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Introduced in 1978, the Cessna 414A or more commonly known as the Cessna Chancellor III, is a pressurized, twin-engined aircraft, with retractable landing gear. It’s the third model in the Chancellor line and the successor to the Cessna 414II.
The first Cessna Chancellor – the 414 – took to the skies in 1968, and was produced from 1970 onwards. It was developed to bridge the gap between the unpressurized Cessna 401 and the pressurized, more powerful Cessna 421. The 414 was meant to attract customers looking to upgrade from their unpressurized twin-engined aircraft and did so with limited success. Over its production run the number of 414s and 414As were evenly split, with 516 and 554 built, respectively.
The 414 was built using parts from other 400-series aircraft. The fuselage and tail were essentially the same as the ones used on the 421B, while the wings were taken from the 401. Power was supplied by two horizontally opposed, six-cylinder, direct-drive, turbocharged, air-cooled, fuel-injected Continental TSIO-520-Js which produced 310 hp (228 kW).
The engines were taken from the 402, with the only changes made to the setup were the inclusion of parts for bleed-air cabin pressurization, and different intercoolers. Each engine spun a constant speed, three-blade McCauley propeller.
In 1973, an updated 414 was released with major changes, this model was named the 414II. The length of the cabin was increased by 16 inches (40.64 cm), an extra window was installed, electronic propeller synchrophasing was made standard, and various ARC 400-series avionics equipment was included.
The engines on the 414II were upgraded to the newer Continental TSIO-520-Ns. The displacement and power output remained the same, but the manifold pressure was increased from 36 hPa to 38 hPa. The change allowed the engine to produce 310 hp (228 kW) at 2700 RPM from sea level to 20,000 ft (6,096 m).
Though its Continental engines could maintain their rated power at higher altitudes, Cessna implemented manifold pressure limitations above 20,000 ft (6,096 m) to prevent excessive engine temperatures.
Cessna made the most significant changes to the Chancellor when it introduced the 414A. It did away with the extremely complicated and troublesome fuel system of the previous generations and replaced it with wet-wing fuel tanks that were 4.50 ft (1.37 m) longer and held 213 gal (968 l) total. To better manage fuel, a fuel computer was added to the list of available options.
There were significant changes made to the body of Chancellor 414A as well. The aircraft got heavier, with the MTOW and landing weight increasing by 400 lbs (181 kg) and 550 lbs (249 kg), respectively. To offset the reduction of performance because of the weight increase, the wing area was increased by 30 ft² (2.78 m²).
Cessna made more room for roughly 410 lbs (185 kg) baggage and equipment such as avionics by fitting on the nose of the 421 onto the 414A to which made the aircraft longer. The longer fuselage now allowed for an eighth seat to be added as an option.
Cessna Chancellor III (414A) Specifications
The exact specifications of the Cessna Chancellor 414A are:
|Length||36.42 ft (11.10 m)|
|Height||11.51 ft (3.51 m)|
|Wing Span||44.16 ft (13.46 m)|
|Wing Area||225.72 ft² (20.97 m²)|
|External Baggage Volume||54 ft³ (1.53 m³)|
|Cabin Length||11.28 ft (3.44 m)|
|Cabin Width||4.49 ft (1.37 m)|
|Cabin Height||4.26 ft (1.30 m)|
|Interior Baggage||31 ft³ (0.88 m³)|
|Maximum Ramp Weight||6,785 lbs (3,077 kg)|
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||6,750 lbs (3,061 kg)|
|Maximum Landing Weight||6,750 lbs (3,061 kg)|
|Zero Fuel Weight||6,515 lbs (2,955 kg)|
|Operating Weight||4,746 lbs (2,152 kg)|
|Empty Weight||4,365 lbs (1,980 kg)|
|Maximum Useful Load||2,430 lbs (1,102 kg)|
|Maximum Payload||1,769 lbs (802 kg)|
|Baggage Capacity||1,500 lbs (680 kg)|
|Fuel Capacity||1,236 lbs (560 kg)|
|Payload with Full Fuel||803 lbs (364 kg)|
|Power @ Maximum RPM||310 hp (228 kW) @ 2,700 RPM|
|Takeoff Manifold Pressure @ Maximum RPM||38 hPa @ 2,700 RPM|
|Total Fuel Capacity||213 gal (968 l)|
|Useable Fuel Capacity||206 gal (936 l)|
|Fuel Burn @ 75% Power & ISA||204 lbs/hr (92.53 kg/hr)|
|Twin Engine Climb @ MTOW & ISA||1,520 fpm (463.30 mpm)|
|Single Engine Climb @ MTOW & ISA||290 fpm (88.39 mpm)|
|Service Ceiling||30,800 ft (9,387 m)|
