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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Hello all… Ages ago, when I was in my teens, I went through an edition of the Flying Buyers Guide (1982 or 1983) to sort out which GA single-engine aircraft had the best performance (not just speed but also useful load etc.) At the time, I had barely heard about the Cessna 206, but it stood out, hands down, as the airplane with the best useful load capacity in that category (it seemed the only single-engine aircraft in GA that wouldn’t have its performance crippled by the addition of floats). Apparently, the CE-185 wasn’t featured in that edition, as only recently (seeing how popular this model is in BC) I looked up its performance stats and it seems at least a worthy match (and maybe a better match) for the CE-206. With so many variants for each model, and with so many possible configurations, I’m having a hard time making an “apples to apples” comparison between them. Different websites give me different “general” values for speeds, rate of climb, useful load etc. Ideally, I’d have the official Cessna manual for each, for the same year of manufacture, for each airplane, for a somehow “apples to apples” comparison, but I saw that CE-206 manuals are sold on eBay for over $100 and that’s a bit steep just to satisfy my curiosity… (I’m more interested in the older 206s, 1970s – 1980s, not the newer post-1990 that are so damn expensive)
The thing is, even as twice as much CE-206s have been manufactured, comparing with the CE-185 (about 8,500 vs. 4,400), in Canada there are twice as much CE-185 comparing with the CE-206 (694 CE-185 vs. 316 CE-206), and for BC the proportion is more than 3:1 in favor of the CE-185 (117 CE-185 vs 36 CE-206).
Why would that be? Is the 206 not as well suited to Canada in general (and BC in particular) as the 185? Is it a matter of performance (it seems like the 185 has a bigger useful load than the 206, although the numbers I’ve seem vary)… Is the 185 just more “sturdy” than the CE-206, perhaps…? Maybe the 185 is cheaper to operate…? Not sure if this has to do with 185 vs 206 “on floats” specifically (the numbers I have don’t state how many of these aircraft are on floats… although now that I think of it I might have a clue based on the “city airport” they’re based)
I’m just curious about “what’s the word” out there for the CE-206 and how it compares / matches with the 185, particularly on a “bush” setting (where sturdiness and cost of maintenance would be of prime importance). I’m particularly interested about BC, but I’m also curious about the 206s reputation elsewhere in Canada (floats or land configuration)
Many thanks in advance for your feedback on this!



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:29 pm 
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The turbo charged 206 is very expensive to operate partly because of the high failure rate of cylinders.

It does not perform as well as a 185.

But it is comfortable.

The doors are a pain in the ass because of their positions.

If you don't care about cost the 206 is a good choice all things considered.

I have over 8oo hours on a 206 amphibian.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:05 pm 
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Cat Driver wrote:
The turbo charged 206 is very expensive to operate partly because of the high failure rate of cylinders.

It does not perform as well as a 185.

But it is comfortable.

The doors are a pain in the ass because of their positions.

If you don't care about cost the 206 is a good choice all things considered.

I have over 8oo hours on a 206 amphibian.


Interesting, about the "high failure rate of cylinders"... How do the service ceilings compare...? I see there's not a turbo version for the 185, so I assume the 206 can fly higher... Not an issue for coastal / float operations but maybe an issue for mountain areas where I'd like to be way clear of the hilltops...?



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:50 am 
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I had looked at either a 206 or 185 when purchasing my first plane for both float and wheel operations in the bush. With time on both, I can say the 185 overall met and has met my needs more then the 206. Outperforms the 206 on water and land, manual flaps which I prefer for floats ops, and no worries about the flaps down and passenger door issue. On wheels it's a beast, a great taildragger and a lot of fun- especially for back country strips.

Downsides- less shoulder room the 206.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:40 am 
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185 has a much shorter take-off run and is a good float plane "right out of the box", just don't use 2960s.

The 206 needs a turbo and multiple STOL kits to make it into a respectable float plane. Even after all that, you still don't have a front passenger door and the rear door flap issue to contend with. Plus the 206 engine mounts get beat up pretty bad in the waves. The cylinder issue mentioned above is due to the long take-off runs at full power, often on a warm windless day, running the engine really hot.

