Its piston powered single engine (Continental IO-520-F or IO-550-Bon) produces 300hp and drives a three-bladed propeller. The smallest aircraft in the fleet, it is durable and reliable, with a good takeoff performance from the short and rough bush airstrips used by MAF.
All 206s flown by MAF have been modified to suit the environments in which they fly. Each has been retrofitted with a brace in the windshield area to reinforce the airframe, STOL (short takeoff and landing) capability, shoulder harnesses for all seat positions, heavy duty nose gear to withstand the rough airstrips, emergency locator transmission, High Frequency (HF) radio, and Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receiver, improving safety standards and performance.
Flint tanks at the end of the wings add an extra 55 litres to each of the two fuel tanks, giving two hours of extra range, and making a total endurance for normal operations of eight hours.
Space taken by the flint tanks leaves limited room for luggage. A large cargo pod installed underneath the plane compensates for the space lost, and allows more freight to be carried.
The addition of this cargo pod, as well as wing struts and oversize tyres contribute to the 206 being the slowest aircraft in the fleet, but its durability and ability to land on rugged airstrips makes it ideally suited for operations in Africa. MAF pilots have referred to the 206 as, ‘a real workhorse.’
Bulky and heavy cargo is loaded easily through the large double door at the rear. During medical emergency flights, this large door allows patients on a stretcher to be loaded and transported to hospital.
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Castle Hill Avenue, FOLKESTONE, CT20 2TN UK, Tel: 0845 850 9505
Registered Charity Number 1064598 (England & Wales) and SC039107 (Scotland)