The Cessna 310 was the first twin-engine aircraft design from Cessna to enter production after World War 2. The first Cessna 310 flew on 3 January 1953 with deliveries starting in late 1954.
The sleek modern lines of the new twin were backed up by innovative features such as engine exhaust thrust augmentor tubes and the storage of all fuel in tip tanks in early models. In 1964 the engine exhaust was changed to flow under the wing instead of the augmentor tubes which were considered to be noisy.
Typical of Cessna model naming conventions, a letter was added after the model number to identify changes to the original design over the years. The first significant upgrade to the 310 series was the 310C in 1959, which introduced more powerful 195kW (260 hp) Continental IO-470-D engines. Production of the Cessna 310 series ended in 1980, the final version being the 310R and T310R.
The Cessna 310 was a common charter aircraft for the many air taxi firms that sprang up in the general aviation boom that followed World War 2. The advantages of the Cessna 310 over its contempories, such as the Piper Aztec, were speed, operating costs and the after market modifications such as the Robertson STOL kits which made it popular world wide for its bush flying characteristics. It could access short fields while at the same time carry a large useful load of 2,000 lbs or more at high speeds for a twin engine piston aircraft.
Cessna 310 VH-REK was manufactured in 1956 and was the first of its kind to be flown to Australia in 1958. It was initially purchased by the CSIRO for the purpose of cloud seeding experiments. It was subsequently sold into general aviation. In this capacity, the aircraft spent nearly seven years in New Guinea being flown by a Catholic Priest, the late Father JGA Flynn, before being finally relocated at Bankstown.
This aircraft was extensively rebuilt in 1994 and acquired by HARS in late 1996. Since then, an extensive overhaul of all systems, particularly electrical and radio has been carried out by the Society. The aircraft is now in excellent flying condition. The aircraft is equipped with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR capability). The Cessna 310 is now operating in the Society’s pilot training and recency programs.
Length 9.7 m | 23 ft 11 in
Wing Span 11.2 m | 36 ft 11 in
Height 3.3 m | 10 ft 8 in
Maximum Take Off Weight 2,495 kg | 5,500 lbs
Empty Weight 1,518 kg | 3,347 lbs
Maximum Speed 383 km/h | 283 mph
Range 2,668 km | 1,440 mls
2 Continental IO-470-M flat-6 piston engines
Power (each engine) 179 kW | 240 hp