Cessna Model 421 Golden Eagle
|PRESSURISED LIGHT TRANSPORT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Cessna|
In October 1965 Cessna announced development of a new pressurised twin-engined business aircraft designated Cessna Model 421, the prototype of which had flown for the first time on 14 October 1965. Derived from the Model 401/411, the Model 421 differed primarily in its original configuration by having a fail-safe pressurised fuselage structure and an AiResearch air-conditioning and pressurisation system. Deliveries of initial production aircraft began in May 1967, following certification of the type on the fist day of that month.
Two new versions of the Model 421 were introduced for 1970, the Model 421B Golden Eagle and Model 421B Executive Commuter. Both had a number of improvements including lengthening of the nose to provide more avionics and baggage capacity, an increase in wing span, strengthening of the landing gear for operation at higher gross weights, and many detail refinements. The Executive Commuter was basically the same as the Golden Eagle, but the interior was laid out with lightweight easily-removable seating to provide alternative passenger/cargo configurations which could accommodate a maximum of 10 passengers. These two versions were replaced in 1976 by the Model 421C Golden Eagle, which introduced some important changes. These included a new wing that dispensed with the distinctive wingtip tanks, replaced by integral fuel tanks of the type introduced at a later date on the Model 414. Other changes provided increased area for the vertical tail surfaces and larger-capacity engine turbochargers. Four versions were available, the Model 421C Golden Eagle and Model 421C Executive Commuter, both produced in Model 421C II, versions with a factory-installed avionics/equipment package.
The Executive Commuter was discontinued for 1978, the Golden Eagle then being available in standard as well as Model 421C II and Model 421C III versions with differing avionics/equipment packages.
By late-1985 when production ceased, 1,909 Golden Eagles of all versions had been delivered, including three examples for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.