Columbia 400 - This Is Probably The Closest Thing To A Jet You Can Get...
If you are looking for a high performance 4 seater that will give you a cruise speed of over 200 knots, you are going to want to make sure you think about buying the Columbia 400. It is one of the fastest factory made single engine airplanes you can buy. Not only that - it is pretty cool looking as well.
IMPORTANT: As you probably know, Cessna bought "The Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation" in 2007. They then changed the name of the Columbia 400 to the "Cessna 400" and other variants of that name. For this article will be referring to the original Columbia 400 that was manufactured from around 2003/4 until Columbia was purchased by Cessna.
They Are Incredibly Fast & Have A Low Operating Cost...
The 400 will cruise at about 225 knots @ 25,000 feet! That is extremely fast and when you add that to the fact that it has a range of over 1,200 NM. Those are pretty good numbers for a single engine airplane that you can fly with a single pilot.
If you look at the performance spec's of some light twins, you will find that many of them cruise at that speed or less. Not only that, you have to feed 2 engines where as your only going to have to pay for fuel for one engine with the Columbia 400.
So when you are thinking about something that goes 225 knots up at altitude, you have to realize that sure you might pay more on the front end for it, but your operating costs are going to drop at least by 50%. That does not even include factoring in the advancement in technology that should give you an edge over flying a 1970's model twin.
If you fly a twin that has 2 engines which are 300 horsepower, your going to burn a good 40 gph (depending on your power settings) and you have the operating costs of a twin engine airplane. Where as getting yourself into a Columbia 400 saves a lot of those problems.
You have the power of a twin inter cooled 231kW (310hp) Teledyne Continental TSIO-550-G engine that is going to burn around 20 gph up at altitude and less when you fly at lower levels.
SIDENOTE: When you add in the advanced technology that the 400 has in terms of its "HITS" (Highway In The Sky) system, side yokes, digital dash & very well designed fuselage, you are probably going to want to keep this airplane for a long time. Or at least until your ready to upgrade to a jet!
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