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Operations

Cessna 441
Conquest II
Operation Designed for performance and dubbed
By Edward G. Tripp
“Jetprop,” the Conquest II overcame early
Photography by Paul Bowen
troubles to star again in the nineties.

C
essna entered the turboprop mar- cabin has a large two-part airstair door, mental system limitations. But, the Con-
ket in 1977 with the CE-441, well and a wide, three-part door option was quest II can roll right up to and above FL
after Beech and Rockwell Com- available. 300 except in very high temperatures.
mander had established themselves in The cockpit is laid out in typical Cess- Early 441’s can reach FL 330 in about 25
that market segment. Originally trade- na 400 series fashion, reflecting the les- minutes using a recommended cruise
named “Conquest,” Cessna’s AlliedSignal sons learned in developing the much- climb of 160 KIAS (130 above FL 250) in
TPE331-8 powered airplane was praised Citation cockpit. Pilot seats are ISA standard day conditions after a take-
renamed “Conquest II” in 1983. The 441 comfortable and large and there is good off at a MTOW of 9,850 pounds.
was designed for performance and actual- visibility out of the cockpit windows. Cruise speed tops out at 276 KTAS.
ly outperformed some early Citations in Standard avionics, which included an Maximum effort, zero-wind, VFR range
selected parameters. Indeed, some com- RMI, transponder with encoder, weather is just under 2,000 nm. (See the accompa-
panies offering aftermarket performance radar and a flight control system, was nying specifications.)
mods for today’s Conquest fleet say an (except for the radar) from Cessna’s elec- The performance of the Conquest
updated CE-441 can still run head-to- tronics subsidiary, Aircraft Radio Corp. extends beyond all-out speed or seats-
head with the Citation II. (ARC). An optional Collins package, empty range. It offers flexibility, comfort-
The 441’s cabin is large. It can accom- which many customers preferred, was ably handling the more typical (shorter)
modate 11 passenger seats in commuter available. However, the FCS 1000 flight distances of most business trips and haul-
configuration, and, more typically, six or director was the only FCS available until ing a lot of payload, while still providing
seven seats in executive configuration. the very end of production. Ultimately near-jet performance to handle longer
The airplane’s long nose has two separate some 15 airplanes went out the door with legs.
baggage bays, with the avionics rack in the Sperry (Honeywell) SPZ-500.
the forward bay and the batteries stowed Many turboprops of the day were poor Development
under the rear bay floor. There also is a performers between 17,000 and 25,000 A total of 362 CE-441’s were manufac-
large baggage area in the aft cabin. The feet because of powerplant and environ- tured. According to Aviation Data Ser-

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The CE-441 horizontal stabilizer (below) was designed with
pronounced dihedral to minimize the effects of propeller whirl mode
vibration, but failures required significant redesign. Right: The long
nose provides generous baggage space and easy access.

