Here's another of Aurora's old goodies in civil aviation. Actually, to be entirely correct I should credit Comet which originally made the tooling for this kit. As with the Jet Commander featured last month this is the only injection-molded kit ever available of this aircraft, and luckily is very close to 1/72 scale compared to the references I found online.
The version depicted by the kit is a five place aircraft designed and built in the early 1960s by the Cessna Aircraft Company of Wichita, Kansas. It was powered by two Continental 0-470-B engines developing 240HP each, giving a cruising speed of over 205MPH and a top speed over 220MPH. The 310 is aerodynamically clean - a key factor in the airplane's high performance. It can climb fully loaded at 380 feet per minute on one engine, has a service ceiling of 22,000 feet, and a range of 1000 miles.
The kit consists of 18 parts molded in medium blue plastic with two more for the stand, and five clear parts for the windows and windscreen. The stand in this kit is a dead giveaway to it's Comet origins - any Aurora kit with this style of stand actually originated with Comet. The parts are well-molded and crisp with very little flash. In common with many kits of the era the outlines of the decals are engraved into the plastic, along with panel lines and control surface outlines - all nicely recessed, BTW!
The decal sheet in my example is not as badly yellowed as in the Jet commander and would certainly be usable after bleaching in out in sunlight and giving it a coat or two of Superfilm. The registration included is "N500E".
The biggest problem with this kit is its utter lack of detail. There are *no* parts whatsoever included for the cockpit and passenger cabin, nor are there any landing gear parts provided. Because of this the easiest way to build this kit would be to paint the insides of the windows black and use the display stand included. It would be a real challenge to scratchbuild the interior and landing gear but would make for a very unique model indeed. This kit is a fine example of how far plastic models have come in the past 30-40 years.
This is another of the old Aurora tools I'd like to see Revell-Monogram reissue if they have the molds. Talk about "Classics"!......
I'll look at more of Aurora's private aircraft in future issues but next month will feature one of Hobbycraft's all-plastic kits - stay tuned. Till then, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to, and the critics will flame you every time."