Cessna 310r Guide and Specs

Introduction

The Cessna 310R is a variant of the Cessna 310, the first twin-engine aircraft designed by Cessna after World War II. Produced between 1954 and 1980, the aircraft was at the peak of design for its debut.

As the Cessna 310 received upgrades throughout its years of production, each new model was given a letter to designate its design. The 310R was the last model in production released in 1975, equipped with 285 horsepower and 3 bladed propellers. 

Having stood the test of time, the Cessna 310R is still an aircraft greatly sought after today; with its low asking price and average operation costs, owners are more than happy with the performance they receive for the money they’ve spent.

With new single-engine aircraft costing more and more, the Cessna 310R is the perfect aircraft for someone who is looking to start their career in the twin-engine world. 

1975 / Cessna 310R / Model Specs

The Cessna 310R is a piston twin-engine aircraft, and its with low wings and 3 bladed props; it not only stands out in a crowd but provides ideal specifications for aircraft owners looking for a small twin aircraft. 

The design of the Cessna 310R allows it to be powerful and compact. With a height of 10 feet and 7 inches, seats are comfortable, and entering the aircraft is not difficult. The wingspan of the Cessna 310R is 36 feet and 9 inches, while the length is 32 feet. This size allows the aircraft to be parked in a standard hangar space and provides comfortable room for its passengers. 

The Cessna 310R can have up to 6 occupants at a time, depending on the arrangement. Some prefer to have only 4 seats in the aircraft, with the pilot occupying one seat and leaving 3 for passengers. Others prefer to sacrifice a bit of comfort and install the second row of passenger seats, allowing 5 passengers to be flown with the pilot at once. 

Weight is an important consideration when it comes to choosing an aircraft. The Cessna 310R has a maximum takeoff weight of 5500 lbs and a maximum landing weight of 5400 lbs. Fuel capacity is 840 lbs, and with full fuel, the payload is 719 lbs. This allows significant freedom in assigning weight to passengers or baggage for the flight. 

With twin-engine aircraft being popular for their increased safety and power, Cessna decided to put two Continental IO-520-MB engines in the 310R. With each six-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine having 285 horsepower, the Cessna 310R puts out significant performance for its size compared to larger twin engines. 

Cessna 310R/ Model Prices

Cessna 310R Model Prices

While some are more interested in purchasing a newer single-engine aircraft, the Cessna 310R has a lot of value for its price. Because its production ended in 1975, all the Cessna 310Rs that can be purchased today are used. 

The Cessna 310R can be purchased between 140,000$ and 180,000$. Depending on its upgrades and modifications, the price can increase or decrease. Older models of the 310 will also be less expensive than the 310R, but most won’t have the same performance and qualities as the R model. 

Engine and airframe times greatly affect the price of the aircraft. A Cessna 310R with more time on the airframe and engine will cost less than one that has less time. This is because the cost of overhauling two engines is extremely expensive, and the more time on the engines, the closer they are to that overhaul. 

Cessna 310R/ Performance and Handling

Many are drawn to the idea of owning a twin-engine aircraft due to the benefits and performance that outweigh that of a single-engine. The Cessna 310R is appreciated by all its owners as an aircraft that provides easy handling for the pilots and strong performance that can cater to any trip.

The maximum speed of the Cessna 310R is 207 kts. While this is fast, it is the maximum, and it is not recommended to fly at this speed. Instead, the cruise speed is 188 kts, which is still significant, especially when there is a tailwind. 

Range is the distance in which the aircraft can go. With a normal power setting in cruise, the Cessna 310R has a range of 350 nautical miles. With the right weather, outside air temperature and weight, this range can be increased up to 725 nautical miles. Flying at best economy will also increase the range, and can be calculated by the pilot before the flight. 

The service ceiling of the aircraft is important when it comes to flight planning. The Cessna 310R has a service ceiling just below 20,000 feet. With a higher altitude, the air is less dense, and it allows the aircraft to fly further distances. As a result, altitude is a huge consideration when it comes to flight planning. 