vice, Inc. of Wichita, 316 remain on the Cessna offered a high-altitude kit (SK Cessna evaluated a follow-on, economy
active registry. Some 203 are registered in 441-36) to owners of earlier aircraft. At version of the 441, powered by PT6s. It
the United States. Cessna built 70 Con- the same time, the single battery switch was not a go then, nor did it pass muster
quests in the first production year, 39 in was changed to individual switches for with the dealer organization in the early
1979, 63 in 1980, 52 in 1981, and 40 in each of the two nickel cadmium batteries, 1990s when planners again proposed the
1982. Production was spotty thereafter and a service retrofit kit was made avail- program. Dealers thought the P&WC-
with 48 manufactured in 1983, 20 in able for this change, as well (SK 441-37). powered version would be a step back-
1984, 19 in 1985 and 11 in 1986, the last Operating experience turned up a num- wards because, in the words of one, “it
production year. ber of other problems that were couldn’t climb, go as fast or as high as the
The CE-441 was grounded twice dur- addressed during the production run. Conquest II.”
ing its first two years in service. Failure of The engine fuel nozzles, for example, Despite fairly extensive service prob-
the trim tab actuator jack screws and sub- proved troublesome in service, and the lems with the AlliedSignal TPE331-8
sequent elevator flutter led to in-flight combustion chamber was prone to carbon engines, there have been only five ADs
airframe failure of the sixth production buildup, which not only reduced per- issued to date. Three—92-02-19, 93-02-
airplane. formance but also could create hot spots 19, which superseded the previous AD,
The final fix was a complete redesign of that could lead to combustor damage. and 93-02-01—addressed fuel manifold
the horizontal tailplane, including thicker Starter/generators and batteries provid- problems. They all had very short com-
skins, a redesigned leading edge and ele- ed less than optimum service in the field. pliance periods. The most recent, 95-16-
vators, additional ribs and a second spar The windows developed a number of 08, required an extensive review of
in the horizontal stabilizer. The fix problems early on, including delamina- records and mandatory engine disassem-
included a new aft fairing and dual trim tion, and improved units were devel- bly if any major work had been done by
tab actuators. The AD (79-19-13) detail- oped. Many operators converted to glass Fliteline Maintenance of Wharton, Texas
ing the modification also required inspec- windshields. and two specifically named mechanics, or
tion and modification or replacement of Cessna made many of the product if any life-limited parts had been supplied
the tailcone shelf assembly. The model improvement service bulletins and kits by them.
was re-certificated in 1979. The first 109 available at no charge to operators. The most recent ADs are blanket ones,
production aircraft are 1978 and 1979 Among several changes introduced at affecting many aircraft. AD 97-25-04,
models. The AD applied to Serial Num- Serial Number 0260 (during the 1982 requires changes to the AFM to prohibit
bers 001 to 0106 and to Serial Number model year) was the addition of wind- positioning the power levers below the
0109. shield defog blowers to help handle con- flight idle stop in flight. Another directive
Cessna worked vigorously to support densation in the cockpit (SK 441-72). affects operation in icing conditions (See
its customers during the lengthy tail-fix The last major change was the introduc- Intelligence, April 1998, page 20.)
down time, including supplying them tion of an engine power management sys- According to one Conquest specialist,
with replacement piston twins while the tem (PMS) with Serial Number 0340. John Berizzi, business development man-
441 fix was developed. In a big step for- Service kit SK 441-79 was made available ager at Executive Wings, Inc. of Lake-
ward in customer service, Cessna also for retrofit. land, Fla., “AD searches on Conquests
developed fixes for other shortcomings are fairly easy. We do a number of pre-
and frequently picked up much of the The End of the Line buy inspections, and ADs and service bul-
