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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #1
MitchB MitchB is offline
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Cessna 310/320 Why not?

New to this Forum, and glad to be here!

I'm a former Navy / former Airline guy, ATP rating, with lots of multi time (C-130 / KingAir 200). Very little piston experience.
Now in a position to consider an airplane purchase that will be 60% Biz use / 40% personal travel.

I'm doing a bunch of research and it's pushing me toward light twins.

The usual singles (Bo's, Mooneys, Commanche) feel cramped, so I'm drawn toward the twins - particularly the 310/320s.

The added speed and size (comfort and solid feel) kinda make the fuel costs more than bearable.
I'm a bit smitten with the newer avionics/GPS cockpits and twins seem to be better equipped.
Leaning towards a Turbo - I like the idea of being able to cruise higher (my comfort zone) and above the bumps.

Prices for fairly nice / later 310s is comparable to older, slower singles. Yet - they come with more/better avionics, genuine de-ice, and better auto pilots, etc... Yes, there are two engines to overhaul, but a low-time purchase puts that 10 years down the road...

A lot of what I've read on the Internet is 10 years old or older. What's the latest take on light twins in terms of maint and fuel now that it's at $6.00/gal?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Paging Captain Henning!

(Henning is a member of this board who just happens to have a nice 310D for sale ... )
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:18 PM
Posted in reply to MitchB's post "Cessna 310/320 Why not?"
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchB View Post
New to this Forum, and glad to be here!

I'm a former Navy / former Airline guy, ATP rating, with lots of multi time (C-130 / KingAir 200). Very little piston experience.
Now in a position to consider an airplane purchase that will be 60% Biz use / 40% personal travel.

I'm doing a bunch of research and it's pushing me toward light twins.

The usual singles (Bo's, Mooneys, Commanche) feel cramped, so I'm drawn toward the twins - particularly the 310/320s.

The added speed and size (comfort and solid feel) kinda make the fuel costs more than bearable.
I'm a bit smitten with the newer avionics/GPS cockpits and twins seem to be better equipped.
Leaning towards a Turbo - I like the idea of being able to cruise higher (my comfort zone) and above the bumps.

Prices for fairly nice / later 310s is comparable to older, slower singles. Yet - they come with more/better avionics, genuine de-ice, and better auto pilots, etc... Yes, there are two engines to overhaul, but a low-time purchase puts that 10 years down the road...

A lot of what I've read on the Internet is 10 years old or older. What's the latest take on light twins in terms of maint and fuel now that it's at $6.00/gal?
I love mine, I'd like to trade it out for an Amphib I can make some money with at this time, but if I have it the rest of my life I won't be displeased. The cabin size is nice. I actually had 3 full size adults in the back for a flight to see the Shuttle launch and they had plenty of room, they even commented.

I run lop 21-22gph (combined) at 180kts 7500'-10,500'. The T-310R is the most capable of the lot, unfortunately it is also the biggest maintenance hog. The 310D is the best looking with the round nose and Tuna Tanks and swept tail. However, if you treat the 310 as a 180kt airplane rather than 190kt airplane, maintenance and fuel are reasonable. I estimate my operating costs $240-$260hr from historic knowledge of 310s. I have managed to operate mine so far for considerably less in the 100hrs/yr I put on it.

I had a Turboed Travel Air before and found the usefulness, especially when carrying pax, to be very limited due to O2 demands. If I was going for an altitude mission again it would be with a 421 or Aerostar.
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Last edited by Henning; April 24th, 2012 at 04:25 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:21 PM
Posted in reply to MitchB's post "Cessna 310/320 Why not?"
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Originally Posted by MitchB View Post
I'm a bit smitten with the newer avionics/GPS cockpits and twins seem to be better equipped.
This will depend what aircraft age bracket you are considering.
There are many (newer) singles which are far better equipped than many older twins.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Originally Posted by MitchB View Post
New to this Forum, and glad to be here!

I'm a former Navy(we can possibly forgive that) / former Airline guy, ATP rating, with lots of multi time (C-130(OK you are redeemed) / KingAir 200). Very little piston experience.
Now in a position to consider an airplane purchase that will be 60% Biz use / 40% personal travel.

I'm doing a bunch of research and it's pushing me toward light twins.

The usual singles (Bo's, Mooneys, Commanche) feel cramped, so I'm drawn toward the twins - particularly the 310/320s. You have the correct answer
Listen to Henning...even if he is from Florida he's right some of the time.

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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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New to this Forum, and glad to be here!

I'm a former Navy / former Airline guy, ATP rating, with lots of multi time (C-130 / KingAir 200). Very little piston experience.
Mitch, we hate you.