The Cessna 310R has a climb performance of 1662 feet per minute, which is a strong climb gradient. It gives the aircraft enough power to climb out of tight runways. In the case of an engine failure, the Cessna 310R can still manage a rate of climb of 372 feet per minute. The aircraft is still strong enough to maintain stable flight even while flying on one engine. 

Landing distance is important when it comes to deciding on a runway to land on. The Cessna 310R has a landing distance of 2992 feet; however, this number can easily change. When landing into a headwind, the landing distance will decrease. When landing with a tailwind, or on a runway surface with water or ice, the distance will increase.  

Cessna 310R/ Model Maintenance Schedule

Cessna 310R Model Maintenance Schedule

Aircraft that are privately owned and operated require an annual inspection. Every year the owner must have an official aircraft maintenance mechanic or operator complete the inspection and record it in the aircraft’s logbooks. 

The inspection consists of completely dismantling the aircraft for review. All inspection panels, seats, and even the cowling are removed. The inspector will review the interior of the aircraft and its engine to ensure that there are no cracks or breaks and any problems noticed are fixed immediately. 

In the case of commercially owned aircraft, which is sometimes with the Cessna 310R, inspections are done based on operation times. The more the aircraft is flown for hire, the more regular maintenance inspections it will require. 

With two operating engines, the Cessna 310R has twice the costs. While being flown regularly for commercial operations can make money for the owner, the extra time flown on the aircraft will result in it needing more work done in inspections. It will also be more susceptible to broken parts and replacements. 

Cessna 310R/ Modifications and Upgrades

There are a few different modifications and upgrades that can be completed for the Cessna 310R. Many owners prefer to make engine and panel upgrades, improving the performance of the aircraft even further. Some prefer aesthetic upgrades and change the paint schemes and the interior of the aircraft.

The Colemill Bearcat conversion for the Cessna 310R is a complete upgrade to the powerplant system. This conversion offered by the Colemill company includes two Continental IO-550A engines with 300 horsepower each, along with all the required mounts, fuel, and oil hoses, as well as a new digital fuel computer. 

Spoiler kits are also available from a few different companies. These would improve the overall handling of the aircraft and are relatively inexpensive to install. 

Cessna 310R / Where to Find Replacement Parts

Cessna 310R Where to Find Replacement Parts

Maintenance is one of the biggest woes for aircraft owners. Any piece that breaks needs to be fixed, and sometimes parts are difficult to find. Unlike cars, not all parts are standard, and once something goes out of production, it becomes a race to who will find it first. 

The Cessna 310R may be older, but there are still parts in abundance. Pieces for the engine are still used, as well as other parts to the aircraft. Because Cessna maintains a lot of similarities between their designs, and because of the large number of Cessna 310s, parts are not a rarity. 

Used parts can be purchased online or in person. Pieces can be found through Cessna groups, clubs, and forums. Parts can be found on second hand websites like Kijiji, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. 

New parts can also be found that were pre-purchased by other owners from different websites. New aircraft parts can also be purchased on websites like Univair and Aircraft Spruce, and shipped to the owner or mechanics door.

New parts can also be purchased from or by maintenance engineers. Mechanics often carry an assortment of small pieces that are often required after regular wear and tear. Aircraft maintenance engineers also usually have catalogs with parts and service numbers for the aircraft that they regularly work on. 

Cessna 310R/ Model Common Problems

While their age makes parts more accessible, the Cessna 310R does have a few issues that have grown over the years. These are often referred to as buyer bewares, and should be considered when looking to purchase the aircraft. 

The Cessna 310R has smaller issues that need to be regularly inspected. A cracked mount for the fuel tank, broken horizontal stabilizer attach bolts and cracked brake discs are all causes for concern because if not caught could lead to serious damage and even an accident. 

