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1956 Cessna 620: Ginormous (Quad) 310? 

The one and only prototype Cessna 620 executive aircraft concept

 As far as I’m concerned, the Cessna 620 was doomed from the start… you needn’t go any farther than the name: Cessna six-twenty? It just doesn’t roll off the tongue like it should. It’s kinda like the Infinity QX56 I saw the other day. QX fifty-six? What the heck?

 Actually, the Cessna 620 is a pretty interesting airplane, and had it not been for the fact that airlines in the late 50’s were rapidly switching to jet aircraft, the 620 might have had a real opportunity to make it in the biz-prop marketplace. As it turned out tho, when the airlines started dumping their twin-engine, 40 seat Convair 240/340 and Martin 4-0-4 aircraft, it just didn’t make much sense for a corporate operator to spend more money on a new airplane that could only carry 10 bodies. That economic reality seems to be the pivot point for pulling the plug on the 620 in 1957 after only one prototype was built and flown. It’s good to note tho that it appears the airplane performed well and lived up to Cessna’s design goals.

 With power coming from 4 Continental engines producing 350 hp each, the aircraft was expected to be able to cruise at about 250 mph. However, the care and feeding of those 4 engines also seems to be a pretty big disadvantage. Especially since more powerful and more reliable turboprop engines were just a handful of years away from reaching the marketplace on twin-engine airplanes like the Beech King Air.

 But still, like many other research projects from the past, the Cessna 620 is a really interesting part of aviation history. And while there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between the 620 and the 310 (except the look of those snazzy tip tanks) I do think that the big 4-engine beast might have been useful as a mower for airports with large grass runways… umm, excuse me, can we get a little more ground clearance here please!


Cessna 620: 4 engines and 10 seats


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Reader Comments (7)

Nice one Martt...and forgot all about it, and I pride myself on prototypes, "One offs", etc!

Kind of the piston equivalent of the McDonnell 220 you might say!

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristian Bryan

Piper Aircraft version - Piper PA-35 Pocono

August 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Here's my post from a while back on the Pocono: 1968 Piper PA-35 Pocono - Underpowered ‘Wide Body’ For 18 Souls

August 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

Had the good fortune to visit the 620 at the Cessna factory. It had been tested, evaluated and was sitting, ground-bound as a test bed. This was in 1956 or 57. It really was a nice looking design and I was sorry to see it destined to be a research tool instead of in production.

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRod Stoddard

Well ,I would buy it, if I can afford it !!

March 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzaid

Maybe if the Sky King show had stayed in production a little longer, the prototype could have been used to make portly Kirby Grant look a little smaller than did his 310.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric Z

Really awesome write up here from the designer:

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

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