The 185 is a great off-strip aircraft and was designed as such. The 206 is a pavement plane that is capable of operating on floats.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:30 am 
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Agreed with all above. You can do an aweful lot with a 185 on 3430's. From a fun/feel standpoint, I loved flying the 185. Only sucked with larger passengers on hot days. A little too cosy.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:48 am 
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I made the same comparisons in 1983 & bought the 185.Lower maintenance costs,less delicate on the water.
More elbow room in the 206,but the 185 outperforms the 206 on floats.You can get it in the 206 but getting it to fly off the water may not be possible,if you can get it in the 185 it will fly.
As noted above you can get a turbo 206 but it ate cylinders like crazy.

Daryl



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:24 am 
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Has anyone had experience with the turbine 206 conversions? I'd imagine they'd be a beast.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:10 pm 
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I think the turbine 206 would be an absolute blast to fly, as long as I'm not paying for it or expecting it to be profitable. 25 gal/hr of heavier Jet A really eats into the useful load and operating budget. You'll probably be able to carry more in the 185 anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:49 pm 
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There's no range with the Turbine 206's and with the Amphibs there's a marginal speed difference to efficiency. most (if not all?) turbine conversions are experimental so no good for commercial ops and you must have deep pockets to operate one privately. Sure they're fun but not practical in most cases.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:52 pm 
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What goingnowherfast said....


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:13 pm 
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I've heard the turbine conversions are prone to uncommanded rolls in overshoots, when pilots add power too fast and the torque exceeds the ability of the ailerons.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Tips, Goingnowhere, beaver, BGH... Many thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:27 pm 
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goingnowherefast wrote:
185 has a much shorter take-off run and is a good float plane "right out of the box", just don't use 2960s


What's the issue with the 2960s...? (and are the issues particular to their use on the 185? or are the 2960s just "not good"...?) Just curious...



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:08 pm 
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My buddy ran 2960's on his 185,said they were the best combo but were easy to overload on the 185;which meant they disappeared under the water in turns & didn't handle rough water at all.They were amazing for high altitude & hot days on glassy water.
3430's handled the rough water but the 185 flies slower with them.

Daryl



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:16 pm 
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BGH wrote:
My buddy ran 2960's on his 185,said they were the best combo but were easy to overload on the 185;which meant they disappeared under the water in turns & didn't handle rough water at all.They were amazing for high altitude & hot days on glassy water.
3430's handled the rough water but the 185 flies slower with them.

Daryl


Very interesting Daryl, thank you!



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:37 pm 
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We have both Soloy and 185 in a Helicopter operation in Calgary I fly both Soloy 206 and the 185. We have had a 185 or two over the last 30 years and the Soloy 206 for the last 4 I can offer the following info for you.
The 206 mark one I use has 850 wheels and Landis fork 800 nose wheel and Whipline 3450 Amphibs , 50 Gal sierra aux tanks.
The 206 works great as a van to haul bigger stuff with the cargo door and performs well on both wheels and floats. VNE A/F limited to 140 KTS on wheels and average cruise on floats 135 KTS. Burns 220 lbs on take off and 176lbs at 10,000 ft cruise. The engine for us is no issue for cost or support as we use them in a lot of the helicopters and are used to it. The cost per hour on the engine is about $100.00 based on normal overhaul the prop gearbox is about$10.00 per hour.
The aircraft is standard type cert so no limitation on Commercial operations I’m aware of. Great machine overall for our needs and we have a Mark two Soloy we have in works as a second machine. The mark two has a larger engine B17F2 with a different prop gearbox that has reverse still limited to A/F VNE 140 KTS.
The 185 one has tundra tires 29 inch and 10 inch tail ,stol kit great for off strip needs but can’t haul the bulky loads like the 206 but better off strip capabilities. The 185 I find is a bit more of challenge to land and take off then the 206. I would say mainly due to what we use it for and with the wheel set up. I would not take the 206 into the places I feel at home with the 185 but the 206 have uses we can’t do with the 185 so a bit of a trade off.
We use both to go into Mable lake on a regualr basis and the 206 with the added room makes the trip with added people go better for bags and stuff.
It is 2900 ft smooth grass strip so lots of room on wheels or floats with the 206, the 185, Its just at home on that strip and I love talking it if there is no load
it is just more fun to fly that the van
I don’t watch the board much so if you have any questions post and I will keep a eye out.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:07 pm 
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I bought the book, it's the best one in my Library. Buy one if you haven't read it. Some of the chapters of the book are on their website but not all. Excellent resource. Experience to write a guide like this comes through many years of stick time and hardships/



