Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cessna 402

Im flying the Cessna 402 more and more now and am finally checked to line, and have been let loose by myself. Definately doesn't perform as well as the baron, and is less sports car-ish, but its really nice to fly something bigger, with a proper cabin, air conditioning and turbo engines. We operate 2 different types of 402, both the B and C models.

One of the check and trainers on my check flight.

I have done a few ICUS (in command under supervision) flights in it where i took some photos. Most of my ICUS was done in the 402B model. The B doesn't perform nearly as well as the C, and has dramatically less performance on take-off, less uplift and less range. Our B model aircraft have 5 different fuel tanks and a silly 1960's mentality of design where the more complicated the fuel system is, the better. We know this is not the case, and the 402C just has 2 fuel tanks, one per engine.

The B is essentially a big baron in terms of payload and range, but is able to take a lot more bulky items. The main difference in appearance between the B and C models is the big fuel tanks on the wing-tip. These are the main fuel tanks, and have 300lbs per side. The aux tanks have 180lbs per side, and we also have a wing locker fuel tanks with 120lbs. Sounds simple enough, but to use the aux tanks, you need to burn roughly an hour out of the mains, as the aux tank fuel pumps deliver twice the amount of fuel needed to the engine. The excess fuel is pumped back in the main tanks, and thus fills them up as you use the aux fuel. If you haven't burnt enough fuel then you end up venting it in flight. Not optimal for a max range, max payload, min fuel flight. To use the wing locker tank, you need to have at least 120lbs available to fill up the left main tank, and then use the cross-feed system to balance the tanks once its transferred. In summary far to complex and having a single fuel tank per engine is a much easier, safer design philosophy.

You can see the tip tank of the 402B in this photo.

So in contrast, the C has model is much more simple and straight forward, has about 50 more horses in the engines, can uplift an extra 300kg, with a lot more range. It is harder to land though in my opinion, but i might not be used to it just yet.

Anyway im sure i will have more stories to tell soon about it, but here are some photos for now.

Apparently this plane comes into Darwin regularly, but i have never seen it, or heard it! The biggest equipment Darwin gets regularly are A330's, and military C-17's.

Parked at Oenpelli.

Cabin shot in-flight. I have flown these guys in singles, barons and now the 402.

1 comment:

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    1972 CESSNA 402B
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    Registration Number: N420HL
    Total Time: 5700 Hours
    Number Of Seats: 8
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