Two engine small executive aircraft
History of Type
First flown in January 1953 as a fast small charter/executive aircraft. The Model 310 was the first twin engine aircraft built by Cessna after the end of WWII, with production starting in late 1954.
A total of 6,321 were built of which 70 were registered in Australia.
History of VH-REK
Our aircraft was one of two purchased in 1957 by CSIRO for cloud seeding experiments using silver iodine (the chemical used in the old black & white photographic process) which has a crystal structure similar to ice and can help attract water droplets together in existing clouds to form rain.
Both aircraft arrived in Australia on 5th December 1957 having flown the Pacific via New Zealand.
Special iodine dispensing equipment was manufactured by University of Sydney and fitted under the wings at Bankstown by Rex Aviation (not the current airline). She was sold off in May 1967, then to various owners including Simpson Aviation and Trans West Air Charter.
She was sold again and used for 7 years in Papua New Guinea by a Catholic Priest, the late Father Jeremy Flynn. Father Flynn was a HARS member and passionate pilot. He brought the Cessna back to Australia and it was fully restored in 1994. It was eventually left to HARS in Father Flynn’s Will and acquired by HARS in 1996 after Father Flynn’s death.
She is fully maintained by HARS for pilot training.
Engines: 2 x Teledyne Continental O-470-M
6 cylinder, horizontally opposed, air-cooled, direct drive (7.7 litres, 179 kW / 240 hp each)
Maximum takeoff weight: ~2,100 kg (4,600 lb)
Length: 8.2 m (27 ft)
Wing span: 10.7 m (35 ft)
Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
Cruising speed: ~330 km/h (180 kt)
Ceiling: 20.000 ft
Range: ~1,600 km (870 nm)
Crew: 1x pilot, 4 x passengers