|Cruise Climb (Sea Level – FL180)||24 minutes|
|Cruise Climb Power (ISA + 30° F)||2,450 RPM @ 31.5 hPa|
|Balanced Field Length||2,595 ft (790 m)|
|Landing Distance||4,000 ft (1219 m)|
|Maximum Range||990 NM (1,139 mi / 1,833 kmph|
|Normal Range||723 NM (832 mi / 1,339 kmph|
|VFR Maximum Range||1,111 NM (1,278 mi / 2,057 kmph)|
|VFR Normal Range||844 NM (971 mi / 1,563 km)|
|Maximum Speed||235 KTAS (270 mph / 435 kmph)|
|Cruising Speed @ 75% power & FL250||214 KTAS (246 mph / 396 kmph)|
|Cruising Speed @ 65% power & FL250||202 KTAS (232 mph / 374 kmph)|
|Cruising Speed @ 55% power & FL250||190 KTAS (218 mph / 351 kmph)|
|Stall Speed Clean||82 KIAS (94 mph / 151 kmph)|
|Stall Speed Dirty||71 KIAS (81 mph / 131 kmph)|
|Propeller||Constant Speed, Three-blade, McCauley|
|Avionics||ARC 800 or 1000 series|
|Weather Radar||Bendix RDR 160|
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Performance and Handling
A hotch-potch of the Cessna 401 and 421, the Chancellor easily stole the limelight as the best of the 400-series, even though it was meant to simply fill the gap between the two, and became a hit among pilots everywhere, and in recent years has gained popularity with charter operators.
The 414A has a combined 620 hp (456 kW), however, takeoff acceleration might not be as neck-snapping as one would assume. When we look at the power loading of the aircraft, the why becomes obvious: weight. Each of its 620 hp has to carry 10.8 lbs, which is quite poor. On a standard day, when loaded to MTOW, it needs 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to hit Vr and then come to a complete stop.
The aircraft has a remarkably high service ceiling of 30,800 ft (9387 m), but the normal operating range of a 414A is between 15,000 ft (4572 m) and FL250 (7,620 m). The fuel economy of the 414A depends on the altitude, conditions, and power setting, but the general specific fuel consumption is approximately 0.44 lbs/hp/hr.
This means the aircraft will burn around 17 gph (64 lph) per engine at 65% power and FL250, which is enough to get you cruising at around 202 KTAS (232 mph / 374 kmph). To reach a cruising speed of 214 KTAS (246 mph / 396 kmph) 75% power is required, which will cause the 414A to burn around 19 gph (72 lph) per engine.
The 414A has a single-engine ceiling of 19,850 ft (6,050 m) which is the best among all its peers. However, single-engine performance at sea level is lower than the competition, with the aircraft only being able to climb 290 ft (88 m) per minute.
Overall, the 414A is a capable aircraft. It can carry up to 8 passengers and baggage, or full fuel, but not both. Full fuel allows the Chancellor 414A to fly for roughly four and a half hours, IFR reserves included, and has enough load leftover to carry six standard passengers, and not a pound more. On the flip side, when fully loaded with eight passengers and baggage, there will be enough space for barely two hours of fuel.
As far as handling goes, owners have reported that it is a stable aircraft that behaves in a very neutral manner and reacts to control inputs predictably. When changes are made to the configuration, such as the addition or reduction of flaps, the aircraft doesn’t have to be wrestled back into place, rather small trim changes will do just fine.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Model Maintenance Schedule
The Chancellor 414A has an impeccable safety record. However, there are a number of airworthiness directives (AD) and service bulletins that have been published over the years. To ensure the aircraft you are buying is airworthy and will be reliable in the future, spend a bit more on an in-depth inspection.
One of the biggest weak points of the 414A is the problematic Continental TSIO-520-NB engine. The engine is notorious for cracked cylinders and therefore requires periodic inspections. It also has a TBO of 1,400 hours which is low even for a turbocharged engine.
When it comes time to overhaul the engine, the cylinders might have to be replaced, and a new set of Continental brand cylinders cost roughly $5,000 depending on the supplier, whereas an off-brand set costs around $2,000.
A brand new engine exchange from Continental costs an average of $60,000. If you opt to go for a rebuilt engine from Continental will save you $6,000, for a total price of $54,000. The factory tends to be much pricier than third-party garages that overhaul your engine.
