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22 May 2022, 10:01 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 02:03 
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So, I often see it noted that the 421C is the top of the line piston twin when stepping up from a Baron or C310. This is often cited based on operating costs, cabin comfort, and low noise levels. The only real competitors appears to be turboprops, i.e., MU-2, 425, 441, Turbo Commanders, etc. Really? Why doesn't the 414AW get any love?

From what I can see, the Chancellor stacks up pretty well, especially the 414AW RAM VII. It doesn't have the complexity of the geared engines and still has pretty decent performance.

Here's what I am wondering. If we set aside operating costs (because I think the argument can be made that a 421C and 414AW have costs that are in the same neighborhood) then can one approximate the comfort of the 421C with a well-appointed 414AW? Starting with a 414A, here's what one could add:

RAM VII conversion with winglets
421C seats
Soundproofing - like Soundex
4-blade MTV-14 prop from MT (quieter?)

With these on a 414AW, do you think noise levels and passenger comfort would be on par with the 421C?

Vic


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 06:06 
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Noise levels won’t be close, and it’ll be slower. That said the 414 is much cheaper to buy, and it’s not loud. It’s just that the 421 noise levels are closer to a jet than a piston.

I’ve flown in several 441s with no “soundproofing” and with. I can’t tell the difference. Given they all have the same windows this makes sense. Incidentally the 421 is much quieter than a 441.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 08:52 
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Joined: 05/17/11
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Username Protected wrote:
So, I often see it noted that the 421C is the top of the line piston twin when stepping up from a Baron or C310. This is often cited based on operating costs, cabin comfort, and low noise levels. The only real competitors appears to be turboprops, i.e., MU-2, 425, 441, Turbo Commanders, etc. Really? Why doesn't the 414AW get any love?

From what I can see, the Chancellor stacks up pretty well, especially the 414AW RAM VII. It doesn't have the complexity of the geared engines and still has pretty decent performance.

Here's what I am wondering. If we set aside operating costs (because I think the argument can be made that a 421C and 414AW have costs that are in the same neighborhood) then can one approximate the comfort of the 421C with a well-appointed 414AW? Starting with a 414A, here's what one could add:

RAM VII conversion with winglets
421C seats
Soundproofing - like Soundex
4-blade MTV-14 prop from MT (quieter?)

With these on a 414AW, do you think noise levels and passenger comfort would be on par with the 421C?

Vic


They are not complex. This is a long standing narrative started by many who have never owned one.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 09:24 
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Username Protected wrote:
RAM VII conversion with winglets
421C seats
Soundproofing - like Soundex
4-blade MTV-14 prop from MT (quieter?)

You're going to spend a truckload of money trying to make a 414 into a 421 and you'll still have a lesser airplane.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 09:59 
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Location: Dallas, TX (KADS & KJWY)
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Buy the 421.

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 11:27 
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Username Protected wrote:
Buy the 421.

This.

A 414 is underpowered. Trust me.

_________________
----Still emotionally attached to my Baron, but loving my Conquest----


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 12:36 
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Username Protected wrote:

With these on a 414AW, do you think noise levels and passenger comfort would be on par with the 421C?



No, your props are still not turning at 1800 rpm like in the 421.

Forget the 414, I have owned both and the quietness of the 421, plus the added useful load makes it a much better plane.

All the talk about geared engines being complex is BS.

Hilgard


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 14:39 
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As I suspected. There's no free lunch. I was just looking at the acquisition costs and the 421C does indeed cost more.

As for mission, I am looking for a twin for my small business - to shuttle myself, staff, and clients on regional trips (200 - 600 nm). Impressions matter, so noise and comfort are key. We don't have turboprop money, so I was trying to work around the usual argument to just step up to an MU-2, 425/441, etc.

Look like finding a well-equipped 421C will be better then turning a 414A into a project plane.

Vic.


Last edited on 07 Mar 2022, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 15:53 
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Username Protected wrote:
I was just looking at the acquisition costs and the 421C does indeed cost more.


Not always...a CLEAN 414AW is rare and expensive due to the small fleet size.

The 421 fleet is about 2000 units and only the first 350 units were 421/421A...there are 700 421B's and almost 900C's so you've got a much bigger pool of airplanes worth buying to draw from.

