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Cessna 320

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Well-known member
Feb 5, 2002
For some odd reason I've become enamored of this bird. I've read about the plumber's nightmare of a fuel system, the delicacy of the nose gear and main gear side braces and the warnings about corrosion.
I imagine there are a few folks in here that have time in the 320 and later 310s that might offer comment and would be delighted to hear from you.
The best place for this information is at the Cessna Pilots Assoc. website www.cessna.org I think you may have to pay/sign-up in order to log on to the forum there. The 320 is a great plane. For the $$ it's gets you there real fast. It takes more work than some twinns due to turbocharging. They can be had cheap right now due to some expensive to fix problems. If I had one, I would plan on having my mechanic handy.
Nice bird-but I would not like to maintain a turbo charged twin. The 320 has a turbo charged continental 470; the same size engine as the 310. Gets you better true speed up high but nothing but a much larger fuel burn down low. I have a 310C. It is normally asp. with continenal IO-470D engines. I run it 21/ 2350 in cruise and get 172 mph true at 3000 ft or 192 mph at 10000 to 12000 ft. (of course I can't get 21 inches at 10k-12k). I burn 22-23 gph total. I was told by a 320 owner that his plane burns 32ghp total. I would love to have a 320 with cont IO-550's -non turbo and add turbo normalizing or super charge normalizing. Most all turbo engines have a reduced compression ratio and then use boost even at sea level takeoffs. From an effiency standpoint this is really a bad idea. With turbo normalizing boost is used to regain what is lost due to altitude/density altitude so a sea level takeoff would be done with waste gates open. (no boost) while at altitude or when taking off from Aspen or another high density location -boost would be used to get 30 inches map.

If you buy a 310 or 320 have a good prebuy inspection done by a AP-IA that is familiar with the type. This is not a one day prebuy. Check for corrosion in spar and rear spar areas behind engines.

With that said I love my 310. Only wish I has time and money to fly it more.
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Personally I would stay wawy from the CE-320 Skynight and go for a T-charged CE-310. Pretty much the sam a/c with some important differences. The main two is a better nose gear setup which goes hand in hand with moving the 02 bottle from the nose (under the Southwind heater) to the rear of the a/c. Its not a complicated fuel system as you refer to, it is like most 310s, just has recirc pumps in the main tanks. Also, most 320s floating around out there have a bunch of SBs that SHOULD be complied with. Believe me I know, had an owner that wanted to put a 320 on a 135 ticket and it took all most a year to comply with all of the ADs and SBs. But on the other the CE310/320 series are relatively fast for the gas they burn and the beautiful part about Cessna products is that they all handle very similarly from the CE-150 all the way up to the CE-550.
My first twin Cessna was a T-303 and it was an interesting as a trainer. Handle well but you had to choose whether you wanted to haul fuel, bags or people.
Cessna, you gotta love em.

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