Cessna 421

The Cessna 421 Golden Eagle is an American six or seven seat twin-engined light transport aircraft, developed in the 1960s by Cessna as a pressurized version of the earlier Cessna 411.[2]

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle
Cessna 421B landing
Role Light transport
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight October 14, 1965
Introduction 1968[1]
Produced 1967–1985
Number built 1916
Developed from Cessna 411
Developed into Cessna 425


The Cessna 421 was first produced in May 1967, the 1968 model year. It had "Stabila-Tip" fuel tanks on the wingtips (like the Cessna 310). Its electro-mechanical landing gear are similar to that of the 310. It was an immediate hit, selling 200 planes in its first year.[1]

The very next year, 1969, the design was refined, with a three-inch stretch of the fuselage, five more gallons of fuel capacity, and a 40-pound increase in gross weight. The plane was redesignated the Cessna 421A.[1]

In 1971, the design was again improved. Both empty and gross weight increased, the wingspan was increased by two feet, raising the service ceiling by 5,000 feet. The nose was stretched two feet to accommodate a larger nose baggage section. This new plane is designated the Cessna 421B.[1]

In 1975, the plane was offered with a package of equipment enabling flight into known icing conditions.[1]

In 1976, the 421C appeared which featured wet wings, the absence of wingtip fuel tanks and landing gear that was changed from straight-leg to a trailing-link design from the 1981 model year onwards. Production ended in 1985 after 1,901 aircraft had been delivered.[1]

The 421 was first certified on 1 May 1967 and shares a common type certificate with models 401, 402, 411, 414 and 425.[3]

Some 421s have been modified to accept turboprop engines,[4] making them very similar to the Cessna 425, which itself is a turboprop development of the 421.[5]


The 421 is an all-metal low-wing cabin monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear, and powered by two geared[lower-alpha 1] Continental GTSIO-520-D engines, wing-mounted in tractor configuration. The cabin is accessed from a door, on the left hand side behind the wing, and has seating for six on the basic 421, or up to ten on later variants.


Cessna 421B Golden Eagle with aftermarket RAM-modified engines
A Cessna 421B Golden Eagle, front view
A Cessna 421B Golden Eagle
Type approved 1 May 1967, powered by two Continental GTSIO-520-Ds of 375 hp (280 kW) each, maximum takeoff weight 6,800 lb (3,084 kg).[3] 200 built.[2]
Type approved 19 November 1968, powered by two Continental GTSIO-520-Ds of 375 hp (280 kW) each, maximum takeoff weight 6,840 lb (3,103 kg).[3] 158 built.[2]
421B Golden Eagle/Executive Commuter
Eight-seat light passenger transport aircraft. Type approved 28 April 1970, powered by two Continental GTSIO-520-Hs of 375 hp (280 kW) each, maximum takeoff weight 7,250 lb (3,289 kg), later models 7,450 lb (3,379 kg).[3] 699 built.[2]
421C Golden Eagle/Executive Commuter
Model with new wing and landing gear. Type approved 28 October 1975, powered by two Continental GTSIO-520-Ls or Continental GTSIO-520-Ns of 375 hp (280 kW) each, maximum takeoff weight 7,450 lb (3,379 kg).[3] 859 built.[2]
Riley Turbine Rocket 421
Conversion of Cessna 421 aircraft by fitting two Lycoming LTP101 turboprop engines. Formal designation R421BL and R421CL for conversions of 421B and C respectively.[4]
Riley Turbine Eagle 421
Conversion of Cessna 421C aircraft by fitting two 750hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135 turboprop engines. Formal designation R421CP.[4]
Excalibur 421
Re-engined 421C with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135A or PT6A-112 turboprops, supplemental type certificate held by Excalibur 421 LLC of Paso Robles, California.[6] In 2013 it was announced that Aviation Alliance are acting as program managers for the Excalibur 421 upgrade programme.[7]
Advanced Aircraft Regent 1500
Production of the Riley Turbine Eagle 421 conversion by Advanced Aircraft Corporation.[8]

Military operators

 Ivory Coast
 New Zealand

Specifications (C 421C)

1982 Cessna 421C
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, typical pilot's instrumentation
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, typical copilot's instrumentation

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77[17]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One or two
  • Capacity: Six passengers
  • Length: 36 ft 4+58 in (11.09 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 1+12 in (12.53 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5+38 in (3.49 m)
  • Wing area: 215 sq ft (20.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 4,501 lb (2,042 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,450 lb (3,379 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 206 US gal (172 imp gal; 780 L) normal (usable capacity), 262 US gal (218 imp gal; 990 L) with optional wing tanks
  • Powerplant: 2 × Continental GTSIO-520-L turbocharged, fuel injected and geared flat-six engines, 375 hp (280 kW) each
  • Propellers: 3-bladed McCauley constant-speed propellers


  • Maximum speed: 256 kn (295 mph, 474 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
  • Cruise speed: 240 kn (280 mph, 440 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,600 m) (75% power)
  • Range: 1,487 nmi (1,711 mi, 2,754 km) at 25,000 ft (7,600 m), econ cruise speed
  • Service ceiling: 30,200 ft (9,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,940 ft/min (9.9 m/s)
  • Takeoff distance to 50 ft (15m): 2,323 ft (708 m)
  • Landing distance from 50 ft (15 m): 2,293 ft (699 m)

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. The gearing means that rather than the driveshaft being directly connected to the propeller, it drives through a set of reduction gears.


  1. Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide
  2. Simpson, R.W. (1995). Airlife's general aviation : a guide to postwar general aviation manufacturers and their aircraft (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 978-1853105777.
  3. Federal Aviation Administration (March 2007). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A7CE Revision 47". Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  4. Taylor 1982, p. 455
  5. Taylor 1982, p. 352
  6. "FAA Supplemental Type Certificate SA1361SO" (pdf). rgl.faa.gov. FAA. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  7. "The Aviation Alliance Announces First Product Offering, Excalibur 421". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  8. Taylor 1988, p. 321
  9. Hagedorn 1993, p. 140
  10. Andrade 1982, p. 27
  11. Penney, Stuart (27 November – 3 December 2001). "World Air Forces 2001: Cambodia". Flight International. Vol. 160 no. 4808. p. 39.
  12. Andrade 1982, p. 126
  13. Andrade 1982, p. 165
  14. Andrade 1982, p. 174
  15. Andrade 1982, p. 229
  16. Andrade 1982, p. 346
  17. Taylor 1976, pp. 272–273
  • Andrade, John. Latin-American Military Aviation. Leicester, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1982. ISBN 0-904597-31-8.
  • Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-210-6.
  • Simpson, R.W. (1995). Airlife's general aviation : a guide to postwar general aviation manufacturers and their aircraft (2nd ed.). Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 978-1853105777.
  • Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1976). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1976-77. London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0-354-00538-3.
  • Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1982). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1982-83. London: Jane's Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7106-0748-5.
  • Taylor, John W. R., ed. (1988). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Defence Data. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.