Aircraft Review

September 2010 Issue

Silver Eagle P210: A Turbine That Works

The numbers on O&Nís turbine conversion pencil out because the Rolls Royce 250-B17F/2 is exceptionally light and not as thirsty as other turbines.

The turbine engine is impossibly alluring. No thrashing pistons, grinding cams, clicking valvesójust far fewer exquisitely balanced parts all whirring in the same direction. But turbines are expensive and they guzzle fuel, which means that with very few exceptions, they donít work well in small airplanes. One of those exceptions is O&N Aircraftís re-engining of the Cessna P210 and 210 with the Rolls Royce (formerly Allison) 250-B17F/2 turbine engine, a powerplant thatís been around awhile and one that Rolls is trying to evolve into more GA applications with the advent of a new version, the RR500. Mooney expressed interest in that engine, but thus far, the project hasnít materialized and it may not for the same reasons that turbines have stumbled before: difficult-to-manage fuel specifics and small airframes with no place to put the fuel.

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