Cessna CE-303 Crusader
Cessna's light twin, the Model 303 (N303PD), flew for the first time in February 1978. A top speed of 140 knots was reached on the Valentine's Day flight, which lasted 54 minutes. It then designated Cessna Model 303 Clipper
In this prototype form it was a four-seat aircraft of low-wing monoplane configuration with the wing incorporating a super-critical aerofoil section. Other features included retractable tricycle landing gear, swept vertical tail surfaces with a long dorsal fin, extensive use of bonded construction and powerplant comprising two 119kW engines. Before the certification programme began it was superseded by a new Model T303 which reverted to conventional construction, had six-seat accommodation, was powered by two turbocharged engines of increased output, and had acquired the new name Crusader because the earlier title of Clipper infringed a US trademark.
Cessna's Crusader had its keel laid in 1977, the airplane first flew in 1978 and was quickly laid to rest. The highly touted GAW-1 airfoil apparently was not talented enough in this application, and Cessna felt it would not be able to compete in a market that turned out to be small and overpopulated. That proved to be a good decision. So did the next one: to reinvent the light twin in a new form. The cabin-class design was popular, so the target airplane became a basic size cabin-class twin with good performance, excellent handling qualities and a big look. The result was an all-new design called the Crusader (or T303, turbochargers having been added).
Cessna claimed the Crusader was the first lightweight twin of its class to have full IFR avionics and equipment as standard, and that handling of the aircraft benefited from the high set tailplane, coupled with unusually, counter rotating engines, which minimise engine torque effect. Production model Crusaders were certificated in August 1981, and first deliveries followed in October. When production ceased in 1986 297 had been delivered. Although it replaced the model 337, sales didn’t improve much and only a relatively small number were made.
Engines: Continental TSIO-520-AE, 250 hp, 186kW and 1 x Continental LTSIO-520-AE.
TBO: 2,000 hrs.
Props: McCauley 3-blade, 74-in.
Length: 30ft 5in. / 9.27 m
Height: 13ft 2in. / 4.06 m
Wingspan: 11.9 m / 39 ft 1 in
Wing area: 189.2 sq.ft. / 17.58 sq.m
Maximum ramp weight: 5,175 lbs.
Maximum takeoff weight: 5,150 lbs / 2336 kg
Standard empty weight: 3,305 lb / 1499 kg.
Maximum useful load: 1,870 lbs.
Zero-fuel weight: 4,850 lbs.
Maximum landing weight: 5,000 lbs (5,150 lbs. with optional heavy-duty wheels and brakes).
Wing loading: 27.2 lbs/sq.ft.
Power loading: 10.3 lbs/hp.
Maximum usable fuel 153 gals/918 lbs.
Best rate of climb: 1,480 fpm @ 103 kts.
Climb gradient: 871 ft/nm.
Rate of climb @ 8,000 ft: 1375 fpm.
Certificated ceiling: 25,000 ft / 7620 m.
Maximum single-engine rate of climb: 220 fpm @ 97 kts.
Single-engine climb gradient: 135 ft/nm.
Single-engine service ceiling: 13,000 ft.
Maximum speed: 2l6 kts.
Cruise @ 65% pwr @ 8,000ft: 167 kts.
Cruise @ 72% power @ 10,000ft 180 kts.
Cruise @ 65% pwr @ 18,000 ft: 181 kts.
Cruise @ 72% power @ 20,000 ft: 197 kts.
Fuel flow @ 65% pwr @ 18,000 ft: 147 pph.
Fuel flow @ 72% power @ 20,000 ft: 31.3 gph.
Endurance at 72 % power, no reserve: 4.9 hrs:
Stalling speed clean: 68 kts.
Stalling speed gear/flaps down: 62 kts.
Turbulent-air penetration speed: 148 kts.
Range: 1889 km / 1174 miles