The 421 fleet was used WAY more in commercial ops (air ambulance, shuttle, charter, etc.) than the 414 fleet so it's got more hours but there are a lot more well sorted 421's too.

Big cabin, quiet, big ecosystem, etc...get the 421.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 16:05 
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Username Protected wrote:
We don't have turboprop money, so I I was trying to work around the usual argument to just step up to an MU-2, 425/441, etc.

You'll want to be REALLY careful with that trap. 12 cylinders, 4 mags, 24 plugs and leads, intake valves, exhaust valves, fuel injection and upper deck plumbing; plus turbos, fuel pumps, transfer pumps, air conditioning, exhaust AD's, engine beams, wiring, pressure bulkheads, gear rigging, hydraulics, deice boots and heated glass...all wrapped up in something 40-50 years old.

Before the current gas/energy spike people repeatedly have made the case of a 421B/C being a $750+/hour airplane.

Also it's a universal constant that the first 2 - 3 years of pressurized piston twin ownership are murderous.

It won't be very long before people smarter and more successful than me come into this thread and give you very solid reasons why they went from a 421 to a MU-2, 425, 441, Commander, Merlin, etc and never looked back.

Edit: You're also obligated to ask yourself how much longer Textron wants 421's and 414's around. :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 16:33 
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This is all true, everything said above is great advice. We are starting year 3 of ownership of our 421C. It is AWESOME, (when everything is working). It took a solid 18 months to get caught up on deferred maintenance, and those were frustrating and expensive months. My favorite attributes are the cavernous baggage compartments, low noise level (kids don't need headsets) and versatility (fly high, fly low, good environmental systems, ice protection, radar...) I cannot comment on the overall cost to own and operate an MU2 but we certainly did consider it. Our hourly costs have been between $600-700/ hour. I know the MU2 insurance issue was a big factor as well as the looming concern that we could need to replace an engine that costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 16:34 
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Forget all the cost per mile nonsense and think total dollars per year.

If you are only flying 75 to 150 hours per year you won’t get the lower per mile cost of a turbine.
The turbine will need to fly 250 or more hours per year to get the cost per mile down to a good 421C cost at 100 hours per year.

The TOTAL COST per year will be more for the turbine if you are only flying 100 hours per year.

If you are going to fly 75,000 to 100,000 NM per year a Turbine is better and more cost effective. If you are flying 20,000 to 30,000 NM per year a “good” 421C is more cost effective in total dollars per year.

The key words here are a “GOOD TURBINE” or a “GOOD 421C.”

There is a lot of junk out there and the buyers need to be very careful.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 17:06 
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Username Protected wrote:
Forget all the cost per mile nonsense and think total dollars per year.

If you are only flying 75 to 150 hours per year you won’t get the lower per mile cost of a turbine.
The turbine will need to fly 250 or more hours per year to get the cost per mile down to a good 421C cost at 100 hours per year.


There is a lot of junk out there and the buyers need to be very careful.


I see this repeated (seems to be by people who don't own or manage one) but I still don't understand the math, where does this come from? Also "turbine" is no more specific than "piston". A C425 and a KA360 are about as similar as a 172 and a 414.

Turbines are generally more expensive in the broad sense of course, but I have found the difference to be surprisingly small and not really related to hours per year relative to a piston when you are comparing similar (or almost identical) airframes such as a 421 and a 425. The hours per year math is true if you're spending $4M on a new TBM because the capital cost is so high, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Total annual costs are within the average variance on a 421C on a per year basis. There will definitely be years a 425 is cheaper than a 425, and the reverse. Gas per mile is comparable, as are engine reserves. Most things that can destroy a PT6 would be covered by insurance, and even in that case you do not need to replace it with a new one. Hot sections on a small PT6 are far cheaper than overhauling a GTSIO.

There are people asking a million dollars for a nice 421. If they sell for $900k, and if a nice 425 is 1.3M, if you can find one, that's also not a huge difference given you're flying faster and higher and dispatch is higher.


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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 18:00 
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Username Protected wrote:
Forget all the cost per mile nonsense and think total dollars per year.

If you are only flying 75 to 150 hours per year you won’t get the lower per mile cost of a turbine.
The turbine will need to fly 250 or more hours per year to get the cost per mile down to a good 421C cost at 100 hours per year.