F. E. Potts' Guide to Bush Flying

Concepts and Techniques for the Pro
Section I: Equipment and Environment
Part III, Chapter 10: The Cessna 206

All pilots have their favorite airplanes; mine are the PA-18-150 Super Cub and the turbocharged Cessna TU206G. I prefer the Super Cub for the low and the slow, the contour flying and serious off-airport landings; I like the Cessna 206 for carrying loads, traveling distances, and flying on instruments.

However, there is a small difference of opinion regarding the Cessna 206, one that has considerable validity on both sides: which model is best for the bush operator -- the turbo or the non-turbo? As with all questions of this nature, the answer is: it depends.

The non-turbo Cessna 206. Ordinary air taxi work -- whether on wheels, skis, or floats -- involves intense competitive pressures, and these pressures force you to make your aircraft and equipment selections with your eyes focused firmly on the bottom line. Acquisition cost, fuel burn, maintenance load, TBO, and avionics all come under close scrutiny. You must also consider simplicity of operation, for experienced and knowledgeable pilots are expensive to hire and hard to keep, and an engine that requires a delicate and knowing touch to operate properly (the penalty for aggressive throttle use, over-leaning, shock-cooling, or ham-handed over-boosting may well involve a visit to the loan department of your bank) is not a wise business investment. Let's take a look at the specs, for both models, and see how they stack up on paper:
The Cessna 206

Takeoff Run (ft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 900
Takeoff Run over 50 ft Barrier (ft) . . . . . 1,780
Rate of Climb (ft per min) . . . . . . . . . 920
Service Ceiling, wheels (ft) . . . . . . . . 14,800
Service Ceiling, floats (ft) . . . . . . . . 13,900
Top Speed (knots) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Cruising Speed (75% power; knots) . . . . . . 147
Cruising Range, wheels (75% power; nautical) 680
Cruising Range, floats (75% power; nautical) 615
Cruising Range, wheels (maximum; nautical) . 900
Cruising Range, floats (maximum; nautical) . 770
Stalling Speed, wheels (knots) . . . . . . . 54
Stalling Speed, floats (knots) . . . . . . . 52
Landing Roll (ft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 735
Gross Weight (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,600
Empty Weight (standard) . . . . . . . . . . . 1,882
Useful Load (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,718
Engine TBO (hrs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,700

The Turbo Cessna 206

Takeoff Run (ft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 835
Takeoff Run over 50 ft Barrier (ft) . . . . . 1,640
Rate of Climb (ft per min) . . . . . . . . . 1,010
Service Ceiling, wheels (ft) . . . . . . . . 27,000
Service Ceiling, floats (ft) . . . . . . . . 25,600
Top Speed (knots) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Cruising Speed (80% power; knots) . . . . . . 167
Cruising Range, wheels (80% power; nautical) 640
Cruising Range, floats (80% power; nautical) 550
Cruising Range, wheels (maximum; nautical) . 805
Cruising Range, floats (maximum; nautical) . 690
Stalling Speed, wheels (knots) . . . . . . . 54
Stalling Speed, floats (knots) . . . . . . . 52
Landing Roll (ft) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 735
Gross Weight (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,600
Empty Weight (standard) . . . . . . . . . . . 2,000
Useful Load (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,600
Engine TBO (hrs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,400

As the numbers show, the basic differences are service ceiling, range, and TBO. Therefore, for the VFR-only operator who does not require high-altitude capability, the standard Cessna 206 is the best choice. Inexpensive, simple, and easy to fly for even low-time commercial pilots, it is a money-making machine par excellence for the air taxi operator.

