Information for Prospective Twin Cessna 320 Owners

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The Cessna 320 Skyknight was introduced in 1962. Similar in appearance to the 310, it was actually designed off the F model. Ultimately, however, it was certified under a separate type certificate, 3A25. It featured a larger cabin than the 310 and it was turbocharged. At the time, it was the fastest general aviation aircraft with a top speed of 227 kts. That was faster than many airliners of the era. The original model featured Continental TSIO-470B engines that produced 260 HP. These early versions had the flat, "tuna" style tip tanks. Seven variations were produced over its 7 year production run, until the model was terminated in 1969 and replaced by the turbocharged 310P. Maximum gross weight increased from 4,990 lbs. in 1962 to 5,300 lbs with the last of the breed, the 1968 320F. A major engine upgrade took place in 1966 with a switch to the 285 HP TSIO-520-B.

Performance is the strong suite of the 320's. They are fast and can carry 6 people and a decent load of fuel. Cruise speeds of 215 knots at 15,000 feet burning 30 to 31 gph are possible. The cabin is roomy, particular compared to other similar twins like the Beechcraft Baron. The 320 actually has better handling qualities that similar vintage 310's due to its longer fuselage.

Prices are at rock bottom for these airplanes. A well cared for, later version 320 could be a real bargain but a neglected airplane could cost well more than the purchase price just to make airworthy. Corrosion is a big issue as is the condition of the landing gear and its many components. The owner of a well cared for 320 is a lucky man indeed. These are very capable airplanes - and they still look great on the ramp.


Model 320 320A 320B 320C 320D 320E 320F
Years Built 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968
Engines Cont. TSIO-470B 260 HP Cont. TSIO-470B 260 HP Cont. TSIO-470C 260 HP Cont. TSIO-470D 260 HP Cont. TSIO-520B285 HP Cont. TSIO-520B285 HP Cont. TSIO-520B285 HP
Cruise Speed 210 Kts 210 Kts 210 Kts 210 Kts 210 Kts 210 Kts 210 Kts
Notes First turbo-charged GA Twin 210 lb gross wt. increase. Tip tanks streamlined. Optional wing lockers added. Minor restyling. More powerful engine. Aux. tanks increased to 20 gal. each. 100lb. gross weight increase. One piece windshield. Larger baggage door added. Optional forward wing locker fuel tank.