There was a time in aviation history when aircraft manufacturers were falling over themselves to serve a seemingly insatiable demand for executive-level light twin-engined aircraft. Reaching fever pitch in the 1980s, Cessna had positioned itself well for the demand, offering light twins for almost every conceivable subsection of the market.
The design of the Cessna 414 was to bridge the gap between their unpressurized twin, the Cessna 402, and their pressurized flagship, the Cessna 421. The new design used the same fuselage and tail as the 421 and the wing from the 402. Engines used were adaptations of the 300hp Continental TSIO-520s used on the 402. For the 414, the engines chosen were the 310hp TSIO-520-Js, with intercoolers and takeoffs for cabin bleed air pressurization.
Providing six seats as standard and an optional seventh, the aircraft appeared to private owners needing a comfortable long-range aircraft and corporate or charter organizations shifting people over short legs. With the same fuselage as the 421, the 414 was roomy with huge baggage space. Coupled with smaller engines than the 421, you had an economical transport that could carry a couple of passengers and baggage over 1000 miles or six executives to a day meeting two hours away.
Three significant milestones in 414 development took place in 1973, 1976, and 1979. In 1973 Cessna stretched the fuselage by 16 inches and added a fifth side window. The older 414s are known as the short-bodied models. Then in 1976, Cessna upgraded the engines to the newer -N series TSIO-520 offering a higher manifold pressure at 2700rpm, allowing the engines to maintain rated horsepower to 20,000 feet.
These aircraft were called the 414 Chancellor. Finally, in 1979 the -NB series TSIO-520 engines were installed, providing an improved crankshaft, and in time, an increased engine TBO of 1600 hours against the -Ns 1400. These aircraft were called the 414A Chancellor.
Other modifications in 1978 included a longer nosecone, a redesigned undercarriage system, and an extended wing without the earlier tip tanks.
With the first flight in 1968 and production in 1970, Cessna manufactured the 414 for 17 years, with almost 1100 shipped. While arguments rage today over whether the 414 or the 421 is the better aircraft, there’s no doubt that with the 414, Cessna produced a comfortable, roomy, and stylish aircraft for personal and corporate travel.
1979 Cessna 414A Chancellor Specifications
|Engines||Weights and Capacities|
|Model:||Continental TSIO-520-NB||T/O / Landing Weights Normal:||6,750 lbs|
|Cylinders:||Six||Standard Empty Weight:||4,354 lbs|
|Displacement:||520 cu inches||Max. Useful Load:||2,396 lbs|
|Horsepower:||310 hp each||Baggage Capacity:||1,500 lbs|
|Aspirated||Fuel Injected||Oil Capacity – per engine:||12 quarts|
|TBO:||1600 hours||Passenger Configuration:||5 to 7|
|T/O Manifold Press:||38 inches||Crew:||1 to 2|
|Model:||McCauley 76.5 inch||Wing Span:||44.12 ft|
|Fuel:||Internal Baggage Volume:||31 cu ft|
|Octane:||100||Wing Loading:||29.89 lbs/sq ft|
|Burn @ 75% Power:||204 lbs|
Cessna 414 Prices
The original 414 aircraft retailed at US$138,000 in 1970. The average price for a used Cessna 414 at the time of print was US$230,000, having approximately 6,000 hours total time airframe (TTAF) and engine times of around 800 hours.
Most had the RAM VI engine conversion. The prices range from low-hour models with less than 4,000 hours TTAF, which are selling for just over US$385,000, while older aircraft from the early-1970s will sell for approximately US$150,000.
For the Cessna 414A Chancellor, average pricing was US$280,000, having approximately 7,500 hours total time airframe (TTAF) and mid-life engines. Prices range from low-hour models of 2,750 hours TTAF, selling for just over US$575,000, while older aircraft from the late-1970s are selling for approximately US$230,000.
Cessna 414 Performance & Handling
Cited as an excellent IFR platform, you’ll guess the control forces on the 414 are heavy and stable, yet a great design means only minor trim changes are needed when extending landing gear or flaps. Pilots love the 414 for the roomy cockpit, thoughtful systems layout, and good visibility. Passengers love it for space, comfort, and low noise levels. Oh, and the aft toilet.
Down low, performance is nothing to write home about, but get those superchargers working at altitude, and you’ll see some decent cruise speeds at acceptable fuel flows. Lightly loaded and at economic power settings, expect to get almost 1,300 nautical miles of range. That said, the aircraft is not a great load lifter, stack in the people, and they’d better have no baggage and be wishing to travel only short hops.
The main complaints seem to be an unnecessarily complicated fuel system requiring a distinct methodology for use. However, most owners report that after a few hours of flying, it requires little thought.