The Turbo Cessna 206. With the Turbo Cessna 206 you move into a different league entirely. Here is a machine that can operate comfortably out of a 900 foot gravel bar if not too heavily loaded, climb rapidly into the flight levels to top weather, then make an instrument approach to RVR 1800. But all this capability costs, and so you have higher fuel burn, an expensive, delicate engine that must be handled with kid gloves, and a TBO of 1400 hours which only the best operators reach. To that, if you expect to get full value out of its IFR capabilities, must be added the cost of sophisticated avionics, and a pilot who knows how to operate them. Obviously not the type of equipment seen on the usual bush ramp or gravel bar, it is reserved for the small specialty operator who has a quality-conscious clientele that demands the best in pilots and equipment and is willing to pay the premium necessary to obtain them. Here, you are operating the way a top corporate flight department would, where the emphasis is on passenger safety, schedule reliability, and quality equipment, not the bottom line. (See illustrations 24 and 25.)

* * *

Instrumentation (IFR). The Cessna 206 is a great instrument platform, stable and sure, and when properly equipped it can handle many weather problems with ease. My 1985 Turbo 206, used for serious instrument flying, is currently outfitted as follows (see illustration 26):

Dual Nav/Comms with VOR/LOC/GS reception (King KX 155)
DME (King KN 64)
Loran (King KLN 88)
Flight Control System (King KFC-150)
Altitude Preselect (King KAS 297B)
Transponder/Encoding Altimeter (King KT 76A/KEA 130A)
ADF (King KR 87)
HSI (King KCS 55A)
RMI (King KI 229)
WX-1000+ Weather Mapping System (BFG/Foster)
CFS 1000A Fuel Management Computer (SDI/Hoskins)
Graphic Engine Monitor (6 cylinder EGT, CHT; TIT)(Insight GEM)
Digital Density Altitude, Outside Air Temperature (F & C), Pressure Altitude, and Aircraft Voltage (Davtron)
AltAlert altitude alert and fuel-burn timer (Icarus)
Electronic Carbon Monoxide Detector (Paragon)
Bose headsets (2) (front seats)
David Clark headsets (2) (rear seats)
ISOCOM intercomm (David Clark)

As you can see, I believe in just the bare necessities...

* * *

Tires (main gear). As with the Cessna 180/185, the 8:50x6 6-ply tires are best for the main gear. If a proposed landing area is too soft or rough for them, use a Cub or Cessna 180/185 instead; it is no place to take a Cessna 206.

Tires (nose gear). Here, there's a choice of three tire sizes. The 6:00x6 tire is a factory option with the Cessna oversized nose-gear fork, and many operators find it to be adequate. However, since this fork will also accommodate the larger 7:00x6 tire, those who operate regularly out of villages or camps where strips are soft, rough, and poorly maintained often specify it instead.

If your job demands that you operate on beaches or other soft, sandy areas, it sometimes helps to go to the 8:00x6 tire. This will require a special, modified Piper nose fork; Airglas Engineering, of Anchorage, Alaska, converts forks for this purpose. (The disadvantage here, of course, is the way the 8:00x6 tire handles on paved runways.)

Long-range fuel tanks. For certain trips into the more interesting areas of Canada's Northwest Territories, where fuel is difficult to come by and the chance for unforecast IMC high, long-range tanks are a necessity. These tanks are also required for many instrument flights, where viable alternates often demand truly creative -- some would say heroic -- flight plans. Fortunately, the Cessna 206 has a nice choice of long-range tanks available. Here are two (of quite different capacity and design philosophy) that work well:

Flint Aero. The old boy on the block, these wingtip tanks have been around for years. Depending on the model Cessna 206 you have, they add either 27, or 29.8, usable gallons, and, in the process, an additional three feet to your wingspan. Also included, for the F and G models, is a STC for a 200 lb increase in gross weight.

This system requires two electric transfer fuel pumps, each with its own on/off switch and fuel gauge, and the pilot must manually transfer fuel from the tip tanks to the main tanks when needed.

