Manufacturer: Cessna

Model: P.250

Name: Cloudmaster

Type: Transport

Date: 1941

Status: Prototype evaluation

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Army Air Force

Designation: XC-106


Before submitting the P.260 Loadmaster to the U.S. Army Air Force (which they evaluated as the C-106), Cessna built a 1/2-scale demonstrator using elements from the P.50 (AT-8) Bobcat trainer. This little-known aircraft, the P.250 Cloudmaster, was also evaluated by the USAAF under the designation XC-106, and judged satisfactory enough for Cessna to proceed with its bigger P.260. Sadly the Cloudmaster has been overlooked by most history books...


I've always hated the notion that the Air Force could procure the P.260 without there being a prototype out there somewhere for evaluation. It didn't make any sense to me considering the aircraft was a new design and never even received the "X" prefix!

I used three photographs for this: a genuine C-106, an AT-8 (both looking the other way) and a countryside background that used to have a Beech C-45 on it... The idea was to obtain an aircraft that was similar to the real C-106 but smaller, and with the Bobcat's looks, to serve as a missing link between the two aircraft.

Viewers' comments:
  • The XC-106 is awesomely realistic. (PR19_Kit)
  • Are you sure this is a what-if fake photograph? This airplane looks so normal, so perfect, it must be true! Take it as congratulations for a perfect faking job. (Tophe)

My comments:

Being aerodynamically similar to the real C-106, the P.250 would have flown well, without a doubt. The very idea of a missing link between the Bobcat and Loadmaster is also quite plausible, although war years probably demanded some more hasty development for military aircraft than to be bothered with half-scale flying demonstrators!