cost, too. There is some question about whether letins are not big issues. The main
During its short manufacturing span, any 441’s were actually built in 1986 or questions are whether the customer is
list price of a factory-equipped airplane whether they were actually inventory getting a good airplane for the price.”
nearly doubled from $925,000 to built in 1984 or 1985 and carried forward.
$1,795,000. More important is that Cessna had Propulsion System
For the 1981 model year, maximum reached the end of the line for all turbo- The TPE331-8, rated at 636 shp, and
operating altitude was increased to FL prop products except for the single developed for the CE-441, provided
350, beginning with Serial Number 0173. P&WC PT6 powered Caravan. In 1986, excellent performance for the price.

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Operations

Specifications
Cessna Conquest II CE-
441
B/CA Equipped Price $1,855,010
Bluebook, ’98 $1,520,000
Characteristics
Seating 1 + 9/9
Wing Loading 32.8
Power Loading 7.9
Noise (EPNdB) 74.0
Dimensions (ft/m)
External
Length 39.0/11.9
Height 13.1/4.0
Span 49.3/15.0
Internal
Length 12.9/3.9
Cockpit design of the Conquest II wins praise from pilots for good layout, generous space. Visibility is Height 4.3/1.3
good. Original equipment ARC avionics, including analog ARC 1000 flight control system, are weak points. Width 4.6/1.4
Power
Engines 2 ASE
TPE331-8
Output 636 shp ea.
TBO 3,000
Weights (lb/kg)
Max Ramp 9.925/4,501
Max Takeoff 9,850/4,467
Max Landing 9,360/4,245
Zero Fuel 8,500/3,855
BOW 6,209/2,816
Max Payload 2,291/1,039
Useful Load 3,716/1,685
Executive Payload 1,600/726
Max Fuel 3,183/1,444
Payload/Max Fuel 533/242
Fuel/Max Payload 1,425/646
Fuel/Executive Payload 2,116/960
Limits
MMO 0.55
VMO 243
PSI 6.3
Airport Performance (ft/m)
TOFL (SL ISA) 2,465/1,118
TOFL
(5,000 ft ISA+20°) 3,720/1,687
In typical executive configuration, the cabin can seat six in comfort. Noise and vibration levels, largely Cruise
generated by propeller wash, and regulation of temperature are regular passenger complaints. Long Range
TAS 259
Fuel Flow 304
Altitude FL 350
However, reliability issues quickly arose. This change addresses another issue, Specific Range 0.85
Fuel nozzle problems and maintenance since the -10 includes duplex, two-headed High Speed
TAS 293
requirements, carbon buildup in the com- fuel nozzles. At first, the company called Fuel Flow 510
bustor and performance deterioration in its mods the “Super 8 Engine Conver- Altitude FL 290
relatively few operating hours due to tur- sion.” It is now trademarked as the Specific Range 0.57
bine blade erosion were among operator “Executive Five Eleven” conversion. NBAA IFR Ranges (200-nm alternate)
complaints. (See “Operator Survey,” HSI is extended to 2,500 hours; TBO is Max Payload
November 1984, page 42).The -8 has stretched to 5,000 hours. Among other Nautical Miles 1,566
Average Speed 299
short major service intervals—hot section advantages Executive Wings claims are Trip Fuel 280
inspections at 1,500-hour intervals and a reduction of HSI costs of from 30 to 50 nm/lb 0.66
3,000-hour TBO. Operators have not percent, fuel nozzle maintenance costs
liked the high cost of major maintenance, cut by as much as 75 percent—from an
either. average of $8 per hour to $2—and Berizzi says the initial objective of the
Executive Wings claims to be the pio- reduced turbine blade carbon erosion. conversion was to cut maintenance costs
neer in upgrading the -8 for maintainabil- The -10 first stage turbine wheels are air- and improve reliability. The substantial
ity and reliability, obtaining two STCs in cooled. They also are segmented and performance improvement, including the
March 1991. The improvements devel- have replaceable blades. The modifica- ability to carry full power to FL 260, up
oped involve exchanging the -8 combus- tion can reduce 441 operating costs up to from FL 220 in standard conditions, and
tor and turbine with components $155 per hour compared to a standard an increase in cruise speed of from 25
developed for the TPE331-10 series. 441, according to Executive Wings. KTAS to 30 KTAS, were bonuses, he