With retractable landing gear, the Cessna 310R receives a lot more wear and tear than an aircraft equipped with fixed gear. Not to mention the design for the retractable gear equipped on this aircraft is outdated, and a lot more susceptible to breaks and cracks. 

Cessna 310R/ Insurance Options

Insurance is a requirement when it comes to aircraft ownership. Whether the aircraft is flown for personal or for commercial reasons, insurance that covers the pilot, aircraft, and its passengers are important in the event of an accident or incident. 

There are two main insurance options available to the aircraft owner. The first is liability insurance, which is mandatory. Liability insurance covers those inside the aircraft and any damages caused to its surroundings during an accident or incident. 

The second is hull insurance, which focuses on the damages caused to the aircraft itself. The higher the worth of the aircraft, the higher the cost of hull insurance. Some insurance companies also offer hull not in motion insurance, which applies only to the aircraft if it suffers damage while it is stationary. This could be due to weather like hail or another aircraft coming into contact with it. 

As of 2020, according to bwifly.com there are 6 carriers in the United States that carry insurance for the Cessna 310, including the model R. Insurance costs are decided by the experience of the pilots who are flying the aircraft. 

Experienced pilots receive a lower cost and are considered those who have at least a private pilot license, 1500 hours total time, 500 hours multi-engine time of which 50 are on the Cessna 310. Anyone with less than these requirements is considered an unqualified pilot, and while they can still receive insurance it will be at a higher premium. 

Experienced pilots that are qualified can expect a premium between 295-350$ a year for liability coverage. Those who don’t meet the requirements for a qualified pilot can expect 376-590$ a year. 

For the addition of hull coverage, the premium is increased. Qualified pilots can expect a premium of 3456-5270$ a year. Pilots that do not meet the minimum qualifications can expect between 4980 and 7400$ a year. 

Cessna 310R/ Model Resale Value

Cessna 310R Model Resale Value

While some are attracted to the Cessna 310Rs cheap purchase price, the cost of maintenance and upkeep needs to be kept in mind. While the aircraft itself is cheaper than buying a brand new single piston engine aircraft, the maintenance can be the same price- if not more. 

Many owners have expressed that if someone is looking for an aircraft that they can fly home, and put all the pieces that they want into it, the Cessna 310R is the right aircraft. However, if you’re looking for something that is not only cheap to operate but cheap to maintain, then it might be best to look for something else. 

The Cessna 310R can be purchased anywhere between 100,000$ and 180,000$. After flying with the new owner, the increased times on the airframe and the engine will decrease the value of the aircraft.

It is almost guaranteed that the owner will put more money into the aircraft than what they will sell it for later. This is the price of old airplanes. However, if the owner is looking for a reliable aircraft then many Cessna 310 owners recommend its purchase. They do recommend getting a thorough pre-purchase inspection to be sure there are no big surprises. 

Cessna 310R/ Owner Reviews

The Cessna 310R is often considered a step up for many from single-engine aircraft. Because of its low initial cost and excellent performance, many owners with low twin-engine time find themselves flying this piston aircraft. 

While many are nervous about its age and possible hidden problems when purchasing, many happy Cessna 310R owners are pleased with their purchase. They say that as long as you know what you are getting into, and perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection, then there is nothing to fear about the potential money pit that is the Cessna 310R. 

Owners are often pleased with the performance and handling of the old aircraft. Although twin-engine aircraft can be demanding, staying ahead of the plane makes sure that there are no unwanted surprises during flight. A walk around closely inspecting any possible problem areas is recommended before every flight, and any possible issues will make themselves known. 

Overall owners are very pleased with the Cessna 310R. Being able to carry a significant amount of weight in passengers, baggage, and fuel, all with its low-cost purchase price, the Cessna 310R is considered to be a good buy. 

Cessna 310R/ Similar Aircraft

Cessna 310R Similar Aircraft

Of course, the Cessna 310R might not be everyone’s first choice. Besides the fact that there are other models of the Cessna 310 available, there are other aircraft in the 6 seat category that allow a strong performance for a variety of missions. 

