|Model 425 Corsair/Conquest I|
|Cessna 425 Conquest I|
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||September 12, 1978|
|Developed from||Cessna 421|
The Cessna 425, originally known as Corsair and later Conquest I, is a pressurized turboprop airplane, certified for eight occupants but usually configured to seat six.
According to The Aviation Consumer, in the late 1970s, the King Air was on the market and because of its level of performance, was causing some Cessna owners to switch from their current Cessna to the Beechcraft, due to the added power it had without a very high price increase. Cessna did have the Cessna 441 Conquest as an upgrade for people currently with the Cessna 421 model; however, the price jump was simply too high, along with the loss of piloting ease. This caused owners to start leaving the Cessna line, preferring instead the C90 Beech. Cessna did not want to lose customers to the competition, so in 1980 they introduced the first Cessna 425 Corsair. It was essentially a redesigned version of the 421, powered by two 450 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6 engines. The fuel capacity of this aircraft was increased by 1072 pounds as well as the maximum takeoff weigh, by 750 pounds. "The result was an $875,000 pressurized twin-turboprop that could fly 15 knots to 20 knots faster than the C90, cruise 250 miles farther with four passengers aboard and burn 15-percent less fuel. It also costs $200,000 less to buy". "The 425 probably is the simplest of all turboprops to transition to. Thus the nickname 'baby carriage'".
Cockpit and Cabin
The cockpit on the 425 is well organized, making it easy for single pilot operation. It is spacious, making it comfortable for pilots of average to large size . Due to good visibility and ease of control, it is a simple aircraft to fly if the pilot has received some training in this particular model. The hardest part of handling this aircraft comes once it is on the ground in both the pre- and post-trip inspections that must be completed. Certain procedures can be learned to help speed this process and eliminate workload. The aircraft has a spacious cabin with generous windows, and comfortable seats.
Specifications (Cessna 425)
- Crew: one pilot
- Capacity: seven passengers
- Length: 35 ft 10 in (10.9 m)
- Wingspan: 44 ft 2 in (13.5 m)
- Height: 12 ft 7 in (3.8 m)
- Wing area: 224.98 ft2 (20.9 m2)
- Empty weight: 4948 lbs (2244.4 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 8600 lbs (3719.5 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-112 turboprops, driving Hartzell HC-B3TN-3C propellers, 500 shp () each
- Maximum speed: 264 knots (498 km/h, 309 mph)
- Range: 1339 nm (2480 km, 1540 mi)
- Service ceiling: 33400 ft ()
- Rate of climb: 1862 fpm ()
Transition to Conquest I
Buyers were not satisfied with the 425 Corsair, requesting more room in the cabin, also higher maximum takeoff weight. Cessna worked on upgrades that would allow more cabin space and passengers. Essentially, the upgrades increased maximum takeoff weight. This plane was still called a 425 series; however, it was named the 425 Conquest I, previously the name of the Cessna 441. However, upon the upgrade of the 425, Cessna began calling it the Conquest I and calling the 441 the Conquest II. Designers increased the maximum takeoff weight in 1983 from 8,200 pounds to 8,600 pounds, allowing the aircraft to take off with more weight on board. This allowed the plane to be able to carry one pilot and usually four passengers. Cessna did consider the owners of the older model Corsair, making a service kit for them which would allow the maximum takeoff weight to be upgraded to the same as the Conquest I. Most Corsairs in the United States have been upgraded with only a few or possibly none still existing with the lower takeoff weight.
End of an Era
By the 1980s, business jet manufacturing had a much larger market than the turboprops and due to slow sales from a recent recession, the 425 model was not selling as expected. Cessna ceased manufacturing the 425 series in 1986. By then Cessna had delivered 236 of these aircraft, many of which are still in wide use today. Despite the profusion of high-priced jets today, the Cessna 425 still serves the needs of many people in aviation. It can depart a 2,500-foot runway, assuming standard-day conditions, climb directly to FL 250 (25,000 ft) and cruise 1,125 nm with four passengers aboard, assuming that they are certified for the 8,600-pound MTOW. With a 92 KIAS VMCA, these aircraft are easy to fly on one engine and docile in the landing pattern. However, the service ceiling is one major shortcoming for this plane. Due to the pressurization system, this aircraft is able to cruise only at FL280 (28,000 ft). This is not a major problem however because the engines on this aircraft are poor high-altitude performers, and an upgrade kit for them can be as costly as $600,000.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- George, Fred (1 September 2007). "Cessna 425/Conquest i" 101 (3). p. 192. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Cessna 425 Corsair/ Conquest I". The Aviation Consumer: 24–31. September 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Aarons, Richard (January 1981). "B/CA: Cessna 425 Corsair". Business and Commercial Aviation: 1–5. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- Cessna Corsair, Conquest I & II & Caravan II retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Hartzell Props for Cessna Aircraft retrieved 2009-10-17.
- Cessna 425 Conquest I - Performance Data retrieved 2009-10-17.
Media related to Cessna 425 at Wikimedia Commons