I have these tanks installed on my '85 Turbo 206, and like the extended range I get with them, as well as the additional stability the tip tanks provide in turbulence when they are full. However, three factors should be noted:

The tanks are quite difficult to install properly in the time frame Flint claims (it takes most good shops that are interested in quality work about 80 hours).(1)

The caps have a poorly-designed vent hole on the top that leaks fuel when taxiing, making turns, or flying in rough air; fuel loss stops at about .6 gallon per tank, so this must be taken into consideration during flight planning. Flint has promised to redesign these caps, but it has been a number of years now since he said he would do this, and, as with the check in the mail, I am still waiting.(2)

The added wing span provides a slight increase in STOL capabilities, at the expense of making some hangars unusable for the airplane. Also, of course, after installing the tanks, the airplane's wing covers must be modified because of the increased span.

Uvalde. Manufactured to Part 23 standards, these internal bladder tanks -- there are three for each wing, and they fit just outboard of the main tanks -- add 54 gallons to your fuel capacity. A passive system, there are no switches to flip or fuel management techniques to learn. Unfortunately, the Uvalde tanks do not come with a gross weight increase, so the weight of the additional fuel (324 lbs) must come directly out of your payload.

Engine analyzers and fuel computers. For all serious, maximum-range operations, I recommend that an engine analyzer, such as the Insight GEM, and a fuel computer, such as the SDI/Hoskins or Shadin Miniflow, be used. Only in this way can you manage your fuel burn, and keep up to date on the progress of your flight, with the precision required.

Deicing/anti-icing equipment. You do your best to stay out of icing conditions, but sometimes, no matter what the forecasts or PIREPS had to say, your best efforts fail and ice finds you anyway. Therefore, deicing/anti-icing equipment is high on the priority list, even though at this time the FAA will not certify the Cessna 206 for flight into known icing conditions. However, you do have a bit of help available for those times when the icing conditions are mild -- stratus with low tops; a layer of steam fog, etc. -- and your accidental exposure brief.

Propeller. Most experts agree that if you had to make a choice between wing or prop deicing/anti-icing equipment, prop it would be, for with the prop clean, as Bob Buck observes in his fine book Weather Flying, "you can pull a lot of ice-covered airplane around the sky."

Since a propeller anti-ice system is a factory option, serious instrument pilots always make a point of having one installed on their airplane.

Windshield. Anti-icing for the windshield is useful when you fly from a deep bush location that is "severe clear" but very cold into a coastal area where an approach has to be made to minimums through a layer of steam fog. This steam fog will just frost the windshield but that is enough, and while the airplane's defroster (if placed on high 20 minutes or so prior to the approach) is usually adequate to keep at least a small area directly above the heat vent clear, sometimes it isn't. On such occasions, the alternatives are to land by looking through an opened side window, or to use a windshield anti-icing system. The latter is far more elegant, and since a detachable electrically-heated glass panel is a factory option, it should be given serious consideration if you need this type of equipment.

Combined wing, tail, struts, prop, and windshield anti-icing. Kohlman Aviation offers the British TKS ice protection system for the Cessna 206, which uses a glycol-based fluid to prevent or remove ice buildup. This well-proven system, whose lineage can be traced back to the mid-1930s (currently it is being used on airplanes as diverse as the BAe 125 and Short Skyvan), is certified on several light airplanes for known-icing conditions in Europe. Unfortunately, the FAA, in its infinite wisdom, has decreed that additional backups, primarily a second electrical system, be required if you wish United States certification for your "small Cessnas, Mooneys, and Bonanzas."

So, though it is a proven system that is highly effective and can be installed under a STC, it is not at the present time legal for known icing in this country. Nonetheless, since real-time icing reports are rare and hard to come by in the remote north, and icing by its very nature is difficult to forecast accurately, the protection that the TKS system offers can be of value to some bush operators.

(News Flash: Mooney has just received known-icing certification from the FAA for their TLS and Ovation models equipped with the TKS anti-icing system. And while the Mooney isn't much good for bush work, perhaps Cessna might take a leaf from the Mooney book and offer it on their new C-206 once they resume production.)

Dual vacuum systems. Factory options, they are a must for IFR.

Cargo tiedowns. These tiedown blocks -- they bolt to the seat rails -- are an important Cessna option for aircraft used in cargo operations. I generally use 12 of them, and always secure my cargo well -- using a custom-made heavy-duty cargo-restraint system manufactured out of 2" nylon webbing by Cargo Systems Company of Dallas, Texas -- even though it adds a little extra time to the loading and unloading process.