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Operations

claims. In September 1997, Executive 10N engines on the Conquest II. Cus- time-to-climb to cruise altitude improves
Wings was FAA approved as a TPE331 tomer engines are removed at West Star by eight to 10 percent, cruise speed
overhaul facility. The repair station and shipped to AlliedSignal’s Phoenix increases an average of 25 knots and
license covers -1 through -11 series facility for modification and then hourly total cost, including reserves, can
engines. returned to Grand Junction for installa- be reduced by as much as 11 percent.
West Star Aviation of Grand Junction, tion and final rigging. Williams estimates DOCs range from
Colo. approached the -8 in a different West Star’s conversion is trademarked $300 to $350 per hour depending on
way. The company teamed with as the Dash 10 and offers comparable stage lengths, power settings and average
AlliedSignal in 1992 and obtained an benefits. Russ Williams, West Star’s vice fuel costs.
STC to install factory-modified TPE331- president of business development, says The higher power output at altitude

Mods, Support, Training and ADs


➤Propellers— Hartzell initially sup- propellers and $37,250 for aircraft well Collins APS-65 retrofit, a digital
plied the original equipment pro- with Har tzell props. Its conversion flight control system and three-axis
pellers. According to West Star’s price for the McCauley BlackMac is autopilot that adds a number of fea-
Williams, Cessna installed McCauley $37,500. West Star’s price for either tures to reduce pilot workload and
three-blade propellers with Serial is $37,500. increase passenger comfor t. Fea-
Number 0196. Both are 90 inches in ➤ Batteries— Original equipment tures include improved altitude prese-
diameter. batteries are two, 25.5 volt, 22 lect and hold, indicated airspeed and
The Conquest’s long nose is an ampere-hour nickel cadmium units. vertical speed hold, and half-bank and
ef fective transmitter of noise and Marathon Battery Products was the soft ride modes. It is certificated to
vibration generated by the props. source until Cessna changed to SAFT Category II approach standards.
Depending upon power selection, the America with Serial Number 0340. West Star charges $124,500 to
noise can be more pronounced in the The batteries, called “half-height” by remove the ARC 1000 and install the
cabin than in the cockpit. some also provide about half the APS-65. For an operator who is plan-
Blade-tip ground clearance is 10.2 cranking power of full-size nickel cad- ning to keep a 441, it can pay off
inches. Blade erosion from dust, mium batteries. Marathon has devel- economically and operationally.
debris and water is a concern, and so oped a modification that drops the ➤Increase Weight Kit— Boundary
is the possibility of prop strikes when battery box base to permit installa- Layer Research of Everett, Wash. has
taxiing over uneven ground. tion of full-size nickel cadmium units. received an STC to add vortex gener-
Berizzi of Executive Wings says his There are lead acid battery conver- ators to flying surfaces. The kit per-
company worked with Har tzell to sions. Premier Air Center of East mits an increase of ramp weight from
develop four-blade propellers to Alton, Ill., of fers one that costs 9,925 to 10,240 pounds; max takeoff
replace the OEM three-blade units. $5,000, or about the cost of a nickel from 9,850 to 10,165 pounds; and
Tip clearance is increased by 2 1/4 cadmium battery, according to Rick zero fuel weight from 8,500 to 8,815
inches. Executive Wings claims an Micacek of Premier. It provides more pounds. Max landing weight remains
eight- to 10-dB noise reduction in the cranking power and simplifies mainte- at 9,360 pounds. Stall speeds
cabin, decreased takeoff roll (primari- nance. This is important at an airport increase by one knot at the higher
ly because of faster acceleration from with marginal ser vice. Premier rec- weight: VS goes from 89 to 90 KIAS
more propeller efficiency), a 400- to ommends that operators replace lead and VSO from 74 to 75 KIAS. YMCA
500-fpm rate of climb improvement acid batteries every two years. They remains at 91 KIAS. Kit price is
and a three- to five-knot cruise speed cost approximately $800 each. $5,995 excluding shipping and han-
increase. The replacement propellers Premier also offers stainless steel dling. BLR estimated installation time
have a five-year or 3,000-hour TBO. exhaust fairings to replace the origi- is three hours. According to Robert
McCauley has STCed a BlackMac nal equipment over wing exhaust de Roche of BLR, the company is
four-blade conversion for the 441. As duct. Exhaust heat embrittles the sur- evaluating development of a modifica-
with the Hartzell replacement props, rounding fiber glass, which then tion to fur ther increase operating
they can be installed on aircraft pow- begins to deteriorate, leaving no sup- weights.
ered by either an original -8 engine or port or attachment for the exhaust ➤Noise Control— Cabin noise levels
the -10 conversion. They offer similar duct. The replacement ducts provide remain a major passenger gripe, while
per formance and sound reduction a metal-to-metal structure. temperature control runs a close sec-
improvements. Diameter is 88.0 inch- ➤Other Operational Mods— Both ond. Both Executive Wings and West
es, and McCauley notes that the four- Executive Wings and West Star Avia- Star have developed mods that involve
blade conversion reduces flyover tion offer a number of other modifica- relining the interior of the cabin to
noise as well as cabin sound levels. tions. Executive has a reduced-drag deaden sound. Executive Wings says
Recommended TBO is the earlier of wing tip mod ($5,900) that provides its $7,200 retrofit reduces cabin
4,000 hours or 72 calendar months. a slight cruise speed increase. The noise levels by four to six dB. West
Either conversion is available from greatest advantage, according to Star says its mod costs $7,500 and
both Executive Wings and West Star Berizzi, is improved stability at alti- involves the removal and replacement
Aviation. Executive is pricing the tude. It also reduces autopilot work- of original insulation with sound dead-
Hartzell propeller switch at $33,900 load. ening materials and new insulation.
for aircraft with original McCauley West Star Aviation offers a Rock- Both firms add inner cabin window

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
comes at the expense of a seven to 10 per- val or needed maintenance. West Star’s version costs approximately $430,000 at
cent increase in fuel burned. Both West Dash 10 continued-time conversion Executive Wings and $454,000 at West
Star and Executive Wings say reduced includes an HSI, a gear box inspection, a Star.
block times compensate for the fuel functional check of accessories (but no Executive Wings has completed 65
burned, and customer comments support accessory overhaul), new hoses and conversions; West Star Aviation had done
the claims. engine mounts, tests and documentation. 150 as of press time. Thus, 68 percent of
Each company offers two conversion West Star charges approximately the fleet has undergone the engine
options. The first is a continued-time $302,000. Executive Wings charges upgrade. The two firms are fierce com-
conversion, which could be done if $267,500 for its continued-time conver- petitors. Conquest operators interested in
engines were approaching an HSI inter- sion. A fully overhauled, zero-time con- upgrading their airplanes are advised to
talk to both companies to determine the
relative merits.

