Sadly, in January, a pretty great airplane was put out to pasture. Textron (the conglomerate that now owns Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, and Lycoming) announced it was ceasing production of the Cessna TTx. With the end of the Cessna TTx production, an airplane that was the main “competitor” to Cirrus (if you can call it competition; Cirrus consistently outsold the Cessna TTx by a wide margin each year), it leaves the SR series to stand alone atop the High Performance piston single market.
I got to go through Cessna’s FITS Accepted Instructor (CFAI) course back in 2012 and have flown in the Cessna 350 and 400 (which is what they were known as at the time; the Cessna TTx name came around in 2011) for about 120 hours. I really like the airplanes. I’m partial to the Cirrus, but the Cessna 350 & 400 are fast airplanes and great for 1-2 people. I flew a 350 (the non-turbo charged version) from New York to San Antonio last fall and routinely saw 170 knots at 12 GPH.
Columbia started out making the 350 & 400 (the turbo-charged version) in the early 2000s, but went bankrupt in 2007. Lancair started Columbia to make a certified version of their popular kit planes. If you see a Lancair ES floating around, you would swear it’s a Columbia with only 1 door. Cessna bought the design from Columbia in 2007 to begin manufacturing the airplanes themselves.
Cessna then made a huge mistake as they moved the production facility from Bend, Oregon to Mexico. Production completely halted in 2009 as the planes coming out of Mexico were found to have defective composite work. The sales never really recovered, even though Cessna put the Garmin G2000 panel in the Cessna TTx, complete with a touchscreen key pad. A FIKI system was added as an option in 2012.
A prospective buyer can still get a great value on a used 350, 400, or TTx, as they are valued a little lower than a Cirrus. The 350, 400 or TTx all make excellent single pilot or two person speedsters with very comfortable amenities.
Information for this article was taken from Flying Magazine’s website.