There is a lot of junk out there and the buyers need to be very careful.


I see this repeated (seems to be by people who don't own or manage one) but I still don't understand the math, where does this come from? Also "turbine" is no more specific than "piston". A C425 and a KA360 are about as similar as a 172 and a 414.

Turbines are generally more expensive in the broad sense of course, but I have found the difference to be surprisingly small and not really related to hours per year relative to a piston when you are comparing similar (or almost identical) airframes such as a 421 and a 425. The hours per year math is true if you're spending $4M on a new TBM because the capital cost is so high, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Total annual costs are within the average variance on a 421C on a per year basis. There will definitely be years a 425 is cheaper than a 425, and the reverse. Gas per mile is comparable, as are engine reserves. Most things that can destroy a PT6 would be covered by insurance, and even in that case you do not need to replace it with a new one. Hot sections on a small PT6 are far cheaper than overhauling a GTSIO.

There are people asking a million dollars for a nice 421. If they sell for $900k, and if a nice 425 is 1.3M, if you can find one, that's also not a huge difference given you're flying faster and higher and dispatch is higher.



Ok let’s keep it to just 421C’s and 425’s. A good reliable 421C will be 500 to 600,000 dollars.
That 900,000 advertisement for a 421C is bull $hit!!!

A good reliable 425 will be 1.5 to 1.6M. That is a million dollars extra in capital expenses.

I go to TECHNICAIR in Fresno on a regular basis and know the whole crew there.
I see first hand all maintenance expenses for old 425’s and 441’s. They are eye watering!!
On a annual basis of 100 hours per year the 421C is less to operate compared to a 425 or 441. Provided the 421C is in good condition.

I hope you enjoy your 441 and nothing breaks.

Last edited on 07 Mar 2022, 18:08, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cessna 421c or 414AW for comfort
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2022, 18:07 
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Username Protected wrote:

I see this repeated (seems to be by people who don't own or manage one) but I still don't understand the math, where does this come from? Also "turbine" is no more specific than "piston". A C425 and a KA360 are about as similar as a 172 and a 414.

Turbines are generally more expensive in the broad sense of course, but I have found the difference to be surprisingly small and not really related to hours per year relative to a piston when you are comparing similar (or almost identical) airframes such as a 421 and a 425. The hours per year math is true if you're spending $4M on a new TBM because the capital cost is so high, but that's not what we're talking about here.

Total annual costs are within the average variance on a 421C on a per year basis. There will definitely be years a 425 is cheaper than a 425, and the reverse. Gas per mile is comparable, as are engine reserves. Most things that can destroy a PT6 would be covered by insurance, and even in that case you do not need to replace it with a new one. Hot sections on a small PT6 are far cheaper than overhauling a GTSIO.

There are people asking a million dollars for a nice 421. If they sell for $900k, and if a nice 425 is 1.3M, if you can find one, that's also not a huge difference given you're flying faster and higher and dispatch is higher.



Ok let’s keep it to just 421C’s and 425’s. A good reliable 421C will be 500 to 600,000 dollars.
That 900,000 add for a 421C is bull $hit!!!

A good reliable 425 will be 1.5 to 1.6M. That is a million dollars extra in capital expenses.

I go to TECHNICAIR in Fresno on a regular basis and know the whole crew there.
I see first hand all maintenance expenses for old 425’s and 441’s. They are eye watering!!
On a annual basis of 100 hours per year the 421C is less to operate compared to a 425 or 441. Provided the 421C is in good condition.

I hope you enjoy your 441 and nothing breaks.


You don't know the 425 market. Even a blackhawk 425 would be hard pressed to get much over $1.4M (you can get a decent 441 for less than that). I know of a non-blackhawk 425 that just sold off market for far less than some of the 421Cs that are listed. Needed some inspections but was in overall good shape and definitely not junk. $1.6M would be getting a donor 425 and having blackhawk strip it to metal and put in a new interior, panel, paint, and engines. Not really a relevant comparison, and doing the same thing to a 421C with new engines would probably be not terribly far off of that.

I have nothing vested other than helping people with what I see and experience, I own (in partnership) both piston and turbine twin cessnas. Both are great. I recommend people look at a 425 if looking at a 421, given the sharp increase in 421 prices over the last year.

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