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Old April 24th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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This will depend what aircraft age bracket you are considering.
There are many (newer) singles which are far better equipped than many older twins.
There are many new singles with less as well, or can you not buy a steam panel anymore?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 07:54 PM
Posted in reply to MitchB's post "Cessna 310/320 Why not?"
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

I agree that there is a great variety of aircraft/equipage out there, lots of different permutations of fuselage and avionics.
I sort of envy Mitch for being on the market now....
I hope he comes back to tell us what he got.

Last edited by olasek; April 24th, 2012 at 07:56 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:31 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Mitch,

Where do you live? Where will the plane be based? Do you have a hangar or will you rent? Will you purchase insurance or self-insure? Which shop will maintain it for you?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

I fly and manage a 310 Colemill for my non-profit, and love the plane. With the IO-520-Es (300 HP instead of the factory 260), the performance is quite nice. Remember that turbos are really only going to help you on long trips with the plane, and my understanding is that the earlier 320s had a lot of issues with the exhausts. Still, I would like to have turbos, but that's because I mostly take long trips.

The planes themselves are good provided they are taken good care of. Old 310s are typically cheap because they were taken poor care of, so you need to find a good example. Henning's working on the opposite philosophy - try to charge more in hopes that it will actually be perceived to be worth more. Plus he has some shiny avionics. The problems we've had with the 310 have been avionics related rather than airframe related. I think that they're better than Barons as far as how they fly and interior comfort. Barons have more stout landing gear, so I won't take the 310 into grass strips. Meanwhile, Lance (with his Baron) gladly will take his plane. I would gladly take my Aztec into grass strips, even after Tony flew it through a lake.

With the IO-520-Es running LOP, we burn about 25 GPH combined to do 175 KTAS average. Bit faster in the winter when empty, a bit slower in the summer when heavy. I've gotten it down to 20 GPH combined at 168 KTAS at 13,000 ft with a load. But really, I typically fly between 6,000 and 11,000 ft happily. Fuel burn does go down slightly with altitude.

We've had the 310 for coming up on 2 years and about 400 hours of flight time.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM
Posted in reply to Ted DuPuis's post "Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?"
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Interesting stat that I've never seen published before. My T-210N got exactly the same speed at the same altitude burning ~15 gph. Max cabin load was ~1,000# with full tanks.




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I've gotten it down to 20 GPH combined at 168 KTAS at 13,000 ft with a load. But really, I typically fly between 6,000 and 11,000 ft happily. Fuel burn does go down slightly with altitude.

We've had the 310 for coming up on 2 years and about 400 hours of flight time.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Interesting stat that I've never seen published before. My T-210N got exactly the same speed at the same altitude burning ~15 gph. Max cabin load was ~1,000# with full tanks.
But you only had one engine!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Yeah, and that's the best part! I know he's sensitive about the subject and didn't want to rub it in. Had turbo and FIKI too.

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But you only had one engine!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:47 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Interesting stat that I've never seen published before. My T-210N got exactly the same speed at the same altitude burning ~15 gph. Max cabin load was ~1,000# with full tanks.
Wayne, did Lou Betti hack your PoA password?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:54 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Probably. Is he still driveling the Red Board with that crap?

Not to worry, I got more time in 210's than Lou has in the chow line and my stories are about when/where I flew it, not when my partner did.
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Wayne, did Lou Betti hack your PoA password?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Interesting stat that I've never seen published before. My T-210N got exactly the same speed at the same altitude burning ~15 gph. Max cabin load was ~1,000# with full tanks.
But can't you buy two 310s for the cost of a T-210?

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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Well, they're worth about half as much and cost about three times as much to own and operate, so that sounds about right.
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But can't you buy two 310s for the cost of a T-210?

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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:35 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Well, they're worth about half as much and cost about three times as much to own and operate, so that sounds about right.
Only if you're a **** poor operator and try to fly 195 because, "I didn't buy this plane to go slow." Every one I told them they bought the wrong plane. I'm very pleased with my economics and engine indications and inspections. I don't know a recent T210 operator that can show a receipt record across acquisition, upgrade and around 100 hrs operation I can, especially not at 180ktas. I can also show you the prior 2 owners 12 years receipts and records which explain why I can run at that efficiency, the last two owners spent a bucket of money over 12 years making the plane new with next to no time being flown. So I did the panel and I have another $6-12k to go, maybe an autopilot if they let me use an experimental model. I can't see the money for me for any of the brands available as they have horrible maintenance costs. At this point with the way the other manufacturers are getting about support, the only one I can see worth getting is a Cessna 400 and only then if I can do a low cost, no STC install. Even then I see the value marginal at best.

