Over the years, Cessna has released some world-class planes - with the turboprop twin-engined 425 being a standout in their aircraft line-up.
The Cessna 425 is a twin turboprop aircraft powered by two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6 engines. This Cessna aircraft was in production from 1980 to 1986 and can seat 5 passengers (plus two crew members). Although the 425’s value is depreciating, it currently sells for roughly $750,000.
After extensively researching Cessna planes, I have gathered enough information to create a detailed guide containing useful tips regarding their 425 model aircraft. My research has indicated that the Cessna 425 is one of the best-value twin-engine turboprops of its era, which is why this aircraft is still in demand and circulation to this day.
Cessna 425 Introduction
The 425 is classic turboprop aircraft from Cessna that was designed to be a follow-up to its predecessor, the 421. After having its first flight in 1978, Cessna began rolling out the 425 in 1980 after it was certified by the FAA - with production halting in 1986 when it was discontinued. The aircraft is powered by two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6 engines and it is surprisingly easy to operate.
Cessna’s primary goal with the 425, commonly referred to as the Conquest I, was to directly compete with the Beechcraft King Air. However, the Cessna 425 did not get quite as much traction as its competition - with only 236 aircraft manufactured from 1980 to 1986. Regardless, the 425 is regarded by pilots and aviation critics as being a top-notch twin turboprop with a lot to offer.
After the success of the 421, Cessna aimed to deliver a new and improved version of their previous aircraft by releasing a turboprop with enhanced specs to accommodate the requests of pilots who reviewed the 421. A key characteristic that makes the Cessna 425 superior to the 421 is the increased cabin space, which makes the aircraft feel much more roomy and comfortable.
With the rising popularity of private aircraft for taxiing and corporate use, manufacturing companies like Cessna were capitalizing on the increased demand by making their planes more appealing to a wider range of customers. That is why Cessna focused on enhancing the flying experience for passengers on board the 425 - with more comfortable cabin space and larger windows for increased visibility.
Another request from customers was to push the take-off weight of the aircraft further than previous models, which Cessna delivered. The 1970s and 1980s saw an increase in hobby pilots entering the scene - with more people aspiring to get their licenses than ever before. Since aviation was becoming a more popular hobby around the country, aircraft manufacturers like Cessna strived to make their planes easier to fly.
With intuitive avionics, user-friendly controls, and precise handling, the 425 flies like a dream and this only increased the demand for the plane further. This characteristic combined with the Cessna 425’s pressurized cabin made it a go-to aircraft for private pilots and corporate businesses. Despite the small production numbers, the Cessna 425 is a plane with a lot of hype and it is still a sought-after aircraft.
Although it has been 40 years since the 425 was originally released, there are still plenty of these planes in the sky. With this kind of reputation and tried-and-true longevity, the Cessna 425 Conquest I has established itself as a great twin turboprop.
Cessna 425 Specifications
The Cessna 425 has solid specs and I discovered that the aircraft has some substantial improvements from the previous 421 model. With an increased level of comfort and an enhanced design of the original 421, pilots and customers who bought the 425 have been very satisfied with the aircraft’s specifications.
Exterior & Interior Dimensions
The physical dimensions of the 425 are quite similar to that of competitive aircraft from this era such as the Beechcraft King Air, as well as predecessors like the 421. However, Cessna did focus on increasing the comfort level of the 425 by making it more spacious.
These are the exterior and interior specs of the Cessna 425:
- Exterior Height: 12 ft 7 in
- Length: 35 ft 10 in
- Wing Span: 44 ft 1 in
- Cabin Volume: 180 cu ft
- Internal Baggage: 31 cu ft
- External Baggage: 33 cu ft
One of the biggest complaints that customers and pilots had about the 421 was that it lacked adequate take-off weight. This put some serious limitations on the aircraft and it resulted in logistics complications for pilots at times.
That is why Cessna made some major improvements to the weight capabilities of the 425. These are the weight specifications of the Cessna 425:
- Max Take-Off Weight: 8600 lbs
- Max Landing Weight: 8000 lbs
- Max Payload: 1598 lbs
- Payload with Full Fuel: 821 lbs
The Cessna 425 was not the largest twin turboprop of its time, but this was not a common complaint or request given the specs and intended use of the aircraft. The passenger capacity of the 425 is appropriate and adequate - especially for private and business-related flights.
