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Info on cabin class twins???

jrav8tor

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Anyone know of any websites where one can find performance specifications (Cruise speed, useful load, fuel capacity, etc.) on 6-8 seat twins such as Cessna 340, 414, 421, and Piper Aerostar, Navajo, Cheiftan?

Also, what are your specific opinions on the above planes regarding ownership, likes and dislikes??

Feel free to mention other planes not mentioned above.

Thanks in advance!
 

BigDave

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As for a website with this info, I do not know of one, but I will tell you what I know from experience about the twin Cessna. My favorite is the 340, it is fast. Cruise speed of 230 kts is very common. Service ceiling of 30,0000 ft. That is with the RAM IV engines. 335hp. There are 3 engine types available for the 340: TSIO-520K rated at 285hp, and then 520J and 520N produce 310hp. 340s with the 310hp are designated 340A. Many 340s have factory overhaul engines from RAM which increase the hp up to 335hp. With the increased HP and the addition of vortex generators the 340 useful load is close to 1,000 pounds. All of this performance comes at a high maintence price. Ask any mechanic what they think of a 340 and they will say they hate to work on them because everything is so compact and so complex. The 414 is a great airplane but has the same engines as the 340 and the same body as the 421B. Bottom line it is not as fast as the 340 but its power loading is great 10.2pounds per horsepower. The 421 is a nice airplane, there is the 421B model with the tip tanks and the 421C with wet wings, and the 1980 421C with the trailing link gear (best 421 model) The nice thing with the 421 is you can carry 8 people in comfort and get cruise speed higher the a King Air 90. The problem with the 421 is the expensive geared engines. If you do not take care of the engines in flight, you will be replacing them rather quickly.

If what you are looking for is a really fast pressure twin for $250,000, that can carry four people in the flight levels, I suggest the 340. If you need to carry 8 people then it would be the 421C. Good luck.
 

banned username 2

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BigDave said:
If you need to carry 8 people then it would be the 421C. Good luck.
If you need to carry more than 5 people (excluding the pilot) I would get a King Air... If you put 8 people in a 421 you won't be able to carry much fuel and you will more than likely be way out the Aft side of the CG envelope... If I remember right the 421C trues out around 220-230 kts... the King Air 90 does about the same speed...

What will your typical mission be? With some detailed info we can help point you to the appropriate aircraft for your needs...
 

aero99

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capt_zman

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Falcon Capt hit it right on the head. Twin engine cessnas are famous for their anemic useful loads and high maintenance costs. You really need to figure out what your mission is going to be, before even thinking about pulling the trigger.

As for the comparison to the King Air, there is no comparison. There is no way you're going to put 8 people in a 421 and even get off the ground. As for the 340, look at the useful load number quoted above. 1000 lb useful load, which is generous. Well, if we take 4 people at 170 lbs per, we come up with 680 lbs. Let's throw in 50 lbs of luggage and we come to 730lbs. That leaves a whopping 270 lbs for fuel, which equals 40.3 gals. Last I checked, the 340 will burn 40 gals per hour on climb, which most definitely will not get you into the flight levels. It will basically let you go around the pattern for a couple of touch and go's.

Another food for thought is the single engine performance of ALL of the twin engine cessnas. It's bad, really bad. If you take the scenario above, you'll be pushing up daisies if you lose an engine on rotation.

I know I didn't answer your question, but don't let the hyped up performance figures cloud your brain about twin cessnas. There is no comparison to a King Air.
 

jrav8tor

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BigDave, Falcon Capt, Aero 99, Capt_zman,

First of all, thanks for the info so far!

Here's the scenario.....student of mine potentially wants to buy a fast light twin (in the future) for personal use and some business. The total combined weight of his family including him, his wife and 4 children is around 700 lbs (young children). He would like a plane that could haul everyone including a pilot (7 people total) that has speed and good safe single engine performance. (I have little experience with the twins in the category he is looking for). So I am looking for info, suggestions, opinions from you guys with experience.

He wouldn't carry everyone all the time, matter of fact, majority of the time it would be him, the pilot, and 2-3 others. He would like the ability to carry everyone if he wanted too. Money is not really an issue, however I think the King Air maybe too much? I don't know what the going price would be for them.

Longest legs would be in the 2-3 hour range with everyone on board.

With this, what suggestions or opinions do you have?

Also, with planes in this category, what kind of requirements would a pilot need for insurance?

Thanks again in advance, it is truly helpful.
 

banned username 2

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I would go with a King Air E90....

If you must go piston, then probably a Navajo Cheiftain would carry that load....
 

