Cessna 401 & 402
PH-MAZ Directie Noordzee (cropped).jpg
Rijkswaterstaat Cessna 402
Role Corporate transport and airliner
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight August 26, 1965
Introduction 1967
Primary user Cape Air
Produced 1966–1985
Developed from Cessna 411[1]

The Cessna 401 and 402 are a series of 6 to 10 seat, light twin-piston engine aircraft. This line was manufactured by Cessna from 1966 to 1985 under the name Utiliner and Businessliner.[1][2] All seats are easily removable so that the aircraft can be used in an all-cargo configuration.[1] Neither the Cessna 401 nor the 402 were pressurized, nor were they particularly fast for the installed power. Instead, Cessna intended them to be inexpensive to purchase and operate.[2]



The Cessna 401 and 402 were developed to be non-pressurized twin engine piston aircraft. Their goal was to be a workhorse, useful to cargo and small commuter airlines among other users.

The Cessna 401 and 402 were developments of the Cessna 411.[1] One goal for the Cessna 401/402 was to improve upon the very bad single engine handling of the Cessna 411.[3] Another goal was to avoid using the somewhat expensive and maintenance prone geared engines of the Cessna 411.[3]

Cessna 401s and 402s are powered by 300 hp (224 kW) turbocharged Continental engines with three-bladed, constant speed, fully feathering propellers. On later models cruise power was limited to 75% to reduce cabin noise. Some aircraft have a propeller synchrophaser to reduce cabin noise and vibration.[1]

The FAA granted certification to the Cessna 401 in October 1968 and the 402 in January 1969.[4] The original Cessna 402 was introduced in 1967. A version without the large cargo door called the Cessna 401 was produced at the same time.[3] In 1969, the 402's nose was stretched for added baggage space. This model was renamed the 402A. The 401 kept the original nose.[3] In 1970, various minor changes were made. Also, optional larger fuel tanks, of 184 US gallons (700 L), became available. This model was called the 402B.[3] By 1971, sales of the 401 had slowed to only 21 planes, so the model was discontinued.[3]

Between 1971 and 1977, many changes were made to the airframe, including an optional engine fire extinguisher (1971), simpler exhaust system (1972), enlarged passenger windows (1973), equipment for flight into known icing conditions (1975), and an optional flushing toilet (1977).[3]

In 1976, the very similar Cessna 421 was produced with a new wing, no tip tanks, and a simpler fuel system. The Cessna 414 was given a clean wing in 1978.

In 1979, the 402s received a new wing, with a 5 feet (1.5 m) greater span. The landing gear was replaced, using the simpler system from the Cessna 414. The landing gear track was also increased by 4 feet (1.2 m). The engines' output was boosted to 325 hp (242 kW) each and max gross weight increased to 6,850 pounds (3,110 kg), creating a much more useful airplane. Fuel capacity was increased to 213 US gallons (810 L). Even with the weight increase, single-engine performance improved and the stall speed decreased by a couple of knots. After this change, the plane was named the Cessna 402C.[4][3]

Production stopped after the 1985 model year.


In 1969, American Jet Industries began work on a turboprop-powered conversion of the Cessna 402, named the Turbo Star 402, using Allison 250-B17 engines.[5] The prototype flew on 10 June 1970.[5] Further modifications providing increased fuel capacity, higher gross weight, and lower minimum control speed were carried out in 1974 and the modification was re-certified.[5] Scenic Airlines of Las Vegas purchased rights to the design in 1977.[6]

The Cessna 402C may be outfitted with vortex generators to increase maximum allowable takeoff weight to 7,210 lb (3,270 kg), with a zero-fuel weight of 6,750 lb (3,062 kg).[7]

Another modification for the 402C increases the maximum landing weight to 7,200 lb (3,266 kg), which allows commercial operators to fly with an increased payload on shorter routes.[8]

Hendrik Venter of DMI engineering created the Falcon 402: a converted Cessna 402 fitted with a single Walter M601D turboprop in the nose and replacing the two piston engines in the wings with new fuel tanks. The nose was lengthened in order to correct the centre of gravity. It has an increased payload and top speed and can use shorter runways[9]


Early models have four oval windows, a short nose and tip tanks.
Early models have four oval windows, a short nose and tip tanks.
Later 402Cs have five windows, a longer nose for luggage and no tip tanks.
Later 402Cs have five windows, a longer nose for luggage and no tip tanks.

This family of aircraft was built in several versions:

Six to eight seat interior, intended for corporate transport. Produced 1966–1972. The replacement for the 401 in the corporate transport role was the 402 Businessliner variant. Certified 20 September 1966.[1][10][11]
A 401 with minor changes. Certified 29 October 1968.[11][12]
A 401A with minor changes, later replaced by the 402B. Certified 12 November 1969.[11][12]
A 401 with either a utility (for freight) or nine-seat commuter use. Certified 20 September 1966.[11][12]
A 402 with a baggage compartment in lengthened nose and an optional crew entry door. Certified 3 January 1969.[11][12]
402B Utiliner/Businessliner
402A with minor changes, from 1972 had increased cabin volume and five windows each side. Certified 12 November 1969.[11][12]
  • Utiliner version has a ten-seat interior intended for commuter airline operations.[1]
  • Businessliner version has a six to eight-seat interior with executive seating intended for corporate transport.[1]
402C Utiliner/Businessliner
402B with Continental TSIO-520-VB 325 hp engines, increased takeoff weight, longer wingspan without main tip tanks and hydraulic instead of electric landing gear. Certified 25 September 1978.[11][12]


Cape Air Cessna 402Cs at Boston Logan
Cape Air Cessna 402Cs at Boston Logan


The Cessna 402 has proven to be very dependable over the years, which, along with its range and passenger capacity, has made it a popular choice for many small regional airlines worldwide. The aircraft are generally flown on short, thin routes to hubs where passengers can connect to higher density routes.