- Passengers: 5
- Pilots/Crew: 2
Cessna 425 Performance
In general, the performance capabilities of the Cessna 425 are on point. Pilots and customers that have flown or owned the aircraft have left a positive rapport regarding the 425’s performance.
Cessa 425 Engine
The Cessna 425 features two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6 engines. The power of these engines delivers solid speed and makes taxiing efficient for long-distance travel.
Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace engine manufacturer and they have built a solid reputation in the industry over the years.
Cessna 425 Speed & Range
With two 450-horsepower engines from Pratt & Whitney powering the Cessna 425, this aircraft has great speed and an impressive range. These are the average speed specs of the Cessna 425:
- Economy Cruise Speed: 207 kts
- Normal Cruise Speed: 259 kts
- Max Speed: 265 kts
Cessna recommends maintaining an economy or normal cruise speed when flying the 425, as this will greatly affect the plane’s fuel efficiency and range. If you are traveling at an economy or normal cruise speed of 207kts to 259kts, the 425 can deliver a very solid range of 1180 nm. However, if you decide to push the speed of the aircraft past this, you can expect the range to diminish quite a bit with 836nm being the average at the 425’s max speed.
Cessna 425 Comfort Level
One of the Cessna 425’s shining qualities is its level of comfortability. After the success of the 421, Cessna strived to increase the passenger in-flight experience due to customer requests.
With the private aviation industry becoming more lucrative in the 1980s, designing a cabin with increased comfort became a priority for a lot of aircraft manufacturers. That is why the Cessna 425 is regarded by critics and customers for the following qualities:
- Spacious cabin
- Comfortable seats
- Larger windows (increased visibility)
Instead of making a plane that was solely intended for efficient commuting and taxiing, Cessna designed the 425 to offer passengers an enjoyable in-flight experience from take-off to landing.
Cessna 425 Support
Despite the 425 having roughly 40 years of flight, Cessna has been surprisingly good about offering ongoing support to customers who own the plane. This is often a major problem with a lot of older aircraft, as the consistency of quality support from manufacturers often diminishes over the years as new planes get unveiled.
Customers who bought the 425 Conquest I have had solid communication with Cessna regarding maintenance, repair, and general inquiries. Dealing with independent aircraft mechanics can be a bit of a toss-up, as there are a lot of companies and businesses that claim to be experts in repairing specific planes like twin turboprops from this era, but lack the legitimate knowledge to accurately give advice, let alone offer repairs.
Cessna’s responsiveness to questions regarding the 425 has been impressive and admirable. At the end of the day, the most trustworthy resource that you have for dealing with aircraft maintenance is the manufacturer. So, it is reassuring that Cessna is still giving its dated aircraft like the 425 Conquest I the time of day that it deserves.
With that said, properly maintaining a 425 requires much more than the occasional call to Cessna’s customer support. The 425 is powered by two 450-horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6 engines. Although Cessna may be able to point you in the right direction, reaching out the Pratt and Whitney will be necessary if you want reliable advice on engine maintenance and repairs - unless you want to solely rely on independent aircraft mechanics.
Cessna 425 Costs
Buying an aircraft is rarely, if ever, affordable. Aviation is an expensive hobby and buying a plane is a huge investment for a lot of private pilots and businesses.
With that said, the value of the Cessna 425 has decreased considerably over the years, and buying this twin turboprop is more realistic than ever for a wider range of pilots. A lot of this has to do with Cessna and other manufacturers rolling out new and improved planes that are high in demand, as well as the 425 simply becoming a more dated aircraft.
Cessna 425 Bluebook Value
There are a solid number of 425s on the market at the moment, but you will find that the price of buying one of these planes can vary quite a bit. However, most of the models that are available are typically priced between $680,000 and $860,000.
For a twin turboprop with the specs and performance capabilities that the Cessna 425 offers, a median price of roughly $750,000 make this a great-value aircraft. The Cessna 425 has seen a major dip in its value in the last decade. Just 10 years ago, this aircraft was sold at an average price that was $200,000 more than the current bluebook value.
