Cessna 320 Skyknight

$67,000 turbocharged monoplane introduced in 1961

1963 Cessna 320B Skyknight
photo: Tomás Del Coro

The 320 Skynight was a large, refined aircraft produced by Cessna. It features a wider cabin and also boasts turbocharging, one of the numerous areas in which Cessna pioneered or at least persisted, where other aircraft manufacturers attempted but were not successful.

Manufacturer:
Cessna
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1961 to: 1969
ICAO:
C320
Price:
US$.067 million (1961)

Specifications

Avionics:
Engine:
2x Continental TSIO-470-B
piston
Power:
260 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
240 knots
444 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
68 knots
Travel range:
740 Nautical Miles
1,370 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
28,100 feet
Rate of Climb:
1820 feet / minute
9.25metre / second
Take Off Distance:
414 metre - 1,358.25 feet
Landing Distance:
521 metre - 1,709.30 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
2,263 Kg
4,989 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
1,446 Kg
3,188 lbs
Max Payload:
816 Kg
1,799 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
133 gallon
503 litre
Baggage Volume:
0.1 m3 / 4 ft3
Seats - Economy / General:
6 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
1.2 metre - 3.94 feet
Cabin Width:
1.2 metre - 3.94 feet
Cabin Length:
2.6 metre - 8.53 feet
Exterior Length:
8.9 metre - 29.20 feet
Tail height:
3.12 metre - 10.24 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1.3 metre - 4.27 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
11.18 metre - 36.68 feet
Wing Tips:
no winglets
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Description

The 320 Skynight was developed out of efforts of Cessna to produce a heavier variant of the 310 model. The initial Skynight features supercharged engines for better performance. In 1963, the canted wingtip tanks were incorporated. In 1966, engine power was increased from 260 to 285 horsepower.

The later models had extended engine nacelles for added baggage capacity, a roomier cabin with a larger glass area, and other modifications. Despite these added features, the aircraft’s gross weight is just 100 pounds heavier compared to the Cessna 310. Also, it features a cruise speed approximately 17% greater due to its capability to fly at higher altitudes with good performance.

From 1963 to 1968, the Skynight introduced several variants starting with the 320A with canted fuel tanks, 47 of this type were built. The 320B has nacelle baggage lockers; 62 aircraft were built. The 320C features a longer cabin and an optional seventh seat; 73 of this type were built.

The 320D Executive is equipped with reshaped rear windows and TSIO-520-B engines; 130 were built. The 320E Executive has a pointed nose, single-piece windshield, improved landing gear, and an increase in take-off weight; 110 were built. The 320F Executive is the last version that features solid-state voltage regulators, double-pane windows, and a soundproofed configuration; 45 were built.

The Skynight has a maximum cruising speed of 240 knots and a range of 740 nautical miles. It can fly up to 28,100 feet and has a climb rate of 1,820 feet per minute. It has a takeoff and landing distance of 414 meters and 521 meters respectively.

The maximum take-off weight is 2263 kg while the maximum landing weight is 1,446 kg. It has a maximum payload of 816 kg and a fuel capacity of 133 US gal.

The aircraft could carry a maximum of six persons on board. It has an exterior length of 8.9 meters, a height of 2.18 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.3 meters. The wheelbase is 3.15 meters and the wingspan is 11.18 meters. It has a cabin length of 2.6 meters, width, and height of 1.2 meters.