The Cessna 421 derives from the 401/411 family. The Model 411 was a step up from the 310 series, being larger with more powerful engines, and providing for a crew of two and four to six passengers. The Model 411 was flown for the first time on July 18, 1962. The Model 401 (first flown August 26, 1965) and 402 were lower cost versions of the 411. The Model 401 had a similar passenger layout, while the 402 was set up for quick change between a nine passenger commuter and cargo.
The Model 421 was developed as a pressurised twin engine aircraft aimed at the business market. It differed from the 411/401 with the pressurised fuselage structure utilising an AiResearch pressuring system First flown on October 14, 1965, it was FAA certified on May 1, 1967 with deliveries beginning the same month. The Model 421B was introduced in 1970 with a lengthened nose (allowing more baggage and avionics), wider span, and strengthened undercarriage for a higher all up weight limit. Available in 'Golden Eagle' and 'Executive Commuter' versions, the latter was a quick change version capable of 10 passengers or cargo. These versions were discontinued in 1976 in favour of the Model 421C. This incorporated a new wing (no tip tanks), larger vertical tail, and bigger turbochargers on the engines. This was also available in 'Golden Eagle' and 'Executive Commuter' versions, and as the Model 421C II with a factory equipped avionics kit. The 'Executive Commuter' was discontinued in 1977, and the Model 421C III added with an alternate avionics package. Production of the Model 421 ceased in 1985, with a production total of 1,909 aircraft of all models.
Other developments included the 1968 Model 414 Chancellor which married the 421 fuselage with the 401 wing to provide an intermediate model, and the 1975 Model 425 Corsair which combined the basic airframe of the 421 with tailplanes of the 404, and added PWC PT6A turboprops.
The RNZAF purchased Model 421C Golden Eagle aircraft in 1980 as replacements for the DH104 Devon. The aircraft arrived in early 1981 and were allocated to 42 Squadron at Ohakea. The aircraft were NZ7940 (c/n 421-1023 ex N7961), NZ7941 (c/n 421-1024 ex N793X), and NZ7942 (c/n 421-1025 ex N7933). They were tasked with providing twin engine flying experience, communications, and VIP transport. When the Squadron relocated to Whenuapai, 104 Flight was formed with the aircraft and they were then based at Woodbourne. NZ7942 was seriosly damaged after suffering multiple birdstrikes at Wairoa in May 1985, and did not return to service until September 1986. The defence whitepaper of 1991 made a number of recommendations on cost cutting, and the type was withdrawn in the early 1990's. Most of it's duties were picked up by the Andovers.
A number of Model 421 aircraft have appeared on the New Zealand register. As at April 1, 2001 there were four on the active register. These are a Model 421B ZK-KBF (c/n 421B-0943) and three Model 421C aircraft: ZK-DCN (c/n 421C-0688), ZK-WLG (c/n 421C-0492), and ZK-ZAQ (c/n 421C-0060) illustrated below.
Last Update:- 29 April, 2001
© 2001 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved