Newest Soloy conversion targets police

June 19, 2008 by Paul Richfield, Senior Editor

Soloy Aviation Solutions’ newest turbine conversion–the “Mark II” upgrade for the in-production, Garmin G1000-equipped Cessna 206H–is nearing FAA certification and aimed squarely at the law enforcement community.

Soloy Cessna 206 Mark II, with 5-bladed MT propeller

According to Dave Stauffer, Soloy’s CEO, the Mark II will be “perfect” for police departments and security agencies needing a proven, high-wing turboprop smaller and less expensive than the $1.6-million Cessna 208 Caravan.

Priced at $561,000, the upgrade employs an updated version of the Rolls-Royce (Allison) 250-B17F engine, offering 420 horsepower and thermodynamic improvements that allow increased power to be carried all the way up to 10,000 feet msl. 

“It’s a combination of payload carrying ability, endurance, and best of all, less noise,” he says. “The propeller turns at only 2,000 rpm, making the airplane very quiet. And for the first time, the prop is fully reversible, which gives better short field performance.”

So far, Stauffer says, the Mark II has generated orders from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Costa Rican national police, and the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are considering the aircraft as well.

Not every detail connected with the Mark II has been resolved, according to Stauffer: “The G1000 is giving us a bit of a challenge, because our airspeeds, fuel capacities, and other details are different than the stock, piston-powered airplane. Changing them [in the G1000 system] means you have to get into the software, which is a big deal.”

Soloy began switching 200-series Cessnas to turbine power in 1986, and has delivered 75 Allison turbine 206s (25 percent on floats), and 24 conversions of the stretched model 207 to date. Around 30 of them were sold to European customers.

The Soloy package differs from other Allison 250 conversions, in that it employs a proprietary gearbox. Allison 250-B17F overhaul interval is 3,500 hours, with a hot section inspection required at 1,750 hours. The standard propeller is a 3-bladed Hartzell, although a new, 5-bladed composite prop from Germany’s MT is available as an option.

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