THE MARKET
panes. training on the sixth day. Cost is Aftermarket suppliers stress the increase
West Star also is offering an active $7,500. Recurrent training runs for in resale value some modifications add,
noise control system developed by three days and costs $4,500. Main- particularly performance and reliability
Lord Corp., of Car y, N.C. Trade- tenance training runs for 10 days and improvements such as the -10 engine
marked NVX, the system weighs costs $3,325. conversion. Resale prices would seem to
approximately 55 pounds and ➤ Accidents— NTSB records con- bear out their claims. Williams of West
involves the installation of eight tain 22 CE-441 accidents between Star stressed to B/CA that the Aircraft
speakers and 16 microphones, plus May 12, 1983 and March 8, 1997. Blue Book Price Digest reports an
sensors and other system elements Nine were fatal. Probable causes increase of $18,000 to $19,000 in the last
in the cabin. Lord claims its 441 NVX range widely from fuel mismanage- quarter, with estimated market values of
reduces propeller noise in the cabin ment (including one accident that even the oldest aircraft of more than $1
by 12 dB, or 75 percent. Installed occurred during a drug run after the million, and that these are for TPE331-8-
price averages $35,000, according pilot exhausted the fuel supply) to powered aircraft. Williams claims that
to West Star. poor decisions or improper proce- -10 Conquests are worth from $250,000
➤Customer Support— According dures during instrument approaches. to $300,000 more than unmodified air-
to Steve Charles, director of product ➤ A i r w o r t h i n e s s planes.
support for Cessna’s propeller dealer Directives— Major air frame and Conquest specialists think a number of
organization, Cessna continues to operational ADs issued on the 441 operators are making investments that
assign someone to its technical hot include: represent 25 percent or more of the cur-
line for turboprops. While it is orient- 79-08-07—Propeller anti-icing elec- rent value of their aircraft because they
ed toward the dealer support organi- trical wiring modification. plan to keep operating them well into the
zation—there are about 20 in the 79-09-02—Aileron control surfaces future.
United States—it frequently drainage. According to numbers offered by
responds to inquiries from operators. 79-19-13—Elevator trim tab. Williams, average total time of the 441
Cessna of fers subscriptions to all 80-02-17—Flight manual perform- fleet ranges from just under 3,700 hours
technical manuals, par ts and tool ance. Data was changed for aircraft for late model aircraft to nearly 6,200
catalogs and bulletins. New subscrip- through S/N 0097 and replacement hours for early serial numbers. With an
tions cost $275 per year in aero- of certain fuel control units and relat- annual hourly utilization of 308 hours,
fiche. ed actions. there is a lot of useful time left for the
➤ Operator’s Group— The Con- 83-12-03—Batter y switch wiring. fleet. The only life-limited airframe ele-
quest Aircraft Operators Group offers Inspection and modification as need- ment at this point are the aileron hinges,
members “a personal knowledge in ed of the dual switch wiring. which have a 10,000 hour life. If averages
turbine aircraft operations,” a quar- 84-20-02—Nose landing gear actu- are any guide, it will be more than 12
terly publication, Charlie Tango ator rod end replacement. years before the average high-time air-
425-441, and an annual safety and 85-25-11—Nuts (Cessna P/N plane approaches 10,000 hours.
maintenance conference. Annual NAS1291-8). Replacement of the hor- The bad news is that the returning
dues are $125 in the United States izontal stabilizer front spar attach appeal and the improvements available
and $150 for operators in other coun- bolt retaining nuts with new ones for the Conquest II have driven up prices
tries. The Conquest Aircraft Opera- available only from Cessna. and constrained the availability of aircraft
tors Group, P.O. Box 460, Valdosta, 86-24-13—POH/AFM appendix- at the same time.
Ga. 31603. Phone: (912) 244-1568; icing. Revises engine management Popularity comes and goes with air-
fax: (912) 244-2604; procedures in icing conditions. This planes just as it does with entertainers.
e-mail: JemOps@worldnet.att.net. could present operational problems, Yesterday’s dog is tomorrow’s darling, and
➤ Training— FlightSafety Interna- since it requires activation of the vice versa. In the current situation, the
tional offers dedicated 441 pilot and engine ignition override mode, which is 441 appears more in the desirable col-
maintenance training at its Wichita time-limited. umn. As an example, a 1981 model that
Cessna Learning Center: (316) 220- 92-16-07—Horizontal stabilizer front had depreciated to, or had reached a
3200. Pilot initial training consists of spar. Applies to all 441’s and requires residual value of—in market demand
five days of ground school and simu- repetitive dye penetrant inspection, at terms—roughly 64 percent of its original
lator training with the option of flight 2,000 hour intervals, of the horizontal price in 1987 has now climbed back up to
82 percent. B/CA

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
stabilizer forward attach bulkhead for
cracks. The str ucture must be
replaced if cracks are found before
further flight. Installation of SK 441-
103A is terminating action for the
repeat inspections.
95-25-10—Replace outflow/safe-
ty valve. (Requires the replacement
of cabin pressure outflow valves to
prevent cracking and depressuriza-
tion).

FROM OCTOBER 1998 BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL AVIATION.


© 1998, THE McGRAW-HILL COMPANIES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.