The company Clyde Cessna founded in 1927, Cessna Aircraft, has been selling planes for 93 years now, but almost all of its single-engine magic was conjured up during a period that started in the early 1950s and effectively ended around 1968. During those 20-some-odd years, the world’s biggest little airplane company created a lineup of classic planes that fit the needs of just about every imaginable personal airplane flyer and a lot of commercial operators, as well. And along the way, there were very few missteps, and even some of those were failures of great ideas.
With that, let’s take a look at how a great company redefined the world of personal air transportation.
Cessna 206 Stationair
One of at least four planes that evolved from the 182, the 206 has, like the 185, become a stalwart of backcountry flying. With its big rear-loading doors, large useful load and respectable cross-country performance, the 206 can serve as a capacious personal transportation airplane with a backcountry attitude or backcountry air taxi with an attitude. Along with the 172 and 182, the 206 was one of three planes that were reintroduced when Cessna restarted piston production after its 10-year-long hiatus. First flight: 1962. Number built: More than 8,506. Status: In production.
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