Options and Modification Questions for 421C

Home 2024 Forums Opening Section Buying a Twin Cessna Options and Modification Questions for 421C

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  • #83705

    I’m currently a T210 owner looking to upgrade. After feedback from this site and other outside commentary I am about 75% sure a late model 421C (trailing link) is where I want to go. (the other 25% is a 425, but that is a whole other kettle of fish)

    I’d like some comments on various options/mods and their importance or usefulness.

    1) Low thrust – Fire detection/extinguishing (Factory) Is this a worthwhile enough option to eliminate looking at aircraft that do not have it?

    2) MT 4 blade composite prop. Claims faster rate of climp, 4-5kts faster cruise. Anybody have real worlrd experience?

    3) Strakes. Claim 7-10kts cruise increase, better stability and better single engine performance. Same question as above.

    Lastly, anybody want to chime in on a 421 vs. a 425 debate. I know all the pros and cons of the obvious (speed, cost, etc.) So I’d be curious if someone has a comment on the more subtle or intangible reasoning.

    Great forum so far for someone in my position trying to define what exactly I want to look for.

    Scott

    #95648

    If you have the cash get a 441 not a 425. It is a true 300kt aircraft that will go 2000 miles. The Garrett engines are more efficient and cost much less to maintain. That being said, a 425 is a great plane and one with a Blackhawk conversion is better. If you are still considering a 425, then you should consider some other aircraft also, such as a King Air B200. I know the membership will think this is blasphemy, but the B200 is a mainstream plane that pilot and passengers will love and they will go 270 kts. One other thing to keep in mind regarding a turboprop, They are considerably safer than a 421 or any other piston aircraft. The engines are significantly more reliable than piston engines. Additionally, they have much more horsepower and climb better on one engine. Finally, the additional speed allows you to deviate around weather without affecting your trip as much.

    Regarding the 421, fire detection is nice but I would not make it a no go item. Low thrust is not needed at all, when you loose an engine on a 421 you will definitely know it. MT blades are nice, but don’t hold up as well. Stone chips may ruin them quickly. Personally, I would not buy the MT props. The stories from member regarding the strakes are that the additional speed is not there. If extra knots are important to you get the 441. You will fly at near jet speeds. A friend of mine flies a 441 and regularly sees 300+ knots. If I could afford a 441, I would buy one in a second!

    #95649

    I was kind of hoping some of those mods were not just hype, oh well.

    I live in N. Cal and hangar space is tough at my home airport, and getting a hangar for 50′ + wingspan is darn near impossible. So that effectively eliminated all of the Beechcrafts early on in the discussion.

    Maybe I’ll just bide my time and build my wallet and hold out for a mustang.

    #95650

    Just to echo the turboprop remarks- If you can afford it, do it.

    I am currently a partner in an AeroCommander 840. Tremendous airplane- 296kts, (as mentioned- gets around weather without it being a huge delay), lots of power (can go around on one engine even with the gear down. No problem), (Has Garrett engines, like the 441) Can carry 7 people and bags 800 miles, or 2 people and bags 1400 miles. Fun airplane to fly! The “problem” (or the reason I am looking at a 421) is that the operating expenses are 2-2.5 times that of a 421. Our “150 hr” (annual) just cost more than entire years operating budget for a 421 (and there weren’t any “huge” items that needed addressed.) So for me, the unfortunate reality of the economy and kids entering college is causing me to make some changes. Before the Commander I had a 414. So I have always been a twin cessna fan. It was nice to smell the jet fuel for a few years.

    #95653

    A local pilot installed the MT props two months ago, they have now been back to the prop shop twice for damage repair, they do live up to the performance improvements claimed by MT, but on our ice covered runways they seem to be way too fragile for this part of the world. If you fly in an area of smooth paved uncontaminated runways Im sure they are great, but not around here, and certainly not on some of our Northern strips.

    #95655

    Scott,
    I would not bide my time. Go out and buy a good plane and start flying. Use it and enjoy it. You can always sell it and move up. One last point about these planes. If you find any good, clean, well maintained, 414, 414A, 421B, or 421C you will love it (just stay with 1973 or later for the more enjoyable larger cabin or 1975 or later with known ice if that is needed). They are all great planes with minor enjoyment of flight differences. I just left an early 414 that I loved for 10 years. I moved up to a 421B and I think it is an incredible plane. If you need the extra useful load get a 421, either a B or C. Otherwise, either a 414 or 421 will suit all of your needs. A 1980 or later model 421C is very nice. Everyone always wants the latest model, but it doesn’t fly much differently than an older B model. They are all great planes when you are in them at 17000 feet.

    #95680

    Is it my imagination or am I beginning to see an increase in the price of 421,s ? One of the instructors in a large
    insurance 400 series intro school says instruction to pilots working for small companies is the fastest growing
    segment of the business, This is substantiated by the price increases I believe I am seeing in the controller .
    Maybe these increases are to provide us with an investment return when we choose to sell. Am I seeing this
    with rose colored glass,s. This could be a good time to purchase a 300.or 400 series aircraft.
    comments welcomed.
    gthornton

    #95681

    Is it my imagination or am I beginning to see an increase in the price of 421,s ? One of the instructors in a large
    insurance 400 series intro school says instruction to pilots working for small companies is the fastest growing
    segment of the business, This is substantiated by the price increases I believe I am seeing in the controller .
    Maybe these increases are to provide us with an investment return when we choose to sell. Am I seeing this
    with rose colored glass,s. This could be a good time to purchase a 300.or 400 series aircraft.
    comments welcomed.
    gthornton

    #95683
    quote GTHORNTON:

    Is it my imagination or am I beginning to see an increase in the price of 421,s ? One of the instructors in a large
    insurance 400 series intro school says instruction to pilots working for small companies is the fastest growing
    segment of the business, This is substantiated by the price increases I believe I am seeing in the controller .
    Maybe these increases are to provide us with an investment return when we choose to sell. Am I seeing this
    with rose colored glass,s. This could be a good time to purchase a 300.or 400 series aircraft.
    comments welcomed.
    gthornton

    You mean I might have purchased at the bottom of the market for once in my life?!

    The sad truth is that you’ll spend many more $ than the purchase price over the years in the care and feeding of a 421 than you will in capital costs… Worth every damn penny though.

    Robert

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