1979 Cessna 414A Chancellor Performance and Handling Specifications
|Cruise Speed (Kts)||Stall Speed (kts) (Flaps up)||82|
|77% @ 24,500 ft||225||Stall Speed (kts) (Flaps down)||71|
|65% @ 18,000 ft||192|
|60% @ 20,000 ft||187||Service Ceiling (ft)||31,350|
|Service Ceiling (ft) Single Eng.||19,850|
|Fuel Consumption (GPH)|
|75%||34||Best sea-level rate-of-climb (fpm)||1,520|
|65%||30||Single-engine rate-of-climb (fpm)||290|
|Take-off Ground Roll (ft)||2,185|
|Max Range (nm)||T/O Dist. over 50-foot obstacle||2,595|
|77% @ 24,500 ft||723|
|55% @ 25,000 ft||1,328||Landing Ground Roll (ft)||1,013|
|Ldg Dist. Over 50-foot obstacle||2,393|
|Est. Endurance (hrs)|
|77% power @ 24,500 ft||5.67||Do Not Exceed Speed (kts)||237|
|65% power @ 18,000 ft||6.50||Max Structural Cruise Speed (kts)||203|
|60% power @ 20,000 ft||7.14|
Cessna 414 Maintenance Schedule
Given the age and systems on the 414, plenty of airworthiness directives need reviewing for compliance. Of note is AD97-26-16 requiring an X-ray inspection of the engine mount beams for fatigue cracking. If Cessna Kit SK414-19-1 is incorporated, the inspection is due every 9,600 hours. Otherwise, the periodicity is 1,600, or 200 hours depending on the mod state. Buyers should be looking carefully for compliance.
In the early 414s, the main landing gear webbing is prone to cracking, requiring extensive rectification. Also, corrosion on the engine frame rails is possible from exhaust leaks where the manifold exits into the turbocharger.
The 414 is a reasonably sophisticated, older, twin-engined aircraft, and if not managed and maintained appropriately, maintenance costs can spiral.
Cessna 414 Modifications and Upgrades
Engine and aerodynamic modifications abound for the 414. Arguably the most popular engine mod you’ll see on used aircraft is the engine upgrade to 335 hp offered by Ram Aircraft at www.ramaircraft.com. Take an early model 414 with -J engines and complete this upgrade to receive a 1600 hour TBO, up from the original 1400.
Ram also claims you’ll see an extra 5″ takeoff manifold pressure, a 1900 fpm climb, 13 knots extra cruise speed, and a 415lb increase in useful load. Other engine mods include a turboprop-powered conversion of the Cessna 414, named the Turbo Star Pressurized 414, using Allison 250-B17B engines, and the Thielert FADEC-controlled diesel Centurion piston engines that run on commonly available jet fuel. Finally, the Riley Rocket 414 has two 400hp Lycoming IO-720 engines fitted.
Aerodynamic mods include vortex generators to increase aileron and rudder control authority at low speeds. Winglets aid climb and cruise speeds. Fuselage strakes improve yaw control, performance in turbulence, and a higher cruise speed. Finally, spoiler mods aid faster descents while avoiding engine shock cooling.
Given the popularity of the 414 series, it’s fair to say that if you need a modification, you can find it.
Cessna 414 Where To Find Replacement Parts
The Cessna 414 is an incredibly popular pressurized cabin-class twin, with almost 650 registered in the US alone. Therefore, finding parts to support the aircraft is not difficult. Preferred Airparts, based in Ohio, provide worldwide customers with surplus new Cessna original components and used parts from dismantled aircraft.
With the rise in FAA-PMA approved manufacturers, many have niched down to support a particular aircraft type and finding trim (knots2u, Texas Aeroplastics or AvFab), landing gear components (Robair Repair), or lighting (Whelen Aerospace Technologies or AeroLeds) for your 414 is not hard. The more generic components such as filters, wheels, tires, and brakes are off the shelf and stocked by large aviation suppliers like Aircraft Spruce & Specialty or Wag Aero.
Cessna 414 Common Problems
Accident statistics suggest that no common threads are pointing to the system or design problems on the 414. Most accidents involve weather or overloading. We previously highlighted engine mount beam fatigue cracking, main landing gear web cracking, and engine frame rail corrosion, all necessitating diligent maintenance inspections and AD compliance.
Cessna 414 Insurance Options
The standard aviation insurance all aircraft owners take is liability coverage, while hull coverage is optional. The greater the experience of the owner/pilot, the lower the premiums.
Liability coverage covers damage caused by the aircraft, including passengers, while hull coverage covers damage to the aircraft itself.