If you’re one of the lucky owners who have to overhaul their engine without replacing the cylinder heads, a shop will only charge an average of $33,000 – nearly half of what the factory charges. Replacing the cylinder heads requires money and time, which will increase your engine overhaul costs by $6,000 bringing your grand total to $39,000.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Modifications and Upgrades
The Chancellor is a popular aircraft, so it has an extensive range of aftermarket parts and modifications. The 414A can be upgraded with the usual performance boosters such as vortex generators, which are highly recommended.
They can be purchased from Micro Aerodynamics and VG Systems. STOL kits can also be purchased to help reduce the field length of the aircraft. These can be purchased by Sierra Industries. Precise Flight and Spoilers, I
The most significant and popular modifications that can be made to a 414A are the engine swaps by the RAM Aircraft Corporation. There are four options, all of which provide a sizable increase in horsepower, increase the TBO, and newer, more powerful propellers. The package that gives the 414A the most significant boost in performance is the series V upgrade.
The V upgrade swaps out the Continental TSIO-520-NB for a more powerful big-bore, liquid-cooled Continental TSIOL-550A Voyager engine which produces 350 hp. However, it isn’t just an engine swap. The engine is chock-full of new RAM components such as camshafts, cylinders, crankshaft, piston rods. Any part that isn’t new is all overhauled from the turbocharger to the fuel pressure regulator.
The new engine also has a TBO of 2,000 hours, which is a 600-hour increase from stock. RAM also makes winglets of their own design for the 414A to improve its aerodynamic performance.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Where to Find Replacement Parts
Finding replacement parts for a 414A is not as tough as one would think thanks to its shared parts with the 401 and 421. The popularity of the aircraft ensures that there are enough aftermarket parts that can be bought if used parts are unavailable.
If you are looking for factory parts sites like CessnaParts, AircraftSpruce, and Knots2U have a large catalog of parts available for purchase.Cessna Chancellor (414A) Common Problems
There are several problems that the 414A has. Many of which have been addressed by ADs and service bulletins. However, there seem to be plenty that are not. Most of the ADs for the 414A have increased the frequency of inspections and services of systems that are problematic and if adequate preventative maintenance is not done, could lead to massive bills.
Areas that require increased scrutiny and service are the exhaust system, crankcase, engine mounts, and magneto blocks. Some ADs have called for replacing faulty parts such as a set of vacuum pumps, and bolts on the fork of the main landing gear. An AD that requires the propeller hubs to be filled with red indicator oil to make cracks more visible was also released.
One of the most distressing issues the Cessna 414A has is cracking along the forward wing spars. The AD 2005-05-52 was put in place to counteract this issue by using eddy currents to inspect the said struts and visually inspect the auxiliary and rearward struts.
However, the eddy current method did not effectively identify the cracks until it was to the point where a load much lower than the published maximum load can cause catastrophic structural damage. The remedy for this was increased visual inspections and the strengthening of the wing spars by adding spar straps. This AD has a compliance time of 400 to 800 total time.
According to the president of the Twin Cessna Flyer – a society for owners of Cessna Twin aircraft – Larry Ball, there are a few more problem areas of the 414A that have not been published but are common enough to talk about. Ball reports that the pressurization controller diaphragms only last for about five years and the cabin pressure dump switch on the right landing gear should be checked often as well.
Another area that needs to be checked for corrosion is the firewall. Ball also says that heated windshields should be checked often to ensure there are no cracks.
The piping which directs the exhaust from the manifold to the turbo is also susceptible to cracking. The leaking exhaust gases can make the engine rails crack, a component that is extremely expensive to replace. An engine rail replacement can cost an eye-watering $14,000.
The 414A has an issue with shock cooling of the engine that occurs during rapid descents. This can be remedied by fitting the aircraft with speed brakes/spoilers or installing a liquid cooling system to the engines.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Insurance Options
Even though Cessna Chancellor 414A has a good safety record, the earlier 414s and their complicated fuel system have caused a few scares, the most recent one in 2018. This has made insuring a 414 tougher. A qualified pilot is considered to be one with a PPL license with IFR and MEL ratings, who have 1,500 total hours, 500 MEL hours, and 25 hours on type.
According to BWI Fly, for liability coverage of $1,000,000, a qualified pilot of a 414A who aims to use the aircraft for private use can expect to pay around $840 – $1,400 per year and $4,400 – $5,800 per year for a combination of the liability and hull coverage of $225,000.
For the same liability coverage amount, pilots who don’t meet the above criteria can expect to pay $1,100-$1,600 per year, and the cost increases to $5,700-$12,000 when hull coverage is brought in.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Price
Purchasing a Cessna 414A is considered to be cheap for the number of airplanes you get. It is capable, comfortable, and performs well.
According to Hangar 67, a very high-time 1979 model year 414A was recently sold at $129,900, which is the lowest price we have found. But the average price of a 414A is around $300,000, while the price range is between $200,00 – $500,000.
