Cessna 421 Golden Eagle

$130,000 light transport aircraft born in the 1960s

N999DM Cessna Golden Eagle 421
photo: Pete Webber

A very stable, light transport aircraft of Cessna. The 421 Golden Eagle was a pressurized development of the Cessna 411, powered by two Continental piston engines capable of delivering 375 horsepower of thrust.

Manufacturer:
Cessna
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1967 to: 1985
ICAO:
C421
Price:
US$.13 million (1968)

Specifications

Avionics:
Engine:
2x Continental GTSIO-520-H
piston
Power:
375 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
256 knots
474 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
76 knots
Travel range:
1,487 Nautical Miles
2,754 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
30,200 feet
Rate of Climb:
1940 feet / minute
9.86metre / second
Take Off Distance:
708 metre - 2,322.81 feet
Landing Distance:
699 metre - 2,293.28 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
3,379 Kg
7,449 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
2,330 Kg
5,137 lbs
Max Payload:
764 Kg
1,684 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
206 gallon
780 litre
Baggage Volume:
2.3 m3 / 81 ft3
Seats - Economy / General:
8 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
1.3 metre - 4.27 feet
Cabin Width:
1.4 metre - 4.59 feet
Cabin Length:
3.45 metre - 11.32 feet
Exterior Length:
11.2 metre - 36.74 feet
Tail height:
3.5 metre - 11.48 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1.55 metre - 5.09 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
12.5 metre - 41.01 feet
Wing Tips:
no winglets
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Description

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Production and Development

In May 1967, the initial production of the Cessna 421 started. In 1968, it was introduced to the public. Similar to the Cessna 310, the original 421 is designed with a “Stabila-Tip” fuel tanks on the wingtips, electromechanical landing gear, and a 170-gallon fuel system. The aircraft became a crowd-puller; two hundred were sold in its first year.

The Golden Eagle has increased its demand for the public. As a result, after a year, refinements were applied with some modifications such as a three-inch stretch of the fuselage, an additional five gallons of fuel capacity, and a 40-pound added in its gross weight. The new version was designated as the Cessna 421A.

In 1971, other significant improvements in the design were made. The gross weight and empty weight have increased. The wingspan was extended by two feet, increasing the service ceiling by 5,000 feet. The nose was also extended two feet to lodge a larger baggage compartment that could carry a 6-foot, 600-pound object. This version is designated as the 421B.

In 1975, the aircraft got more refinements such as the improvement in the pressurization system, wider cabin, and larger round windows. The aircraft is also equipped with a package of equipment allowing it to fly even into known icing conditions.

In 1976, the version 421C was introduced. The initial Stabila-Tip tanks were replaced by a wet-wing fuel system. It provided several benefits such as increased fuel capacity, obtained weight savings, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced performance. The hydraulic system replaced the electromechanical landing gear. It had a trailing-link and a high-pressure nitrogen bottle system for emergency purposes. The 421C was produced until 1985 and 1,905 aircraft had been delivered.

On May 1, 1967, the Cessna 421 received its FAA type certification. It had the same common type certificate with the other Cessna models.

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Design

The Cessna 421 Golden Eagle is a low-wing monoplane with all-metal construction, retractable tricycle undercarriage, and a pair of piston engines mounted on each wing in tractor configuration. It has an exterior length of 11.2 meters, a height of 3.5 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.55 meters. The wingspan is 12.53 meters, the wing area is 20 square meters, and the wheelbase is 3.35 meters.

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Cabin and Cockpit

The Golden Eagle features a quiet cabin because the engines providing sufficient power at low prop speeds. The pressurization system ensures great comfort at altitude by continuously pumping fresh, outside air into the fuselage. The1.4-meter wide cabin has enough room for amenities such as a galley and a toilet. The aircraft has a cabin height of 1.3 meters and a length of 3.45 meters. It can accommodate six to ten passengers depending on the variant.

The cockpit is equipped with an adjustable seat for the pilot. There is a thick window pillar that blocks the outside view. On versions with ice equipment package, the entire windshield is heated, getting rid of the flat hot plate that is typical on most twins. The panel features good design for the most portion, with the engine gauges positioned at the right-top, near the pilot’s line of vision. On the 421C version, the capacitance-type fuel gauge is located on the right; these provide more accurate readings compared to float gauges.

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle Engine and Performance

The Cessna 421 Golden eagle is powered by a pair of Continental GTSIO-520 turbocharged, fuel-injected, and geared flat-six engines producing 375 horsepower each. This 6-cylinder horizontally opposed piston engine has an overhead valve train, TCM fuel injection, and an air-cooled cooling system. It has a length of 1.61 meters, a width of 86.5 centimeters, and a height of 67.6 centimeters.

The aircraft can fly up to 30,200 feet and has a climb rate of 1,940 feet per minute. It has a maximum speed of 256 knots at 20,000 feet, a cruise speed of 240 knots, and a range of 1,487 nautical miles at 25,000 feet.

The 421 has a maximum takeoff and landing weight of 3,379 kg and 2,330 kg respectively. It has a maximum payload of 764 kg and a fuel capacity of 206 US gal.