For a private pilot with 1,500 hours total time, an IFR/MEL rating, 500 hours on multi-engined aircraft, and 25 hours on type, the 2021 cost per year for US$1,000,000 liability coverage is in the range of US$850 to US$1,400 per year. Pilots with less experience can expect this range to rise to between 1,100 to 1,600 per year.
If the insurance includes additional hull cover for US$225,000, the annual premium for the experienced pilot will be between US$4,400 to US$5,800 per year, while the lesser experienced pilot can expect US$5,700 to US$12,000 per year.
Cessna 414 Model Resale Value
Eight aircraft factors influence 414 resale plus many other economic factors. The aircraft factors are:
- Airframe Total Hours
- Engine Hours Since Overhaul
- Installed equipment, specially avionic fit-out
- Maintenance schedule compliance
- Damage history
- Paint condition
- Interior condition
- Modification state
These terms are all within the control of the owner. If an owner has taken a ‘maintenance only as required’ approach to their aircraft, they can expect a far lower resale value. Those owners who try to operate an aircraft like the Cessna 414 on a shoestring are pursuing false savings.
The Cessna 414 is a high-performance aircraft requiring regular and comprehensive maintenance, and if looked after and regularly updated, the aircraft will hold its own on resale.
As we saw earlier, average prices sit between US$230,000 to US$280,000, yet highly modified and maintained aircraft command twice those figures. The 414 and 414A are popular aircraft with considerable numbers worldwide, and unless some economic or aircraft supply-side variable changes, you can expect your 414 to command a reasonable resale price from someone needing a serious, cabin-class, high-performance twin.
However, as aircraft age, they don’t get cheaper to own or operate, which the price will reflect. The 414 does have AD97-26-16 requiring consideration, and those aircraft requiring regular x-ray and ultimate installation of the service kit will necessarily command a lower price.
Cessna 414 Owner Reviews
Owners speak of the 414s smoothness, stability, and ease with which you can trim the aircraft out. Top mentions include the true cabin class, reasonable cruise speed, and maintenance of sea-level pressure to 10,000 feet. Flight planning cruise speeds appear to be between 190 to 200 knots with 37 to 38 mph fuel consumption while operating cost per hour for most owners is sub-$400.
All speak highly of the 414 as a dependable aircraft offering a lot, including pressurization, for the price.
Cessna 414 Similar Aircraft
Aircraft of similar configuration, age, and role include the Beechcraft Queen Air, AeroCommander 690, Piper Cheyenne, Beechcraft Duke, and the Piper Pa-31 Navajo.
Cessna 414 Clubs You Can Join
Owners recommend two groups. The Cessna Pilots Association, located at www.cessna.org, and the Twin Cessna Flyer, at www.twincessna.org.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What does service ceiling mean?
Answer: An aircraft’s service ceiling is defined as the height at which the aircraft cannot climb at a rate greater than 100 feet per minute.
Question: What is the meaning of the term TBO?
Answer: TBO means Time Between Overhaul, which is the manufacturer’s recommended running time, in hours or calendar time, before overhaul.
Question: To what does TTAF refer?
Answer: TTAF stands for Total Time Airframe, which refers to the number of flying hours the airframe has accumulated since new. Thus, it is an indication of age and use.
Question: Aircraft Gross Weight refers to what?
Answer: Gross Weight is the total aircraft weight, including pilots, passengers, fuel, oil, and cargo.
Question: What does max structural cruise mean?
Answer: Maximum structural cruise, or Vno, refers to the airspeed above which the aircraft should be flown only in smooth air. Above this speed, turbulence or rapid control deflections increase the chance of structural damage.
Question: What are FAA-PMA Approved Parts?
Answer: FAA refers to the Federal Aviation Administration, and PMA means Parts Manufacturer Approval. It is an approval granted to a parts manufacturer to manufacture specific aircraft components.
Question: To what does the term IFR/MEL refer?
Answer: IFR means Instrument Flight Rules. When pilots are flying IFR, it means they are under the control of Air Traffic Control. MEL, in this case, refers to Multi-Engine – Land. Both refer to ratings or approvals that a pilot must achieve to enable the operation of a multi-engined aircraft or flight under instrument flight rules.
Question: What is an STC?
Answer: An STC refers to a Supplemental Type Certificate. An STC is an approved modification to an aircraft, engine, or component. All aircraft, engines, and components have type certificates that approve their use. That is why an approval to modify them is classed as ‘supplemental’.
Question: What is ‘wing loading’?
Answer: Wing loading is the total aircraft mass divided by its wing area. Faster aircraft generally have a higher wing loading as less area is required to carry the same mass. However, it takes a longer distance high wing loading aircraft to takeoff and land.
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