The figures show that the demand for Dakotas has increased causing prices to rise by about 40 percent. Based on the data collected from the available listings on the market, the average total time of a Cessna 414A is around 6,500 hours.
The Chancellors that cost close to $500,000 most often are pristine and like-new. The other category that brings the price up to the same number are the aircraft that have undergone a RAM conversion. So newer, more powerful engines with stronger components and increased aerodynamics all of which boost performance greatly and increase the value.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Resale Value
Cessna 414As that comply with all their service bulletins and airworthiness directives, have been maintained well, and don’t have too much time can fetch a good price. The resale value increases greatly if a RAM conversion has been done and additional performance modifications have been fitted.
However, owners should expect depreciation, and the price to decrease over time. These aircraft aren’t like the 172s. The applications are smaller and they have maintenance issues, so the price does fall.
Cessna 414A Operating Costs
According to Aircraftcostoperator.com, the average total hourly cost of operating a Cessna 414A is roughly $535.
The calculation is made by assuming the aircraft is operated for 450 hours annually, during which fuel costs $5 a gallon bringing total fuel costs to $2,250 a year. The variable costs such as maintenance for the airframe, as well as other costs such as landing and parking fees totaling $206,550. And $34,235 for fixed costs such as insurance. Bringing the grand annual total to $240,785.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Owner Reviews
The owners of Cessna 414As have mixed reviews. In general, all owners praise the performance and capability of the aircraft, especially ones that have a RAM conversion and STOL kit, because it makes the aircraft much more versatile. Handling, range, speed and fuel economy, and hourly costs are often considered to be at or exceeding the industry standard.
However, almost all owners complain about the maintenance, and most say that the low acquisition cost of the aircraft will be offset by the cost of maintenance a few years down the line. The number of maintenance problems that can and do arise can cost a lot of money in a short time frame. One former owner even stated that anyone who says the aircraft is reliable is delusional.
The pressurization and turbocharged nature of the aircraft mean it is complicated to work on, and specialization is needed. So before buying one, you should ensure that there is an AMT with experience on pressurized Cessna twins in your area.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Similar Aircraft
A direct competitor of the 414A is the Beechcraft King Air. The Piper Seneca is also quite similar to the 414A, even though it is slightly smaller.
Cessna Chancellor (414A) Clubs You can Join
The biggest club for owners and operators of a 414A or any large Cessna twin is the Twin Cessna Flyer club. They offer technical help and forums for members to discuss everything and anything about their aircraft. Another great resource is the Cessna Pilots Association, it offers a monthly magazine, forums, technical information, and even training.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is Forced Induction?
Answer: The process of delivering compressed, denser air to a combustion engine is referred to as forced induction. The air is run through a compressor connected to the intake manifold of the engine to create a more efficient fuel burn which will eventually produce more power.
In airplane engines, turbochargers are popularly used to achieve forced induction. The turbocharger is connected to both the exhaust and intake manifolds of the engine. It uses spent exhaust gases to run the compressor, which draws in and compresses clean air to deliver to the engine.
Question: What is Pressurization?
Answer: Pressurization is the creation of a false atmosphere in the cabin of the aircraft in order to allow us to breathe at higher altitudes without pure oxygen. The pressure of the cabin is usually around 8,000 ft but can be less according to how the system is set up. Pressurization happens in the engine, where hot air is compressed and then directed to the cabin. The compressed air is then cooled down, which makes it denser, on its way to the cabin. Once it reaches the cabin it is compressed enough to create an atmospheric pressure that mimics the desired altitude.
Question: When are the flaps of a Cessna Chancellor fully extended? At 45 or 15 degrees?
The flaps extend to 45 degrees
The TSIO-520-NB’s red-line is 2700 RPM.
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Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company models 402C and 414A airplanes. (2005, June 14). Federal Register. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2005/06/14/05-11613/airworthiness-directives-cessna-aircraft-company-models-402c-and-414a-airplanes
Cessna 414. (n.d.). AOPA. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/aircraft-and-ownership/aircraft-fact-sheets/cessna-414
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Continental 520 overhaul cost. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2021, from http://blog.overhaulbids.com/continental-overhaul-cost/continental-520-overhaul-cost/
Cox, B. B. C. (2015, July 13). 414 chancellor. Cessna Owner Organization. https://cessnaowner.org/414-chancellor/
estaff. (2001, February 26). Cessna 414 chancellor. Aviation Consumer. https://www.aviationconsumer.com/aircraftreviews/cessna-414-chancellor/
(N.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.globalair.com/aircraft-for-sale/Specifications?specid=971