Cessna 320

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by bigred177, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. bigred177

    bigred177 Line Up and Wait

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    So in my quest for a six-seat piston I recently ran across the Cessna 320. Seems like it has a decent load, fast, and pretty low price. I know buying a twin is the cheap part of owning one but what is the opinion on them? There are a few with low time engines and good avionics going for not much money online.
     
  2. bbchien

    bbchien Final Approach

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    ...that's because the sleds are nearly irreplaceable and almost all of them got coked by failure to maintain the underspar exhaust slip joints. It's a big uestion whether or not Kosola can repair a set......PLUS, the cessna tuna tank AD for the wingspar is a coming.....to a 320 near you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  3. colomtnflyer

    colomtnflyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Guess it depends on what week it is!

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    Talk to Everskyward (Mari) about the 320... She flew one for a number of years.

    I can attest to the cost of keeping an older Cessna in the air, I have a 1964 310-I. And though its fun, the costs each year are going up, and parts are becoming increasingly more difficult to find. And don't look at getting rid of it easily, either! Older piston twins are the bottom of the market these days..
     
  4. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Hmmm... I wondered why my ears were burning. I do have quite a bit of time in a Cessna 320 although it was in the 10-20 years ago range so I can't say that I remember that much. The one I flew only had 3 seats because it was used for mapping. I don't think you could fill all 6 seats and still carry full fuel. I know that with two people and about 250 lbs worth of mapping equipment we were at max gross with full fuel. I haven't kept up with the status of any ADs although I vaguely remember that there were some repetitive ones that we did at the same time as the oil change. I know that the airplane I flew had to have some work done due to corrosion from the exhaust system. It's also important to keep the landing gear rigged properly since it's a complicated system with many possible points of failure. I managed to find one of them. I would also echo Ric's (colomtnflyer's) remarks about the expense of keeping an older airplane flying. It seemed like every time we had someone work on the avionics they broke another wire so that something else didn't work. The wiring and connections get brittle with age and just moving them can cause a problem it seems.

    I'm not sure of your (bigred's) background if but if you have very little twin time the insurance company will probably require a pretty lengthy checkout. I remember mine being 20 hours and that was back in about 1990. As far as flying it, I remember it being a little hot rod compared to the Cessna 206 I flew before it.
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The one person I talked to who owned a 320 loved it... until the wing caught fire and about killed his brother and his family (all in the plane). Seems that those exhaust ADs are there for a reason.

    I love flying the 310, and I suspect the 320 would be similar but with the advantages of turbos. Of course, also the disadvantages (higher maintenance costs, etc.). There is no question that, compared to the Aztec, it requires more maintenance and parts cost more. The fact that the previous owner of the one I fly took such great care of it helps keep the costs down, but the Aztec is, without question, a cheaper plane to keep flying, and I bought it from an owner who didn't take great care of it.

    If you want a twin Cessna, I'd consider a 310 first. If you want a twin in general, the 310, Baron, and Aztec are all good options. I like flying the 310 the best, the Aztec is the biggest, and the Baron is just an all-around nice plane.
     
  6. nyoung

    nyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For the pilots out there with time in both the T310R and 320...

    I've always wondered about the differences. Is the 320 a bigger plane? To me, it looks bigger, although that could just be the 4th side windows. It also has an option for 7 seats, which I don't think the 310 ever had...

    Anyway, to the OP. I'm sure they cost a boatload to operate and maintain, but there are some really sharp looking (panel, interior, and exterior) 320s out there for <<$100k.
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As I understand it, the 320 is a 310 with turbocharged engines. The T310R is a 310R with turbocharged engines. The R model 310s are bigger airplanes. If you look at a 310/320, you'll see that the cabin starts out wider and taller, and then tapers down as it goes back. The 310R by comparison keeps the cabin wider and taller further back, making for more room for passengers, luggage, dogs, etc. A friend of mine upgraded from a standard 310 to a T310R, and having sat in his T310R and flying a standard 310 I see his point.

    I hadn't heard about an option for 7 seats in a 320, and can't imagine where you'd fit a 7th seat. 6 seats in a 310 (R or otherwise) leaves it pretty well full. By comparison, the 335/340 you could get with 7 seats, even though the useful load concerns made it challenging to fit that many in. We had someone fly in in a 340 with 6 big guys. They had to stop every 2 hours for fuel because of how little they could carry with the 6 big guys in the plane.
     
  8. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    The C-320 did have a taller cabin than the contemporary C-310, and different from the later C-310R with the rear window. See photos below.
    Never heard of such an option -- but considering what Cessna did with kiddie seats in other models in those days, I suppose anything's possible.
     

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  9. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    The 320 is the forerunner of the 335/340.
     
  10. bigred177

    bigred177 Line Up and Wait

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    Very interesting stuff. It's a shame they have such issues, they seem like a hot rod of an airplane. The Aztec seems to be the best for people and load hauling for the price, but it's fun to ponder other planes.

    What about the Twin Bonanza? Fold flat seats!!! :yes: :thumbsup:
     
  11. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Filing Flight Plan

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    I have owned a C-320 for the last 10 years. It is an excellent airplane for the money, and for a twin, fairly economical. The turbos give you excellent climb performance and the ability to cruise in the higher altitudes.

    There is no wing spar AD. The FAA backed away from and AD requiring a spar strap for virtually the entire twin Cessna fleet several years ago. The only AD of significance is the exhuast AD that applies to all turbo'd twin Cessna's, which is an inspection that adds about 4 hrs to the cost of each annual.
     
  12. kmead

    kmead Line Up and Wait

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    My father owned 3 different C310s when I was in high school. I started my multi in a G model and finished in an L model. My father always wanted a C320. He finally bought one in the SW US, but the seller blew the nose up while filling the O2 bottle before delivery. That ended my chance to fly the 320.
     
  13. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread but I am going to.. what is the deal with the Cessna 340?
     
  14. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    its 20 better than the 320
     
  15. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    the volume goes to 11
     
  16. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    Basically a 320 with pressurized cabin.
     
  17. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It gives people the sex appeal of a cabin class twin but is more economical than a 421. Of course, it's more economical because it's smaller.

    I love 340s, primarily because of the sex appeal. But I think the 310 is more logical if you don't need pressurization.
     
  18. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually a 340 is a 335 with a pressurized cabin. The 340 is a cabin-class plane. The 320 and 340 are two totally different planes. Just as different as the 310 and the 340.
     
  19. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    340 wings, engines, horizontal tail and landing gear were derived from the later versions of the 320 and the T310 which replaced it. True, the pressure vessel fuselage was a new design. 335 came along about seven or eight years after the 340 was introduced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  20. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In that case a 335 is a non-pressurized 340. :D
     
  21. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    No such thing. A 320 has TSIO 470s on it. The T310R as well as 340s has TSIO 520s which are worlds apart in reliability and operating costs.
     
  22. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The "newer" ones including the one I flew had TSIO 520s.
     
  23. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    320 (1962) through 320C (1965) had TSIO-470s; 320D (1966) through 320F (1968) had TSIO-520s.

    The 1969 T310P, according to Thompson's book, was "Basically a Model 310P with Model 320F wings and engines."
     
  24. mscard88

    mscard88 En-Route

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    One thing that I liked about the 310R was that big cargo bin in the nose. Helped tremendously with W&B compared with older model 310s.