The Beechcraft B55 Baron is the slightly shorter version of the B58 Baron. If looking for a used light twin-engine aircraft, then the Baron does not disappoint. It has enough useful load to carry a family of six, their bags, and enough fuel for a four-hour journey. 

The Piper Seneca may not be a station wagon, but it is not costly to operate. Its low price and easy handling qualities make it the first choice for many owners. While it may not be able to carry full passengers and full fuel, it can still make the flight to most destinations someone would want to go to. 

The Cessna 206 is another well-known aircraft built and designed by Cessna. While this aircraft, named the “Stationair,” is only a single-engine aircraft, it is a true six-seater. Coined the flying SUV, it is a fixed gear aircraft with a large wingspan and big flaps that carry a significant amount of weight.

The Cessna 206 was, in fact, so popular that after being out of production for 12 years, is now once again available for purchase brand new from Cessna. While it might not be a twin-engine, the performance on the 206 is still impressive enough to appeal to many owners. 

Cessna 310R/ Clubs You can Join

Cessna 310R Clubs You can Join

Whether it be looking for parts, purchasing an aircraft, or simply looking to make friends, joining clubs and groups geared toward the Cessna 310R is rewarding in the benefits a new owner will receive. 

The Twin Cessna Flyer club is an online community specifically geared towards the representation of twin Cessna aircraft. There are different tiered memberships that range in price and give you access to the online community and forum and their resources. Monthly magazines and regular safety seminars are also a benefit to joining the group. 

The Cessna Flyer Association is available to all those who fly or own a Cessna aircraft. This club was created to share the passion for Cessna aircraft and participate in their discussion.

Memberships are available in the United States starting at 1 year for 44$ or 3 years for 110$, which includes a monthly print magazine. If you’re interested in a digital copy only then the membership is only 33$ for one year and 77$ for 3 years. 

The Cessna Owner Organization is another online community geared specifically towards Cessna aircraft owners. Memberships are 59$ for the year and the magazine, or 29.95$ for the year with a digital copy of the magazine. Memberships include access to the members-only forum, technical support, and an e-newsletter. 

The Cessna Pilots Association is an online group of dedicated pilots who keep in contact online and occasionally in person meet up. Memberships are 45$ for the year and include a printed magazine and access to all of the club’s members-only benefits. 

If looking for a free way to get in touch with other Cessna pilots or aircraft owners, Cessna enthusiasts can join one of the many online forums or clubs through websites like Facebook. Facebook provides numerous free groups that anyone can join and participate in discussions on Cessna topics. 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the TBO?

Answer: Time before overhaul is an important question when it comes to looking at aircraft for sale. Because the engines need to be overhauled at a certain number of hours, it can be a costly and time-consuming part of the aircraft’s life. The Cessna 310R has a recommended overhaul time of 1700 hours, and because there are two engines it is twice as costly. 

Question: What is the Seat Arrangement?

Answer: Many six seater aircraft have the rear four seats facing each other. This is generally used for business class aircraft to allow passengers to easily communicate with each other during flight. The Cessna 310R has the rear seats all facing forward, more like in a car. This hasn’t bothered many owners, and many haven’t made any comments on the seating arrangement. 

Question: Does it Have a Glass Cockpit?

Answer: Because of the age of the Cessna 310R, the cockpit has a more traditional instrument set up. Gauges are more commonly used unless the owner has upgraded the interior to a glass panel. This doesn’t change the performance of the aircraft. In fact, some pilots prefer the gauges over glass, and having a trusty iPad or Garmin portable GPS is more than enough. 

Question: Can you Fly as a Single Pilot?

Answer: While the Cessna 310R is considered a single pilot aircraft, it can be a demanding aircraft to fly. Because two pilots reduce the workload and increase safety, many passengers prefer to have a second pilot on board, although it isn’t required. 

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