(1)Regarding the time it takes to install the Flint tanks, on July 10, 2002 I received an email from the current President of Flint Aero, Charles LaGreca, telling me that there are three shops on his home field that can install the Flint tanks in about 40 hours and are charging at this time between $2200 to $2450. Might be worth checking out, and certainly worth it if the workmanship is top notch in all its details.

(2) Also in his email, Mr. LaGreca mentioned that my wait is now over -- in fact, has been over for a number of years -- because Flint finally got around to redesigning his tanks and they are no longer vented through the caps on the top of the wings, but through the bottom of the wing. This of course doesn't help those of us who bought the earlier versions, but it is a good thing for those who need new LR tanks.


F. E. Potts' Guide to Bush Flying

Concepts and Techniques for the Pro
Section I: Equipment and Environment
Part III, Chapter 9: The Cessna 180/185

Along with the Super Cub and the Cessna 206, the Cessnas 180 and 185 form the backbone of the professional bush pilot's equipment list in Alaska. However, while various examples in this book refer to the Super Cub or the Cessna 206 specifically, the Cessna 180 and 185 (unless otherwise noted) will be discussed as if they were the same airplane. As a form of shorthand, I will call them the Cessna 180/185.

This is more than mere convenience, for just as Detroit offers the same automobile or truck with the option of different size engines, so Cessna offered the same basic airframe with the choice of small or large engines.

The only relevant difference between the Cessnas 180 and 185 is engine power. Otherwise, they share the same fuselage, wings, control surfaces, horizontal stabilizer, and main landing gear (the Cessna 185 has a locking tailwheel). The late models of both are six-place high-wing conventional-gear airplanes of metal construction.

The Cessna 180 is equipped with a carbureted Continental 0-470-U engine rated at 230 horsepower.

The Cessna 185 is equipped with a fuel-injected Continental IO-520-D engine rated at 285 horsepower continuous, with 300 allowable for five minutes at takeoff.

A look at the specifications reveals what the different engines have to offer. These specifications are at gross weight; with the Cessna 180 and 185 carrying the same load, the takeoff, climb, and ceiling would be different, with all advantage to the Cessna 185.
The Cessna 180

Takeoff Run (ft) . . . . . . . . . . 625
Takeoff Run over 50 ft Barrier (ft) . 1,205
Rate of Climb (ft per min) . . . . . 1,100
Service Ceiling (ft) . . . . . . . . 17,700
Top Speed (knots) . . . . . . . . . . 148
Cruising Speed (75% power; knots) . . 141
Cruising Range (75% power; nautical) 725
Cruising Range (maximum; nautical) . 890
Stalling Speed (knots) . . . . . . . 48
Landing Roll (ft) . . . . . . . . . . 480
Gross Weight (lbs) . . . . . . . . . 2,800
Empty Weight (standard) . . . . . . . 1,648
Useful Load (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . 1,152

The Cessna 185

Takeoff Run (ft) . . . . . . . . . . 770
Takeoff Run over 50 ft Barrier (ft) . 1,365
Rate of Climb (ft per min) . . . . . 1,010
Service Ceiling (ft) . . . . . . . . 17,150
Top Speed (knots) . . . . . . . . . . 155
Cruising Speed (75% power; knots) . . 145
Cruising Range (75% power; nautical) 585
Cruising Range (maximum; nautical) . 720
Stalling Speed (knots) . . . . . . . 49
Landing Roll (ft) . . . . . . . . . . 480
Gross Weight (lbs) . . . . . . . . . 3,350
Empty Weight (standard) . . . . . . . 1,687
Useful Load (lbs) . . . . . . . . . . 1,663

As the figures indicate, each of these airplanes fits a slightly different niche in the overall fabric of the trade and is used for slightly different purposes. Generally, this is how they stack up:

The Cessna 180. Because the Cessna 180 (see illustrations 16 and 17) has a smaller engine than the Cessna 185, it also has somewhat better fuel-burn figures. This gives it better range (890 nm versus 720 nm), and you can take advantage of this under the following conditions:

On those missions that require you to fly into very remote areas where refueling facilities are not available and you are unable, for one reason or another, to land en route and refuel from five-gallon cans carried in the cabin. For example, most of the Canadian Northwest Territories falls into this category when you have to operate on wheels.