The largest operator of the type is Cape Air, which as of June 2019 has a fleet of 88 Cessna 402s operating in the Caribbean, Micronesia and United States.[13][14]


A Cessna 402C of the Swedish Coast Guard in 1981
A Cessna 402C of the Swedish Coast Guard in 1981
 Trinidad and Tobago


Main article: 2001 Marsh Harbour Cessna 402 crash

American R&B singer Aaliyah died along with eight others, including the pilot, two hairstylists, a makeup artist, a bodyguard, and three record label professionals, when a Cessna 402B registered N8097W, crashed shortly after takeoff on August 25, 2001, around 6:50 p.m. local time, in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, The Bahamas. The main cause of the crash was determined to be an improperly loaded aircraft, which was approximately 700 pounds (320 kg) over its maximum takeoff weight, with a center of gravity well aft of the envelope.[29] Investigators discovered that the pilot, Luis Morales III, was unlicensed at the time of the crash and had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system.[30][31] Aaliyah's family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways, which was settled out of court.[32]

Specifications (402C Businessliner)

Flight deck
Flight deck

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1982–83[33]

General characteristics


See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 92. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  2. ^ a b Montgomery, MR & Gerald Foster: A Field Guide to Airplanes, Second Edition, page 108. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. ISBN 0-395-62888-1
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide vol 2
  4. ^ a b Leroy Cook (September 23, 2015). "The Cessna 402: A Versatile Cabin-Class Twin". Twin and Turbine.
  5. ^ a b c Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1977–78. London: Jane's Yearbooks. p. 398.
  6. ^ Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 793.
  7. ^ "Cessna 402C - Micro Vortex Generator Kit ( Micro VGs)". microaero.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "AeroAcoustics Aircraft Systems Aircraft Payload Extender APE XL for 4…". aeroacoustics.com. July 17, 2012. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Pilot's Post - Falcon 402 Project". www.pilotspost.co.za. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Demand Media, Inc (2008). "The Cessna 411, 401 & 402". Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Federal Aviation Administration (March 2007). "TYPE CERTIFICATE DATA SHEET NO. A7CE". Retrieved August 10, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Simpson, R.W. (1991). Airlife's General Aviation. England: Airlife Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 1-85310-194-X.
  13. ^ Cape Air (2019). "About Us". Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Cape Air Sustains Cessna 402 Fleet While Searching for Replacement". aviationpros.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  15. ^ Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p. 139. ISBN 0-85130-210-6.
  16. ^ a b Siegrist, Martin (October 1987). "Bolivian Air Power — 70 Years On". Air International. Vol. 33, no. 4. p. 176. ISSN 0306-5634.
  17. ^ Hoyle Flight International 2020, p. 14.
  18. ^ Hoyle Flight International 2020, p. 16.
  19. ^ a b c d Wheeler, Barry C. (October 4, 1980). "World's Air Forces 1980". Flight International. Vol. 118, no. 3726. pp. 1330–1357. ISSN 0015-3710..
  20. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  21. ^ Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p. 77. ISBN 0-85130-210-6.
  22. ^ "Pesawat Cessna 401A/402A Pioneer Sang "Walet"". tni-au.mil.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  23. ^ Gaines, Mike (November 6, 1982). "World's Air Forces 1982". Flight International. Vol. 122, no. 3835. p. 1387.
  24. ^ Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-85130-210-6.
  25. ^ "Air Power Intelligence: Aviación Naval Paraguaya". International Air Power Review. Spring 2003. p. 14. ISBN 1-880588-54-4. ISSN 1473-9917.
  26. ^ Niccoli, Riccardo (May–June 1998). "Portuguese Numerology: Serial systems used by the Aeronautica Militar and the Força Aerea Portuguesa". Air Enthusiast. No. 75. p. 38. ISSN 0143-5450.
  27. ^ a b Hatch, Paul F. (November 29, 1986). "World's Air Forces 1986". Flight International. Vol. 130, no. 4039. pp. 93, 103. ISSN 0015-3710.
  28. ^ Flight International 30 November 1985, p. 99.
  29. ^ NTSB (August 25, 2001). "NTSB Identification: MIA01RA225". Retrieved September 26, 2007.
  30. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Pilot Of Aaliyah's Plane Had Been Caught With Cocaine, Was Not Authorized To Fly: Luis Morales' pilot's license should have been revoked under FAA rules". MTV.com, August 29, 2001. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  31. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric. "Aaliyah Killed In Plane Crash". MTV.com, August 26, 2001. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  32. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. "Aaliyah's Parents Settle Crash Lawsuit". People. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  33. ^ Taylor, John W. R. (1982). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83. London: Jane's Yearbooks. pp. 348–350. ISBN 0-7106-0748-2.