If this trend continues, we can expect the value of the 425 to decrease in the coming years even more. With that said, there are obviously a number of factors that play into the cost of buying one of these planes and you can expect the condition of the aircraft to influence the price more than anything.
Cessna 425 Maintenance & Operational Costs
Although the Cessna 425’s bluebook value has been steadily declining, maintenance and operational costs have not become any cheaper over the years. In general, the 425 is a pretty reliable aircraft without an overwhelming about of routine maintenance compared to other twin turboprops of this era.
The manufacturer recommends that TBO (time between overhauls) be around 5,000 hours, which is reasonable for a plane with these specs. With that said, engine overhauls are never a cheap venture and you can expect this to cost around $175,000 per engine when the time comes.
Additional operation and maintenance costs can greatly vary. If the aircraft has received routine maintenance and upkeep over the years, you can expect standard expenses during your ownership provided that you do not neglect the plane.
The price of fuel is up in the air and repair jobs need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but you should ultimately expect operational costs that hover around $1,300 per hour. Naturally, taking care of the aircraft’s components will mitigate unpleasant and unforeseen maintenance issues.
Cessna 425 Modifications
Given the relatively short lifespan of the Cessna 425, there have not been a huge number of common modifications that the aircraft was known for. The 425 did not experience major issues that were consistent across the board, so most pilots and owners did not feel inclined to make any radical changes to the plane.
With that said, customizations and modifications were not unheard of. Some 425 owners decided to enhance the interior of their aircraft by increasing the comfort level of the cabin, which was particularly common with corporate planes.
However, the most common mod that has been synonymous with the Cessna 425 has been an upgrade to the aircraft’s avionics. Installing modern and advanced tech into the dashboard is often one of the first things that pilots and aircraft owners tend to upgrade when buying a used plane.
Virtually any Cessna 425 that has been upgraded will have an increased bluebook value. How much the price goes up will depend on what kind of modifications and upgrades were installed, as these can vary.
Is The Cessna 425 a Reliable Aircraft?
In general, the Cessna 425 has proved itself as being a reliable aircraft. There have been very few consistent issues outside the norm of standard maintenance and upkeep requirements. However, this is something that needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Whenever you evaluate a used aircraft, you need to conduct a thorough inspection of the plane to confirm its reliability. The 425 has been in circulation for upwards of 40+ years, which means that you need to look under the hood of each aircraft with a microscope.
Most Cessna 425s have a TBO (time between overhauls) of around 5,000 hours. Although this is a costly maintenance procedure, following Cessna’s recommendations will result in fewer repairs down the line. With that said, the engine is not the only part of the aircraft that you need to look at to determine its reliability. Make sure to inquire about any potential issues that the plane may have experienced during the ownership of the seller.
In regards to flying performance, the Cessna 425 is a very reliable aircraft. This twin turboprop plane is equipped with turbines that are easy to operate and the aircraft in general is easy to set up. Flying the plane is intuitive which is why the 425 is a particularly popular model among intro-level pilots - making it a user-friendly turboprop overall.
Is The Cessna 425 Worth Buying?
Determining if the Cessna 425 is worth buying is something that you will ultimately need to decide based on your budget and in-flight needs. This is a great twin turboprop aircraft that a lot of pilots enjoy, but it is not for everyone.
Given the flight performance, reliability, and reasonable price point, the Cessna 425 is a solid option to consider. There are certainly routine maintenance protocols that need to be adhered to, but this is something that you will encounter with every aircraft over the years.
At the end of the day, buying a plane is a major investment and despite the Cessna 425’s price tag, it still costs an average of $750,000. If the specs are aligned with what you want out of an aircraft and you have inspected the mechanics of the plane thoroughly, the 425 is definitely worth buying.
The one issue with buying this twin turboprop is that its value is depreciating rapidly. If you want to buy an aircraft that will hold its value over the years so that you can get a decent resale price down the line, you may want to consider an alternative plane. Given that the value of the Cessna 425 has dropped by around $200,000 in the last 10 years, chances are the following decade will have a similar impact on the price of the plane.
About THE AUTHOR
After spending years watching every video I could find about flying, I finally scratched the itch and got my pilots license. Now I fly every chance I get, and share the information I learn, here.Read More About Joe Haygood