I really hope for action on owner maint, that will be a true game changer for me. It's super easy to drop her onto a float carriage.
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Last edited by Henning; April 24th, 2012 at 11:42 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

You're looking at the wrong numbers. For 100 hours/yr, hangar, insurance and MX will cost ~$200/hr in Dallas, and that's before you burn any fuel.

The money somebody else spent before you bought it can have some value for a period of time, but thinking it's an annuity or get out of jail free card for future years is delusional.

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Only if you're a **** poor operator and try to fly 195 because, "I didn't buy this plane to go slow." Every one I told them they bought the wrong plane. I'm very pleased with my economics and engine indications and inspections. I don't know a recent T210 operator that can show a receipt record across acquisition, upgrade and around 100 hrs operation I can, especially not at 180ktas. I can also show you the prior 2 owners 12 years receipts and records which explain why I can run at that efficiency, the last two owners spent a bucket of money over 12 years making the plane new with next to no time being flown. So I did the panel and I have another $6-12k to go, maybe an autopilot if they let me use an experimental model. I can't see the money for me for any of the brands available as they have horrible maintenance costs. At this point with the way the other manufacturers are getting about support, the only one I can see worth getting is a Cessna 400 and only then if I can do a low cost, no STC install. Even then I see the value marginal at best.

I really hope for action on owner maint, that will be a true game changer for me. It's super easy to drop her onto a float carriage.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Mitch,

Where do you live? Where will the plane be based? Do you have a hangar or will you rent? Will you purchase insurance or self-insure? Which shop will maintain it for you?
Thanks for the replys, guys. All good info.

My target - 310-wise anyway - is about '66 to early 70's.. I think those are the "Q" versions. I like the swoopy tip tanks, but not necessarily the longer snout of the "R's"... shooting for under 4000TT, sub 750 SMO...ish. Under $80K...ish... All just goals - not a hard target. Lucky for me - there are some really nice A/C out there. I'm probably 6-12 months from purchasing.

I fully expect to put in a all new interior, because none I've seen are even close to what I envision. Why do so many have $100K+ airplanes with the interiors of a farm truck? One of quirks of GA I cannot understand...

I assume I will have it insured. Will likely finance half, give or take.

Maint / Annuals - not sure as yet. I now live in Southern CA. Orange County area - there should be plenty of options...

I wouldn't spend "310 money" and not keep it in a hangar. There are hangars avail in the local area for $300.00/month. (There are others that are much more...).

Some of my trips will be up and down the coast for weekends away. For work, I see my flying as trips 200 to 1000 miles (I have family on the East Coast, so who knows?) often solo - so a good panel / autopilot is required. I may not always fly high, but want the option. Not sure about the O2 thing (never had it without a full mask/helmet..)

I prefer IFR to VFR for trips. I work in Aviation as a DoD consultant, so hopefully a portion of the flying will be deductable write offs.

Sorry, I'm not a fan of the high wing Cessnas. It's not you it's me. Too many out there - they all tend to look the same...
I like to sit off the ground a little. The 310 cockpit reminds me alot of the KingAir, so there is a familiarity with that.
If the security of the extra engine - and well, sex appeal - costs 5 gph... So be it.
Lastly, for me the Singles can't match the ramp appeal of the 310. Call me shallow...
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:56 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Originally Posted by wabower View Post
You're looking at the wrong numbers. For 100 hours/yr, hangar, insurance and MX will cost ~$200/hr in Dallas, and that's before you burn any fuel.

The money somebody else spent before you bought it can have some value for a period of time, but thinking it's an annuity or get out of jail free card for future years is delusional.
Hangar cost is equal, my insurance is lower.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 11:59 PM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Thanks for the replys, guys. All good info.

My target - 310-wise anyway - is about '66 to early 70's.. I think those are the "Q" versions. I like the swoopy tip tanks, but not necessarily the longer snout of the "R's"... shooting for under 4000TT, sub 750 SMO...ish. Under $80K...ish... All just goals - not a hard target. Lucky for me - there are some really nice A/C out there. I'm probably 6-12 months from purchasing.

I fully expect to put in a all new interior, because none I've seen are even close to what I envision. Why do so many have $100K+ airplanes with the interiors of a farm truck? One of quirks of GA I cannot understand...

I assume I will have it insured. Will likely finance half, give or take.

Maint / Annuals - not sure as yet. I now live in Southern CA. Orange County area - there should be plenty of options...

I wouldn't spend "310 money" and not keep it in a hangar. There are hangars avail in the local area for $300.00/month. (There are others that are much more...).

