Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Buyer’s Mini-Guide To Four-Seat Singles
Four-place singles always have been the measuring stick of the industry
Cessna Corvalis (photos by Chad Slattery)
The former Columbia 350 and 400 singles continue to live on as Cessnas. That might seem an unlikely marriage, since the traditional Cessna singles are all-metal high wings, and the Columbias are state-of-the-art, composite, low-wing designs, but Cessna hopes the Corvalis line will keep it in the hunt for the high-performance-single dollar.
Both Corvalis airplanes utilize the same big Continental IO-550 engine rated for 310 hp. The blown model TT features twin turbochargers and twin intercoolers for a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet and a cruise of 235 knots. Max cruise spec on the basic Corvalis is promised at 191 knots.
Diamond Star DA40 XLS
Diamond’s four-seat single has a qualification that’s rare among four-seaters: a back door. That’s certainly not its main talent, but it’s unusual among four-seaters. (The Maule M-7-260 also offers a rear door.) Like the old Grumman American Tiger, the Star is an efficiency expert, capable of speed in the 145-knot range with fixed gear below and only 180 hp under the cowl. The Star comes in two versions: the CS and the top-of-the-line XLS. The CS is the more basic machine, geared more toward flight schools, while the XLS features a three-blade MT prop, an autopilot, a Power Flow exhaust and a number of other improvements.
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Labels: Aircraft Bargains, Buyer's Guide, Buying A Plane, Features, Learning Center, Piston Singles, Ownership, Best Buys