Cessna 402

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Cessna 401 & 402
1967 model Cessna 402
Role Corporate transport and airliner
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight 26 August 1965
Introduction 1967
Primary user Cape Air
Produced 1966–1985
Unit cost

$125,000 (1967 Cessna 401)

$365,000 (1985 Cessna 402C)[1]
Developed from Cessna 411[2]

The Cessna 401 and 402 are series of 6 to 10 seat, light twin, piston engine aircraft. This line was manufactured by Cessna from 1966 to 1985 under the name Utiliner and Businessliner.[2][3] All seats are easily removable so that the aircraft can be used in an all-cargo configuration.[2] Neither the Cessna 401 nor the 402 were pressurized, nor were they particularly fast for the installed horsepower. Instead, Cessna intended them to be inexpensive to purchase and operate.[3]


The Cessna 401 and 402 were developed to be non-pressurized twin engine piston aircraft. Their goal was to be a workhorse, useful to cargo and small commuter airlines among other users.

The Cessna 401 and 402 were developments of the Cessna 411.[2] One goal for the Cessna 401/402 was to improve upon the very bad single engine handling of the Cessna 411.[1] Another goal was to avoid using the somewhat expensive and maintenance prone geared engines of the Cessna 411.[1]

Cessna 401s and 402s are powered by 300 hp (224 kW) turbocharged Continental engines with three-bladed, constant speed, fully feathering propellers. On later models cruise power was limited to 75% to reduce cabin noise. Some aircraft have a propeller synchrophaser to reduce cabin noise and vibration.[2]

The FAA granted certification to the Cessna 401 in October 1968 and the 402 in January 1969.[4]

The original Cessna 402 was introduced in 1967. A version without the large cargo door called the Cessna 401 was produced at the same time.[1]

In 1969, the 402's nose was stretched for added baggage space. This model was renamed the 402A. The 401 kept the original nose.[1]

In 1970, various minor changes were made. Also, optional larger (184 gallon) fuel tanks became available. This model was called the 402B.[1]

By 1971, sales of the 401 had slowed to only 21 planes, so the model was discontinued.[1]

Between 1971 and 1977, many changes were made to the airframe, including an optional engine fire extinguisher (1971), simpler exhaust system (1972), enlarged passenger windows (1973), equipment for flight into known icing conditions (1975), and an optional flushing toilet (1977).[1]

In 1976, the very similar Cessna 421 was produced with a new wing, no tip tanks, and a simpler fuel system. The Cessna 414 was given a clean wing in 1978.

In 1979, the 402s received a new wing, with a five foot greater span. The landing gear was replaced, using the simpler system from the Cessna 414. The landing gear track was also increased by four feet. The engines’ output was boosted to 325 hp each and max gross weight increased to 6,850 pounds, creating a much more useful airplane. Fuel capacity was increased to 213 gallons. Even with the weight increase, single-engine performance went up and the stall speed went down by a couple of knots. After this change, the plane was named the Cessna 402C.[4][1]

Production stopped after the 1985 model year.


In 1969, American Jet Industries began work on a turboprop-powered conversion of the Cessna 402, named the Turbo Star 402, using Allison 250-B17 engines.[5] The prototype flew on 10 June 1970.[5] Further modifications providing increased fuel tankage, higher gross weight, and lower minimum control speed were carried out in 1974 and the modification was recertificated.[5] Scenic Airlines of Las Vegas purchased the rights to the design in 1977.[6]

The Cessna 402C may be outfitted with vortex generators to increase maximum allowable takeoff weight to 7,210 lb (3,270 kg), with a zero-fuel weight of 6,750 lb (3,062 kg).[7]

Another modification for the 402C increases the maximum landing weight to 7,200 lb (3,266 kg), which allows commercial operators to fly with an increased payload on shorter routes.[8]

Hendrik Venter of DMI engineering created the Falcon 402 : a converted Cessna 402 fitted with a single Walter M601D turboprop in the nose and replacing the two piston engines in the wings with new fuel tanks. The nose was lengthened in order to correct the centre of gravity. It has an increased payload and top speed and can use shorter runways[9]


The 1967 model Cessna 402 showing the four oval windows characteristic of early 402s

This family of aircraft was built in several versions:

Six to eight seat interior, intended for corporate transport. Produced 1966-1972. The replacement for the 401 in the corporate transport role was the 402 Businessliner variant. Certified 20 September 1966.[2][10][11]
A 401 with minor changes, . Certified 29 October 1968.[11][12]
A 401A with minor changes, later replaced by the 402B. Certified 12 November 1969.[11][12]
A 401 with either a utility (for freight) or nine-seat commuter use. Certified 20 September 1966.[11][12]
A 402 with a baggage compartment in lengthened nose and an optional crew entry door. Certified 3 January 1969.[11][12]
402B Utiliner/Businessliner
402A with minor changes, from 1972 had increased cabin volume and five windows each side. Certified 12 November 1969.[11][12]
  • Utiliner version has a ten-seat interior intended for commuter airline operations.[2]
  • Businessliner version has a six to eight-seat interior with executive seating intended for corporate transport.[2]
402C Utiliner/Businessliner
402B with 325 hp engines, increased takeoff weight, longer wingspan without main tip tanks and hydraulic instead of electric landing gear, . Certified 25 September 1978.[11][12]


Two Cape Air Cessna 402Cs in San Juan, Puerto Rico


The Cessna 402 has proven to be very dependable over the years, which, along with its range and passenger capacity, has made it a popular choice for many small regional airlines worldwide. The aircraft are generally flown on short, thin routes to hubs where passengers can connect to higher density routes.

The largest operator of the type is Cape Air, which as of March 2015 has a fleet of over 83 Cessna 402s operating in the Caribbean, Micronesia and United States.[13][14]


A Cessna 402C of the Swedish Coast Guard in 1981
 Colombia[citation needed]


American R&B singer Aaliyah, died along with eight others, including the pilot, two hairstylists, makeup artist, bodyguard, and three record label professionals, when the Cessna 402B, in which the pilot was flying, registered N8097W, crashed shortly after takeoff on August 25, 2001 around 6:50pm local time, in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, The Bahamas. The main cause of the crash was determined to be an improperly loaded aircraft, which was approximately 700 pounds over its maximum takeoff weight, and a center of gravity well aft of the envelope.[24] Investigators discovered that the pilot, Luis Morales III, was unlicensed at the time of the crash and had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system.[25][26] Aaliyah's family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways, which was settled out of court.[27]

Specifications (402C)[edit]

Data from Plane & Pilot, Airliners.net, The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage

General characteristics


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide vol 2
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 92. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  3. ^ a b Montgomery, MR & Gerald Foster: A Field Guide to Airplanes, Second Edition, page 108. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. ISBN 0-395-62888-1
  4. ^ a b http://twinandturbine.com/article/cessna-402-cabin-class-twin/
  5. ^ a b c Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1977–78, p.398
  6. ^ Taylor 1989, p. 793
  7. ^ "Cessna 402C - Micro Vortex Generator Kit ( Micro VGs)". microaero.com. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  8. ^ "AeroAcoustics Aircraft Systems Aircraft Payload Extender APE XL for 4…". aeroacoustics.com. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Pilot's Post - Falcon 402 Project". www.pilotspost.co.za. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  10. ^ Demand Media, Inc (2008). "The Cessna 411, 401 & 402". Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Federal Aviation Administration (March 2007). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A7CE". Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Simpson 1991, page 108
  13. ^ Cape Air (2014). "Our Story". Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Cape Air Sustains Cessna 402 Fleet While Searching for Replacement". aviationpros.com. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Siegrist 1987, p. 176.
  16. ^ Wheeler 1980, p. 1330.
  17. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  18. ^ Wheeler 1980, p. 1337.
  19. ^ Wheeler 1980, p. 1344.
  20. ^ Wheeler 1980, p. 1357.
  21. ^ Gaines 1982, p. 1387.
  22. ^ Niccoli Air Enthusiast May–June 1998, p. 38.
  23. ^ Flight International 30 November 1985, p. 99.
  24. ^ NTSB (2001-08-25). "NTSB Identification: MIA01RA225". Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  25. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Pilot Of Aaliyah's Plane Had Been Caught With Cocaine, Was Not Authorized To Fly: Luis Morales' pilot's license should have been revoked under FAA rules". MTV.com, August 29, 2001. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  26. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Aaliyah Killed In Plane Crash". MTV.com, August 26, 2001. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  27. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. "Aaliyah's Parents Settle Crash Lawsuit". People. Retrieved 27 March 2014.


External links[edit]