|2006 Columbia 400 N401ST (sn 41624)
Photo taken at Arlington Northwest EAA Fly-In 2007
|Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
The Cessna 400 Corvalis TT (Twin Turbocharged) is a single-engine, fixed-gear, low-wing general aviation aircraft built from composite materials by Cessna Aircraft.
The Cessna 400 was originally built by Columbia Aircraft as the Columbia 400.
The Cessna 400 was derived from the normally-aspirated Columbia 300 which was itself derived from the Lancair ES kit aircraft.
The 400 is powered by a turbocharged Continental TSIO-550-C engine producing 310 horsepower (230 kW) at 2600 rpm. The 400 features a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit that was later incorporated into the 300 to create the Cessna 350.
The 400's Continental TSIO-550-C engine is capable of being operated lean of peak. Measured in flight at 11,000 feet (3355 m), 50 °F (28 °C) rich of peak turbine inlet temperature, maximum cruise yielded 199 knots (369 km/h) true air speed and 24.7 US gallons per hour (148.2 lb/hr, 93.8 l/hr) fuel flow. At the same operating parameters and 50-75 °F lean of peak the 400 was measured at 189 knots (350 km/h) TAS and 17.8 US gal/hr (106.8 lb/hr, 67.6 l/hr).
The Columbia 400 was marketed with an optional ice protection system, known as E-Vade that was not certified for flight into known icing. The system consists of heat-conducting graphite foil panels on the wing and tail leading edges. These panel areas are heated by 70 volt 100 amp electrical power delivered from a dedicated alternator. The system is controlled by a single switch.
The 400 features optional speedbrakes mounted on the wing's top surfaces.
The 400 nosewheel is not directly steerable; directional control while taxiing is accomplished using differential braking on the mainwheels.
Initially sold simply as the Cessna 400, the aircraft was given the marketing name Corvalis TT for twin turbocharged by Cessna on 14 January 2009. The name is a derivation of the town of Corvallis, Oregon which is west of the Bend, Oregon location of the Cessna plant that built the aircraft, prior to closing the plant and relocating production to Independence, Kansas in 2009.
In April 2009 Cessna announced that it would close the Bend, Oregon factory where the Cessna 400 was produced and move production to Independence, Kansas, with the composite construction moved to Mexico. The production line was restarted in October, 2009 in the Cessna Independence paint facility, at a rate of one aircraft per six months initially. This was to allow the new workers, plus the 30 employees transferred from Bend, to gain experience and also allow Cessna the opportunity to retail its unsold inventory of Cessna 350s and 400s. The company anticipates moving the 350/400 production into a permanent facility by the end of 2009.
The 400's maximum take-off weight is 3600 lbs (1633 kg) and the maximum landing weight is 3420 lbs (1551 kg). A typical empty weight without deicing equipment is 2575 lbs (1168 kg). With a full fuel load this leaves 413 lbs (187 kg) for crew and baggage.
The aircraft was originally certified by the Federal Aviation Administration under FAR 23, on April 8, 2004 as the Model LC41-550FG (for Lancair Certified, Model 41, Continental 550 engine, Fixed Gear) and marketed under the designation Columbia 400. EASA certification was added in February 2009.
The Cessna 400 is certified in the Utility Category, with a positive limit maneuvering load factor of 4.4, whereas most comparable aircraft (such as the Cessna 182 and Cirrus SR22) are certified in the Normal Category with a load factor of 3.8.
The 400 has a certified airframe maximum life of 25,200 flight hours.
The Cessna 400 is the fastest FAA-certified fixed-gear, single-engined piston aircraft in production today, reaching a speed of 235 knots true air speed at 25,000 feet (7,600 m).
In one review, airplane reviewer Richard Collins of Flying magazine said of the Columbia 400:
“ Someone asked me if I could come up with one word to describe the G1000 (equipped) Columbia 400. I thought about "neat" and "cool" and "complete" and "integrated" and "fast" and "pretty". Then I dismissed them all and decided on "airplane", because the Columbia 400 is truly what an airplane should be ”
Specifications (Cessna 400)
Crew: 1 pilot
Capacity: 3 passengers
Length: 25 ft 2 in (7.67 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
Wing area: 141 ft² (13.1 m²)
Empty weight: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 3,600 lb (1,500 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Teledyne Continental TSIO-550-C flat-6 engine, 310 hp (230 kW)
Maximum speed: 235 knots (270 mph, 435 km/h) calibrated airspeed
Cruise speed: 235 knots (270 mph, 435 km/h) true airspeed at 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
Range: 1,107 nm (1,274 mi, 2,038 km)
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
Rate of climb: 1,500 ft/min (7.6 m/s) or greater, below 16,000 ft (4,875 m)
Wing loading: 25.5 lb/ft² (125 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.091 hp/lb (150 W/kg)