DC9stick

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I'll second the Chieftian, The Aero Commander Shrike series also meets the 7 seat requirement and may be able to carry the load.The Shrike has excellent single engine performance and manners, normally aspirated engines and the resulting decrease in engine maintenance costs, they do however require a mechanic familiar with the type. Stay away from Aerostars they do not meet the seating requirement and generally cost as much to maintain as a turbine.
All the pressurized piston twins will be short on useful load due to the additional weight of the structure and systems required.
Go turbine if at all possible, The Aero Commander 690 series and the Beech B-100 are often overlooked. Both are faster than the 90 series King Air and may be available near the same price. Get a good prepurchase and be prepared for the maintenance expenses involved with turbine aircraft. I have seen 100 hr inspections of poorly maintained turbine twins exceed $100.000.
 
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Capthuff

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I've flown the chieftain and it is a great airplane. The only problem is, it isn't pressurized, but it will do exactly what you are asking at a reasonable speed and price. Also the insurance mins should be lower because it has less systems than the Cessnas. That said, I have more time in the 400 series Cessnas then the piper and the 421 is a fantastic plane ( B or C ). True, the engines can be expensive to fix so if you go that way buy one with 0 time engines. And fly the engines!!! The 421 is a one cowboy horse.
If the decision is giong toward a 414 then get either a 340 or the piper.
A good 421 can go for $400,000 or more. You can get a cheap King Air 90 for almost that - but dont. Dont get an A, B 90. If your student truly has the money an a C, E or even an F 90 would be the way to go, but dont scare him into somthing that is over his head and then he gets mad at aviation in general and gets out.
How about a 58 Baron - relatively inexpensive and 5 pax seats. Its a real nice airplane and pretty speedy too.
Good luck
Cappy
 

BigDave

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As the good twin Cessna salesman that I am :) I will continue to push the 421C. A 1976-1984 421C max zero fuel weight is 6,733lbs, and max takeoff weight is 7,450 lbs. So that gives you 717 pounds of what ever you have with full fuel. Full fuel will give you an IFR range of approx: 1,000NM. As for speed, Cessna claims that the 421C cruises 29 Knots faster than a C-90 at 25,000 but that is good propaganda. What we get is 195-215 KTAS at 20,000 feet, with a fuel burn of around 50 gallons the first hour, then 40 after that. Still these figures are darn close to the C-90. Single engine climb is poor a best. As for insurance, it is bad. I fly the 421C with another pilot who has some 20,000 hours and 2300 in 421s and he still required to go to Flight Safety every year. Since I started flying the 421C about 8 months ago I was required to go to flight safety for an initial 300/400 series course, then I had to fly with the chief pilot for 50 hours. This is for a 135 operation, so the insurance requirement may be different for a part 91 operation, but I know they will require flight safety, and some dual time. Purchase cost is around $370,000 for a 76-79 421C, and then it goes up to $500,000. for 1980 421C because of the trailing link gear. The trailing link gear is nice to have, and makes most landings pretty smooth, but I do not know if it worth the
cost.
For the price you can not beat the 421. I know if your student tried to get a C-90 and fly it with an experience pilot the insurance will be much higher then a 421. Anytime you get into turbine equipment the insurance company will get you. As for the Navajo, they are nice airplanes with a high usefull load. They are stable IFR platforms and relatively cheap. But there is a reason why the Navajo is nicknamed “NAVASLOW” :)
 

jrav8tor

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Again, thanks to everyone responding, it is truly helpful!

I think the King Air might be a little too steep for now. The guy has plenty of money, but also doesn't want to step into a turbine right away. I feel that will be his next airplane. Although I am surprised at the price you can get some King Air's for on www.aso.com. It would be almost worth stepping into it right away! Although if costs for maintenance for turbine is that expensive it may not be worth it to him.

As for the Baron, he wants something a little larger for comfortability. I too like Baron's, but it's not what he's looking for.

So what I am understanding is that twin Cessna's are high maintenance, high insurance, fast and comfortable, poor SE performance?? Also, tell me if I am wrong, but the Cheiftan has a larger useful load, less maintenance costs, slower, and good SE performance??

How much slower is the Cheiftan compared to the 421? Also, would the cheaper cost of maintenance offset the loss of speed? If he is looking for speed, is the maintenance $$$ difference worth going towards the 421?

I think the insurance might play a part in what he decides. I would be potentially piloting the aircraft for him. I don't have lots of time in multi right now, or anything of that size.

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and opinions!!!:)
 

capt_zman

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Good info from all the posters. Here's my opinion.

