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Cheyenne 400 VS King Air 200

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Well-known member
Aug 12, 2004
Got a friend who flies the Cheyenne 400 and swears by his life that it is an all around better airplane than the king air. Just curious if anyone with some time in both would agree.
msuspartans24 said:
Got a friend who flies the Cheyenne 400 and swears by his life that it is an all around better airplane than the king air. Just curious if anyone with some time in both would agree.

The 400 is a monster of an airplane. It's certainly a MUCH better performer than a 200. But I think the 200 is slightly bigger, and being a Beech, most likely better built.
First of all, I've got to say that I've never flown a Cheyenne 400, but I've got several hundred hours setting in the left front seat of both the KA200 and the K-Mart King Air (Cheyenne III). Twenty years ago the 400 was the turboprop to beat. That was then, this is now. I'd sure hate to have to maintain one of those beasts now. It was hard enough getting parts for the III twenty years ago. It's basically the Law of the Jungle, the survival of the fittest. By that measure the King Air is the best turboprop out there.

How much BE200 Time does your friend have?
I don't know if the 400 is the same as the III, but I heard in the III you have to carry sandbags to help fix the CG in many situations.

I have about 1200 hrs left seat in the 200 and never once had the CG come even close to being out. If you can fit it through the door, the 200 will haul it.
I don't know much about the 400 except that it is fast as $h!t and climbs like a mofo.... However not to sure about the MX issues and costs. HUGH WHALE PADDLE PROPS though so it looks cool on the ramp.

The 200 is still probably a better all around a/c as far as performance, mx, parts, and cost.

my .02
The 400LS is a faster airplane than the 200 but you can not compare a Piper product to a Beech product. I have flown both a Cheyenne and 200 and there is no comparison. The 200 is bullet proof and the 400LS is a, well it is still a piper.
Performance-wise, the Cheyenne will slay all KingAirs, even the 350. That being said, I would imagine that finding support for the airplane would be a real job. Parts, qualified techs and facilities willing to work on the plane would be a real issue. Plus, the less known the AC is to a tech, the shop hours tick by while troubleshooting is done on even minor problems.

On the other hand, getting a KingAir fixed is relatively easy. The time lost to the boss airlining when the plane was down would kill the Cheyenne as a better performer pretty quick.
An interesting review of the Piper 400LS - The website was shut down, so here's the cached version from google.com:

Page 1"cheyenne+400LS"+"imperial+bank"&hl=en

Page 2"cheyenne+400LS"+"imperial+bank"&hl=en

The result is astonishing. The 400LS will out climb most small to medium business jets. In terms of hard numbers, it has a maximum true airspeed of 360 knots and will cruise at over 40,000 feet at 340 knots for nearly seven hours. It will accomplish this seating nine people in stretch-out comfort and at less than half the fuel burn of a Citation II. . . .

During the pre-flight walk about it is clear this is a Piper and not a Beechcraft product. PHO's age is beginning to show in the general fit of the panels and particularly on the fibreglass mouldings, which were beginning to craze. The heavily over-engineered solidity of Beech products seems to be lacking, most obviously when looking at the access panels which appear to be loose fitting. . . .

The huge power of this Piper has made this not just a hot rod special of limited utility but an aircraft of immense practical use. It is capable of taking as many people as a Citation I a far greater distance at a similar speed. The owner says that on a Lanseria to Luanda leg, the aircraft can carry more payload than a King Air 200. With 2,000lbs of fuel for four hours there is still capacity for another 2,200 lbs of passengers. Typical fuel burn at a high cruise level is 400lbs (60 US gallons) an hour - half that of a comparable Citation. With total useable fuel of 570 gallons, the aircraft can comfortably make Johannesburg to Mauritius non-stop. . . .
New Piper does not support the Cheyenne line. Real pain in the wallet.

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