Used Aircraft Guide
September 2009 Issue
Used Aircraft Guide: Cessna 425 Corsair/Conquest I
More than just a 421 with PT-6 engines, Cessna’s “baby turboprop” may be the least expensive way to move up to turbine power. But it still won’t be cheap.
For anyone alert and paying attention to general aviation during the 1970s, current offerings from the "big three" manufacturers—Beech, Cessna and Piper—must have seemed like an afterthought. Back then, all three companies offered a full range of propeller-driven aircraft, from two-seat trainers to mile-chewing turboprops. Heck, Cessna even began selling jets early in that decade. For most of us mere mortals, though, a turboprop was about all we could expect to ever try stuffing into a hangar. But even there, we had choices. Beech had been busy making its King Air line since the mid-1960s, while Piper gained FAA certification of its first Cheyenne model in 1972. Cessna, perhaps nodding to Beech’s preeminence in the market, leapfrogged turboprops altogether, preferring to put its development dollars into the Citation line, a move that’s paid off handsomely. But the ‘70s were almost ready to yield to the 1980s before Cessna type-certificated its first turboprop, the Model 441, in August 1977. Now known as the Conquest II, the Model 441 was an evolution of the Model 404 Titan, a piston-powered twin, powered by Garrett (now Honeywell) TPE331-8 Series turboprop engines. Confusingly, the Model 425—eventually dubbed Conquest I—earned its type certificate almost three full years later, and started life as the Cessna Corsair. Itself an evolution of the very successful Model 421, the 425 was powered by venerable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-112 engines. Before production of Cessna’s "Baby Turboprop" ended in 1986—along with a lot of other models from among the GA manufacturers—some 236 Model 425 Corsair/Conquest Is were produced.
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