Cessna 206 vs 210 | Passengers Capacity and Performance

The Cessna 206 vs 210 are two of the most iconic aircrafts in the world of aviation, each boasting unique features and capabilities. This article delves into a comprehensive comparison of these two models, highlighting their distinct characteristics, performance parameters, and suitability for various aviation needs. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast, a pilot, or considering an aircraft purchase, understanding the differences between the Cessna 206 and 210 is crucial for making an informed decision.

Cessna 206 vs 210

When comparing the Cessna 206 (T206H Turbo Stationair) vs Cessna 210 (1986 Cessna 210R Centurion), several key differences emerge. The Cessna 206 is equipped with a Lycoming engine, providing 310 hp, which is slightly more powerful than the Cessna 210’s Continental engine with up to 300 hp. The 206 boasts a higher service ceiling at 26,000 ft compared to the 210’s 16,000 ft, making it more versatile for high-altitude flights.

Cessna 206 vs Cessna 210
Cessna 206 vs Cessna 210

Additionally, the 206 has a slightly lower wing loading, indicating a potential for better low-speed handling characteristics. On the other hand, the Cessna 210 offers a slightly higher useful load and baggage capacity, making it more suitable for carrying heavier loads over long distances. The Cessna 210 also has a higher rate of climb, demonstrating its efficiency in reaching cruising altitude. Each aircraft has its advantages, with the choice depending on the pilot’s needs, whether it’s performance, altitude capabilities, or load carrying requirements.

Cessna 206 vs 210 Comparison Table

Cessna 206

The Cessna 206, also known as the “Stationair,” is celebrated for its rugged utility and versatility. Initially introduced in the 1960s, it quickly became a preferred choice for both personal and commercial use, especially in areas requiring short takeoff and landing capabilities.

Cessna 206
Cessna 206
  • Design and Use: The 206 is a high-wing airplane, providing excellent visibility and stability. It features a fixed landing gear, which, while limiting its cruise speed, greatly simplifies maintenance and lowers operational costs. This design aspect makes it particularly suited for rough, unimproved airstrips, often found in remote areas or in bush flying.
  • Cabin and Capacity: One of the 206’s strong suits is its spacious cabin, capable of accommodating up to six people. This space, combined with a substantial payload capacity, makes it ideal for carrying passengers, cargo, or a combination of both.

Cessna 210

In contrast, the Cessna 210, known as the “Centurion,” is designed for those who prioritize speed and performance. Introduced in the late 1950s, the 210 features a retractable landing gear, a rarity in single-engine general aviation aircraft of its time.

Cessna 210
Cessna 210
  • Design and Performance: The retractable gear of the 210 not only contributes to a sleeker appearance but also significantly reduces drag, allowing for higher speeds and better fuel efficiency. This makes the 210 an excellent choice for longer, cross-country flights where time and efficiency are key.
  • Cabin and Comfort: The 210’s cabin, while also accommodating six people, is often regarded as more comfortable and better suited for longer journeys. Over the years, the 210 has seen various upgrades, including turbocharged versions and even pressurized models, further enhancing its long-range capabilities.

Cessna 206 vs 210 Engines

When comparing the engines of the Cessna 206 vs 210, we’re looking at two powerhouses designed for slightly different flying experiences. The Cessna 206, specifically the Turbo Stationair model, is powered by a Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A engine, which delivers a robust 310 horsepower. This engine is known for its reliability and ability to perform well under various conditions, making it a solid choice for pilots who need versatility and dependability, especially for flights into remote areas or rugged terrain.

On the other hand, the Cessna 210, particularly the later 210R model, comes equipped with a Continental IO-520-L engine, offering up to 300 horsepower. While slightly less powerful on paper, the 210’s engine is part of a design that emphasizes speed and efficiency, benefiting from the aircraft’s retractable landing gear and streamlined profile. The 210’s engine setup is ideal for pilots seeking faster cruise speeds and efficiency over longer distances. In essence, the choice between these two comes down to what you value more in your flights: the 206’s engine offers strength and reliability for diverse missions, while the 210’s engine caters to those prioritizing speed and smooth, long-distance travel.

Design and Utility

The Cessna 206: Known as the Stationair, the Cessna 206 is a versatile utility aircraft designed to perform admirably in various roles. It boasts a high-wing configuration, accommodating up to six passengers. The 206 is celebrated for its adaptability, making it equally suitable for personal travel, charter flights, and utility missions. Its sturdy build and spacious cabin have earned it a reputation as a workhorse of general aviation.

The Cessna 210: The Cessna 210, often referred to as the Centurion, offers a more streamlined and sleek design. It is known for its retractable landing gear, which enhances its aerodynamic efficiency. With seating for up to six passengers, the 210 is favored for its speed and altitude capabilities, making it a preferred choice for fast and efficient travel, including business trips and cross-country flights.

Performance and Capabilities

The Cessna 206: The 206 is recognized for its exceptional short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities, allowing it to operate from shorter runways and remote airstrips. It is powered by a reliable engine, offering good performance for various missions. Its versatility shines when used for skydiving, cargo transport, and even floatplane operations with amphibious modifications.

The Cessna 210: The 210 is renowned for its higher cruising speed and altitude capabilities. Its retractable landing gear contributes to reduced drag, enabling it to achieve higher speeds and operate at higher altitudes. This makes the 210 a top choice for pilots who prioritize speed and efficiency, especially on longer cross-country flights.


In conclusion, the Cessna 206 and Cessna 210 represent two distinct facets of general aviation. The 206’s versatility and STOL capabilities make it a reliable choice for utility missions and operations in remote areas. On the other hand, the 210’s emphasis on speed and efficiency positions it as a top choice for cross-country travel and business trips. Both aircraft have earned their places in aviation history, catering to the diverse needs of pilots and operators in the general aviation community.


What are the primary differences between the Cessna 206 vs 210?

The main differences lie in landing gear (fixed for the 206 and retractable for the 210) and performance characteristics. The 206 excels in versatility and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities, while the 210 prioritizes speed and altitude.

Which aircraft is better for short-field operations?

The Cessna 206, with its fixed landing gear and STOL capabilities, is better suited for short-field operations and remote airstrips.

Is the Cessna 210 suitable for business travel?

Yes, the Cessna 210 is often preferred for business travel due to its higher cruising speed and altitude capabilities, offering efficiency on cross-country flights.

Can both aircraft accommodate the same number of passengers?

Yes, both the Cessna 206 and 210 can seat up to six passengers.

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