Used Aircraft Guide

June 2009 Issue

Used Aircraft Guide: The Cessna 210 Centurion

The six-seat retractable single is a market niche to which many prospective owners aspire. And why not? They are as fast as many twins, can carry prodigious payloads, come with plenty of panel space to install any goodies the previous owner neglected and generally are easy to fly. The solo powerplant avoids a twin’s upkeep costs while most systems—with landing gear being a notable exception—are almost as simple as the trainer first soloed. Despite all that, there really are only three broad models from which to choose: The 36-series Bonanza, Piper’s Lance/Saratoga and Cessna’s 210 Centurion. Yes, Piper also has the non-pressurized, cabin-class Matrix—née Malibu—but it’s not really been on the market long enough or in great enough numbers to make most prospective purchasers’ lists. And if fixed gear is more your cup of tea, then both Piper and Cessna have other offerings making the cut. But the six-seat retractable offers a good mix of the things pilots with a need to go places and carry more than two people often look for: good range/endurance, loading flexibility, enough cruise speed that inevitable headwinds don’t prolong the agony that much and the ability to mix easily with the airliner flow into the larger airports.

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