Under low instrument meteorological conditions in most areas of Alaska and Northern Canada. In those areas, IFR alternates are generally few-and-far-between, and maximum range capabilities all too often spell the difference between go and no-go. (An auxiliary fuel tank such as Flint Aero offers for the Cessna 180/185, adding 23 usable gallons, could come in handy here.)

On economical grounds, the Cessna 180 gets the nod when the airplane is on wheels and based in a local area where trip lengths rarely exceed 200 miles. In this situation, gross weight will be limited primarily by cabin volume and fuel weight will seldom go over 182 pounds. As the Cessna 180 is about $15 per hour cheaper to operate than the Cessna 185 (because of fuel and engine costs), you can bid jobs at more attractive rates than you could if you had to use a Cessna 185 for this purpose. In difficult economic times (such as Alaska is going through as this book is being written), this price break, small as it is, might offer some assistance to your customers.

The Cessna 185. The Cessna 185 provides power over economy and range. When missions require you to operate on wheel-skis or floats, it's difficult to justify using a Cessna 180 if a Cessna 185 is available. Basically, what you get is:

Markedly better takeoff and load-carrying performance on wheel-skis and floats. Not only do wheel-skis and floats seriously compromise your payload because of their weight, they also require large amounts of power to overcome surface drag during the takeoff run. Here, there is no comparison between the Cessna 180 and 185; the Cessna 185 is always the winner.

The ability to carry full cabin loads for reasonable distances even with the weight penalties imposed through the use of floats and wheel-skis.

With fairly light loads -- about what would be considered gross for a Super Cub -- the Cessna 180/185 is capable of operating out of gravel bars measuring 500 feet in length under Northern conditions (see Section II, and Chapter 25 in Section III).

* * *

Tires. The best tire for the Cessna 180/185 is the 8:50x6. The 25-inch tundra tires should be avoided as, when inflated correctly, they are too flexible for the Cessna spring gear. This is especially true when used under conditions of strong crosswinds on paved strips.

Tailwheels. Some operators use the 5:00x5 tire on an oversized fork with the Cleveland wheel. This is an improvement, especially on soft rocky strips where the standard tire assembly not only has a tendency to dig into the ground like a plow, but gets rather chipped up.

Oil quick-drain door. One modification I especially like is to install a small door, similar to the one used to add oil, on the lower right side of the cowling where the oil quick-drain can easily be reached. This way, during winter when temperatures get well below freezing and you need to drain your oil into a clean can to store overnight by the stove in your cabin (to keep it warm for the next morning's flight), you can do it quickly, easily, and without mess. (See Chapter 12.)

Beyond this, no other modifications are needed.


_________________
Athabascan Quote: "Know one knows the ways of the wind or the Caribou".


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:46 pm 
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onceacop wrote:
F. E. Potts' Guide to Bush Flying

Great info! Thank you so much for sharing :)

If anyone is interested, I did a side-by-side table based on these performance numbers, for easier comparison between the U206 / TU206 / 180 and 185, attached here...

onceacop wrote:
This way, during winter when temperatures get well below freezing and you need to drain your oil into a clean can to store overnight by the stove in your cabin (to keep it warm for the next morning's flight), you can do it quickly, easily, and without mess.

Interesting (what am I getting into...?) :-)



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U206_TU206_180_185.pdf [22.27 KiB]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:07 am 
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The information quoted from Potts contains a few small generalizations, which in the context of a particular year Cessna would be errors, though not of tremendous relevance. There are a few factors in the comparison of the two 206's and 180/185 which should also be considered: Operating cost: And turbo version of an aircraft is notably more expensive to operate, and usually heavier. Assure the extra cost and weight are worth it for your operation. (look up the difference in cost of engine mount rubbers for the T206 vs the 206). I don't accept that the 185 burns more fuel than the 180 in an otherwise same operating condition. You just throttled the 185 back a bit more. Injected engines have better fuel distribution, and are thus more likely to not waste fuel. You must compare it apples to apples. But, the injected engines can be difficult to start, particularly when hot. If you're drifting backward toward the trees, you really want it running, and then's not the time to realize that it's flooded, and now you're battery is flat from trying. The 180 is a simple, assured start, and can even be hand propped. To improve the "startability" of the 185, I participated in a carburettor conversion of one. It was a vast improvement, and could be flown on Mogas (handy up north).