I own a BE58 and it is an absolutely great airplane. It costs about half of what a King Air or twin cessna would cost and it performs almost as well. I have a 1700 lb useful load and 166 gals of fuel, which allows me to carry 4 full adults and full fuel. I have a wife and 2 children and we run to Florida about 2-3 times per month on 1 fuel stop in SC from MA. The trip takes 6 hours of flight time, which equates to about 183 kts. On many occasions, I have loaded my family and my parents (with baggage) and lifted off with 130 gals of fuel, which still gets me to my fuel stop in SC. How many piston twins can do that? Granted the trip is cramped, but the small kids don't care. My airplane is a solid 185-190 kts burning 29-30 gals per hour. Insurance ran me $3400 this year. As for single engine numbers, while single pilot, I'll get over 500 ft/min, in my heavy scenario, I'm looking at 200 ft/min.

As for King Airs, we just bought an E90 for a company and I routinely file for 240 kts. We can make the MA to FL trip non-stop, as the E90 has the extended range from the aux tanks. As for cabin, well it's a King Air and nothing beats that. The insurance for the E90 ran $17000 and myself and one other had to go to training. Overall, a fantastic airplane. As for price, we bought one of the better ones on the market and paid ~800k.

Let me know if you have any other questions, I can provide you with any number you need (operational, maintenance, purchase, etc).
 

capt_zman

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We replied at the same time.

Anyway, nobody said the Chieftain has good single engine climbs, it absolutely does not.

As for King Airs, the maintenance can be pretty easy if you buy something decent. If you buy a hog, you'll be buying the farm as well.

The big ticket items on the King Airs are the engines (Hot sections, c and t blades, etc) and the landing gear. If all these checks are done prior to purchase, you can have a relatively maintenance free airplane between maintenance checks. A phase 1-4 will run about 15k, which is what I have paid for my last two annuals on the baron.

So, the King Air may seem out of sight or too complex, but when you crunch the numbers, I think it'll make sense.

As for you as pilot, the King Air is a piece of cake to fly. You'll have to go to initial training, but other than that it shouldn't be too bad.
 

jrav8tor

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Zman,

Thanks for the info on the Baron, King Air, and everything else. Looking at my times and little multi (hopefully that will change in near future), would an insurance co. even look at me? If they do, what would be your best guess for $$$ per year?

Forgive me for asking nagging questions, I am just not familiar with the particulars of everything.

Thanks again for all the info!
 

capt_zman

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They'd look at you, but you will definitely be going to training and you'll probably have to fly with a more experienced pilot for some time (anywhere from 25-100 hours).

As for price, roll the dice. It's all how you present it to the underwriters. I'd find a pilot with King Air experience and put them along with yourself on the quote. Probably the only way you're going to get anywhere.
 

banned username 2

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BigDave said:
As the good twin Cessna salesman that I am :) I will continue to push the 421C. A 1976-1984 421C max zero fuel weight is 6,733lbs, and max takeoff weight is 7,450 lbs. So that gives you 717 pounds of what ever you have with full fuel. Full fuel will give you an IFR range of approx: 1,000NM.
WHAT are you smokin???? How do you figure that: Gross Weight - Zero Fuel Weight = useful load with full fuel???

Gross Weight - BOW = Useful Load (Fuel, People & Bags)
ZFW - BOW = Max Payload

Max Zero Fuel Weight is the max load you can put in the fuselage (Max Wing Bending Weight) that isn't fuel... Basically ZFW-BOW is the maximum amount of payload you can carry...

All it is saying is that ANY weight carried over 6,733 lbs MUST be carried as fuel...
 

jrav8tor

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Great info guys!!

Thanks again Zman! Thanks also to FalconCapt, BigDave and everyone else for the info, it was truly helpful!

Feel free to PM me with any other info you feel would be helpful.

Thanks!
Jrav8tor
 

aero99

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The Mojave is pressurized. Not sure on the numbers, but it is a sweet looking plane. Check out aso, there are a few really nice ones there.

I would second Zman on the Baron. If you could find a pressurized 58 with the larger engines, those are screamers. I think your friend is going to be limited to what he can get by insurance if he has low hours though.

I know a guy that just bought a 421. He has a few pilots that fly for him. One has 8000 hours and the other something like 15k hours and i think he said insurance was around 10k per year AFTER sending both pilots to Flight Safety for around $6k a pop.

I would recommend your friend get with a well known broker to help with the purchase. There is no shortage of planes out there and many look to be good deals- until you find out they need over $100k in AD's or maint to be able to fly.
 
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