Cessna 320 Skynight

The Cessna 320 is a four to six seat, low-wing, turbocharged, twin engine, piston aircraft with a conventional tail produced by Cessna between 1962 and 1968. Distinguishing features are: retractable landing gear, constant-speed propellers. The 320 seats up to 5 passengers and 1 pilot.

 

Specifications

 

Exterior Dimensions

Wing span: 36 ft 9 in
Length: 29 ft 6 in
Height: 10 ft 4 in

Engine

Manufacturer: Continental
Model: TSIO-470-B/C, TSIO-520 '66 and up
Horsepower: 260/285 hp
Overhaul (HT): 1400 TBO or 12 years

 

Performance – 1962 Cessna 320

Horsepower: 260.00Gross Weight: 4,990
Top Speed: 230Empty Weight: 3,190
Cruise Speed: 204Fuel Capacity: 102
Stall Speed (dirty): 68Range: 740
 
Rate of Climb: 1,820Rate of Climb (One Engine): 400
Service Ceiling: 28,100Ceiling (One Engine): 16,600
 
TakeoffLanding
Ground Roll: 870Ground Roll 640
Takeoff Roll Over 50 ft: 1,890Landing Roll Over 50 ft: 2,056

 

Performance – 1963-65 Cessna 320A-B-C

Horsepower: 260.00Gross Weight: 5,200
Top Speed: 229Empty Weight: 3,260
Cruise Speed: 213Fuel Capacity: 102
Stall Speed (dirty): 63Range: 735
 
Rate of Climb: 1,820Rate of Climb (One Engine): 450
Service Ceiling: 28,100Ceiling (One Engine): 16,600
 
TakeoffLanding
Ground Roll: 1,050Ground Roll 640
Takeoff Roll Over 50 ft: 1,584Landing Roll Over 50 ft: 1,910

 

Performance – 1966-68 Cessna 320D-E-F (D=5,200 g/w)

Horsepower: 285.00Gross Weight: 5,300
Top Speed: 239Empty Weight: 3,273
Cruise Speed: 226Fuel Capacity: 102
Stall Speed (dirty): 64Range: 731
 
Rate of Climb: 1,924Rate of Climb (One Engine): 475
Service Ceiling: 29,000Ceiling (One Engine): 18,800
 
TakeoffLanding
Ground Roll: 1,190Ground Roll 614
Takeoff Roll Over 50 ft: 1,515Landing Roll Over 50 ft: 1,734

 

 

History

 

The turbocharged 320 Skyknight was developed from the 310F. Equipped with TSIO-470-B engines and featuring an extra cabin window on each side, it was in production between 1962 and 1968 (the 320E was named the Executive Skyknight), when it was replaced by the similar Turbo 310.

Turbocharging was not yet tested in general aviation, but Cessna stuck with it for the performance advantage in the model 320. It was a spacious aircraft that could carry six adults in sophisticated style. Many think of it as a 310, however, it is larger and has it's own airworthiness certificate. The Turbo 310 is a 3A10 and the Turbo 320 is a 3A25.

 

Further Refinements

 

The 320 initially was offered with 102 gallons of fuel capacity (100 gallons usable). Then auxiliary tanks in the wing became an option, then standard. They added 40 gallons of usable fuel. If there are any 320s with only 100 gallons available, it would be surprising. Nevertheless, it is something to watch for. A number of aftermarket aux. fuel systems have been offered, too.

Another early option was 66-amp generators to replace the standard 50-amp units. The biggest caveat for anyone attracted to the 320 is age. The last airframe was rolled out of the factory nearly thirty years ago. The effects of aging must be added to those from normal wear and tear, abuse, neglect and poor maintenance.

 

Variants

 

Cessna 310S

The original name of the light twin-propelled Cessna 320 Skyknight aircraft appeared with the release from the assembly line of the American Cessna aircraft factory of the Cessna 310S model, which, incidentally, indicated the letter in the additional index of this aircraft.

Cessna 320 Skyknight

Enlarged version of the 310F built in 1962 with six seats, larger cabin, ‘tuna' tip tanks and two turbocharged Continental  TSIO-470-B 260 hp engines; 110 built.

Cessna 320A Skyknight

First model with canted fuel tanks, fuselage reinforcements, and increased gross weight; 47 built in 1963.

Cessna 320B Skyknight

First model with nacelle baggage lockers, extended baggage in the rear of the aircraft, new passenger seats and other minor options; 62 built in 1964.

Cessna 320C Skyknight

Model with a longer cabin, optional seventh seat and minor changes; 73 built in 1965.

Cessna 320D Executive Skyknight

Model with reshaped rear windows and larger 285 hp TSIO-520-B engines with three blade props; 130 built in 1966.

Cessna 320E Executive Skyknight

Model with pointed nose, one-piece windshield, modified landing gear, increased takeoff weight and reinforced by additional fuselage bulkheads; 110 built in 1967.

Cessna 320F Executive Skyknight

The last of the line, received solid-state voltage regulators. A deluxe version, dubbed the Executive Skyknight was offered with creature comforts such as double-pane side windows and increased structural soundproofing. 45 built in 1968. Cessna suspended the 320 in 1969 and replaced it with the Turbo 310.

 

 

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