The Cessna 206 is a nimble and durable aircraft which can take off and land from short, rugged airstrips, allowing MAF to support communities no one else can reach.
Its piston-powered single engine (Continental IO-520-F or IO-550-Bon) produces 300hp and drives a three-bladed propeller.
'The little mosquito as it is sometimes called by Africans, really does get everywhere. The Cessna 206 has proven itself over many years to be an ideal aircraft for reaching isolated, small bush strips with a healthy payload of passengers and/or freight.'
Steve Machell, MAF Country Director, Kenya
All our 206s 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 take-off and landing) capability, shoulder harnesses for all seat positions, heavy duty nose gear to withstand the rough airstrips, emergency locator transmission, High Frequency radio, and GPS receiver, improving safety standards and performance.
Flint tanks at the end of the wings add an extra 55 litres to each of the 2 fuel tanks, giving 2 hours of extra range, and making a total endurance for normal operations of 8 hours.
These alterations lengthen the wings, enabling the aircraft to fly more slowly, causing increased lift, and giving the ability to land with a slower speed. Take-off and landing roll is decreased, which is vital on short runways, especially those high in the mountains with obstacles at the end. A large cargo pod installed underneath the plane allows more freight to be carried.
Bulky and heavy cargo can be loaded easily through the large double door at the rear. For medevac flights, this large door allows patients on a stretcher to be loaded and transported to hospital.
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'.