It's important to accurately define the operating role, and locale, then you can begin to fit the plane to it.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:01 am 
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Years ago, when I was working the dock, two private guys stopped by for fuel. One guy had a 185 with the 300hp engine. The other guy had a late model (long cabin) 180 with 230hp. They had just flown several hundred miles in loose formation, meaning identical speed. The fuel each one needed to refill the tanks was within 5 litres. For all practical purposes, you could say the fuel burn was identical.

There are also so many different varieties of 180, it's impossible to generalise. Early model short body 180s are basically a 170 with a bigger engine. In a late model 180 with an upgross kits and a bigger engine, you can carry as much as a 185.

The problem with the 206 is it's under powered and stalls too fast. The engine is rated at 300hp at sea level, standard atmosphere. However, you almost never operate there. You'll always be at 1000' asl, 25*c, with low pressure system moving in, Plus it's an older engine with compression falling a bit. Now you only have 270hp. If it was a turbo engine, you would have 290+ in the same situation.

Another option in the 206 to avoid the turbo is the IO-550 STC. It's rated at the same 300hp, but everybody knows it makes more.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:23 am 
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goingnowherefast wrote:
Another option in the 206 to avoid the turbo is the IO-550 STC. It's rated at the same 300hp, but everybody knows it makes more.


I would second this. The -520 is a complete dog at gross weights compared to the 550. Especially when you have to power back to max continuous shortly after takeoff. I was lucky enough to fly a -550 first and when I got into a 206 with a -520 I actually thought there might be a problem with the engine as I was struggling off the runway. Expect a mere 600-700 fpm with the -520 when loaded. Haven't flown either on floats but I imagine the difference would be clear as day.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:48 pm 
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Cant agree more with the votes for the 550. 520's were certified when they only had to make a certain percentage of power. Engine rebuilders will tell you that a 520 will seldom put out 300hp at 2850 and by the time you get back to max continuous you will be more like 270. On the other hand the 550 certification dictates it has to produce minimum 300hp and typically runs 305+. With the long blades on seaplane props the blades lose efficiency at the higher rpm further aggravating the problem as the 550 runs 2700 max. Combine a 550 with a good prop and and you will never look back. At the controls it feels more like an extra 75 hp. 185's are on the edge of cooling limits for long gross weight climbs but okay if the seals and fairings are good.
As to the very first post comparing the 185 to the 206 no matter what the Cessna specs say the 206 and 185 have the same engine and one has a wider heavier body so its pretty easy to figure out what the end results going to be. Turbos might be okay for wheels and private use but I have never seen a commercial float operator running one around this part of the world.



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:57 pm 
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On topic: As pointed out the 185 has slightly better performance that makes it better for short, bush strips or small lakes or rivers. 206s are not far behind, though, so it really depends on just how much performance you want/need (how short are the strips, what size margins are comfortable/acceptable for you). When you are not using the extra bit of performance, the 206 is generally the preferred plane - more volume for cargo, much more comfortable for passengers.

Straying off topic:
Once upon a time I flew a 520-powered 206 and a 550-powered 206 from big runways. The 550 was smoother and felt a little better on take off, the only negative about the 550 was that the starter did not crank the engine as well as whatever the 520s had. Never heard a bad thing about 550s at the time, in-person or online.

Recently I was told that one Whitehorse operator converted a 206 to a 550, had issues, then converted it back to the 520. A second operator has a 206 with a 550 but they change cylinders regularly, run it at 25"/2500 RPM for cruise (the only thing they found that helps with cylinder life), and the mechanics want to convert it back to a 520 to simplify their lives.

Are some STCs to convert to a 550 - or some models of 550 - more prone to needing cylinders repaired/replaced? Do the Whitehorse operators have bad luck? Any other theories why everyone seems to love 550s, so long as they are not in Whitehorse?



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