Some of my trips will be up and down the coast for weekends away. For work, I see my flying as trips 200 to 1000 miles (I have family on the East Coast, so who knows?) often solo - so a good panel / autopilot is required. I may not always fly high, but want the option. Not sure about the O2 thing (never had it without a full mask/helmet..)

I prefer IFR to VFR for trips. I work in Aviation as a DoD consultant, so hopefully a portion of the flying will be deductable write offs.

Sorry, I'm not a fan of the high wing Cessnas. It's not you it's me. Too many out there - they all tend to look the same...
I like to sit off the ground a little. The 310 cockpit reminds me alot of the KingAir, so there is a familiarity with that.
If the security of the extra engine - and well, sex appeal - costs 5 gph... So be it.
Lastly, for me the Singles can't match the ramp appeal of the 310. Call me shallow...
My old boss Ward Foley out of Long Beach and his truck. You don't get a better twin Cessna guy.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 12:07 AM
Posted in reply to MitchB's post "Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?"
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

Since you're an acknowledged shower-dick kind of guy, just go ahead and get a 340 with the air-stair door. You'll look a lot cooler waving to the crowd.

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I like to sit off the ground a little. The 310 cockpit reminds me alot of the KingAir, so there is a familiarity with that.
If the security of the extra engine - and well, sex appeal - costs 5 gph... So be it.
Lastly, for me the Singles can't match the ramp appeal of the 310. Call me shallow...
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Originally Posted by MitchB View Post
Thanks for the replys, guys. All good info.

My target - 310-wise anyway - is about '66 to early 70's.. I think those are the "Q" versions. I like the swoopy tip tanks, but not necessarily the longer snout of the "R's"... shooting for under 4000TT, sub 750 SMO...ish. Under $80K...ish... All just goals - not a hard target. Lucky for me - there are some really nice A/C out there. I'm probably 6-12 months from purchasing.

I fully expect to put in a all new interior, because none I've seen are even close to what I envision. Why do so many have $100K+ airplanes with the interiors of a farm truck? One of quirks of GA I cannot understand...

I assume I will have it insured. Will likely finance half, give or take.

Maint / Annuals - not sure as yet. I now live in Southern CA. Orange County area - there should be plenty of options...

I wouldn't spend "310 money" and not keep it in a hangar. There are hangars avail in the local area for $300.00/month. (There are others that are much more...).

Some of my trips will be up and down the coast for weekends away. For work, I see my flying as trips 200 to 1000 miles (I have family on the East Coast, so who knows?) often solo - so a good panel / autopilot is required. I may not always fly high, but want the option. Not sure about the O2 thing (never had it without a full mask/helmet..)

I prefer IFR to VFR for trips. I work in Aviation as a DoD consultant, so hopefully a portion of the flying will be deductable write offs.

Sorry, I'm not a fan of the high wing Cessnas. It's not you it's me. Too many out there - they all tend to look the same...
I like to sit off the ground a little. The 310 cockpit reminds me alot of the KingAir, so there is a familiarity with that.
If the security of the extra engine - and well, sex appeal - costs 5 gph... So be it.
Lastly, for me the Singles can't match the ramp appeal of the 310. Call me shallow...
I had a 1972 C-310Q for 10 years, it was a great airplane.

The 1970 through 1974 models were the "Q's" which are the best years of the 310 (IMO).

I would definitely avoid anything prior to '64 due to overwing exhaust problems. Even on those earlier models that have been converted to underwing exhaust, if they were not properly maintained you will have major cost involved if a repair becomes necessary.

Good luck in your search, it's a buyers market. A few nice planes out there, but also a lot of neglected junk.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #25
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Re: Cessna 310/320 Why not?

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Originally Posted by Rotor&Wing View Post
I had a 1972 C-310Q for 10 years, it was a great airplane.

The 1970 through 1974 models were the "Q's" which are the best years of the 310 (IMO).

I would definitely avoid anything prior to '64 due to overwing exhaust problems. Even on those earlier models that have been converted to underwing exhaust, if they were not properly maintained you will have major cost involved if a repair becomes necessary.

Good luck in your search, it's a buyers market. A few nice planes out there, but also a lot of neglected junk.
Very true, that was the first thing I looked at when I was told about this plane. The owner had just gone through all that and had receipts. The way I operate all the augmentors collect is fine white lead powder, they'll last me a lifetime and are worth about 5 kts best I can tell.

I agree the Q is probably all around "Best of Breed", but unless you need 6 passengers the big tube is a drag penalty, plus I never liked cantilever tanks and pointy nose. To me the D is the "Beauty of the Breed" and is also the most cost efficient 310 format, FI 260hp 470s. Without those 2 factors and the given condition I wouldn't have bought this plane.
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