With nearly every category of aircraft model on display, Textron Aviation presented one of its largest displays ever at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida.
While the venerable Cessna 172 soldiers on as one of the top training aircraft in the world, the 182T Skylane and the T206HD Turbo Stationair HD form the backbone of the Cessna piston working airplanes. And, as such, Textron continues to upgrade them and infuse new capabilities and features.
As with other such Garmin installations, the Cessna version includes electronic stability protection and overspeed/underspeed protection to help a pilot keep the airplane safe.
To help a pilot stay comfortable, the optional Kelly Aerospace air conditioning system can be started from outside the airplane by line personnel. The staff simply plugs in a ground power unit and touches a flush-mounted button on the left cowl near the static port to turn on the electric system, cooling the cabin—even with no one inside.
The 2019 T206HD carries those features, combined with a cabin designed for load hauling. The model’s mantra is, “A big load into a small strip and make money doing it,” said Steve Kent, Textron’s regional sales director.
Double doors on the aft right side are high enough to fit a 55-gallon drum and wide enough to fit a standard pallet—although it is hard to imagine stuffing that gear into the pristine cream-colored leather interior of the demo model. Fortunately, the aft-most of the six seats snaps out with a couple of pins, providing a lot of flexibility. Removing the rear bench seat saves 40 pounds, adding to the 1,441 pounds of useful load. The standard fuel tanks carry 87 gallons. Aftermarket extended tanks add 15 gallons per side.
The 206 Stationair is available only as a turbocharged model. Its 310-horsepower Lycoming TIO-540 engine maintains rated horsepower to 17,000 feet, but has a service ceiling of 27,000 feet, which Kent has experienced. “The airplane was great. I was wondering whether I should be there,” he said. A six-place oxygen system is standard, as is electric heat for the three-blade propeller. The model lists for $714,000; the one on display with most of the popular options goes for $804,000.
The 182 Skylane is offered only in a normally aspirated configuration and list price starts at $515,000. Air conditioning is available, and you can get the well-optioned aircraft on display at Sun ‘n Fun for $604,000.