205, 206, and 207 family were the descendants of the popular, retractable gear model Cessna 210. These planes are all single-engine aircrafts used for commercial flights and for personal use as well. In addition, these are also known variously as the Super Skywagon, Skywagon, Stationair, and Super Skylane.
These particular models are known for its rugged construction and its powerful engine. Because of those characteristics, it became popular as a bush plane. According to the Wikipedia, the 206 can be specifically described as the “sport utility vehicle of the air.” They are so versatile that they can be used for aerial photography, skydiving, and other utility purposes. They can also be equipped with skis and floats, and can be transformed to become luxury passenger accommodations as well.
The Cessna 205 had started it all. In 1963, the 205 had come into production with the design and engine of the retractable 210. They had eliminated the landing gear storage at the rear of the plane, thus having a spacious six-seat interior, and a useful load of 1,500 pounds. This model only lasted until 1964, when it was replaced by the more powerful 206. A total of 276 Cessna 205s were produced.
The Cessna 206 is a six-seat passenger plane. It is not powered by a turboprop but a six-cylinder piston engine, and yet it is truly capable of all the functions it is made for. It was introduced in 1964 and continued until 1986, where production of the single engine planes was halted temporarily. Up until 2004, the total aircrafts produced were 6,581. Among the variants of this model are the U206, P206, and the 206H.
The 1964 model was actually a Cessna U206, the “U” standing for “utility.” It had a pilot-side door and a clamshell opening rear door as well, meant for easy loading of large cargo. There was also a turbocharged version of the U206, which was the TU206, but was not as successful. The additional horsepower provided by the engine did not do much to the aircraft but add unpleasant noise levels. From 1964 to 1969, the U206 was known as the “Super Skywagon” and was later named, “Stationair” or “Station Wagon of the Air.” By 1986, Cessna ceased to produce piston engine aircrafts, hence, the stop of all variants of the U206 as well. It was because the utility plane did not attract such an audience, to become a choice for a personal plane. The Cessna 210 had a much stronger foothold on that market at the time.
1965 brought about the “people” version of the plane. The P206 had passenger doors on either side of the plane, derived from the design of the Cessna 210 as well. Like the U206, there was also a turbocharged version of this, which was the TP206. It was often misconstrued as a variant of the Cessna 182, when it was dubbed the name of “Super Skylane.” 647 of this kind were produced.
Production of the 206 line had stopped for almost twelve years, and by 1998, it was time to launch a new version of this model. At that time, Cessna was going to revive old models and modernize those. There was a lot of talk on which of the planes would make the cut, and the 206 was one of them.
Then came the 206H, which was also known under the name “Stationair.” The look of the aircraft is much the same as the U206. It first flew on August 6, 1996. The 206H was powered by a Lycoming IO-540-AC1A, of 300 horspower. The turbocharged version, T206H, was powered on the other hand, by a Lycoming TSIO-540-AJ1A engine of 310 horsepower. The plane is “also outfitted with Garmin G1000 flat-panel avionics suite, with the GFC 700 dual-channel digital autopilot, and digital AHRS and air data.”*
The 206 line was indeed improved in a lot of ways. Ultimate comfort was in mind, having developed better belts, better seats, better upholstery, better ventilation. A more reliable fuel system was also integrated. A new powerful engine system was also introduced by making use of the Lycoming engines. Lycomings cut the sound considerably, and the three blade McCauley propellers also did the trick.
A total of 726 H models were produced. Both the 206H and T206H remain in production in 1998.