Sun, Jul 30, 2006
Speed! Style! Fixed Gear! And did we mention speed? Those are
the hallmarks of Columbia Aircraft -- whose 350 and 400 single
engine planes live up to their billing of "higher, faster,
Perennial favorites with the Aero-News staff... especially the
Columbia 400, which was voted Best Piston Aircraft of 2005 by
ANN... both Columbia models offer the choice of either Avidyne's
Entegra, or Garmin G1000 glass panels -- allowing customers to
personalize their aircraft in a way unavailable among its
competitors. This company is moving fast, like it's planes... not
even a little hail can slow them down!
The folks at ANN move around fast -- that's how we get all those
stories long before anyone else. But... when it comes to getting
around fast, even we have to admit that we take a back seat to
those speed-demons from Bend, Oregon... the Columbia Aircraft
These guys are shaking up the aero-world big-time... I mean, do
you realize that that the fastest certified piston powered aircraft
in production actually has fixed gear?
Asked to name today's fastest certified piston-powered aircraft,
most pilots would probably think toward a twin with retractable
gear. They would be well off the mark.
With its certification in April '04, the Columbia 400 has risen
to the throne as world's fastest, complete with its single engine
and fixed gear. Two-hundred thirty-five (235) knots at 25,000 feet
- that's nearly as fast as some turboprops.
Perhaps even more impressive than its speed are the Columbia
400's slow-flight manners. The 400's aerodynamic designs, including
wing and enhanced control surfaces, impart very docile handling
characteristics that one wouldn't normally associate with such a
fast aircraft. The Columbia 400 is certified to the FAA's more
stringent Utility category, and maintains the spin resistant
characteristics of the normally aspirated Columbias while adding a
spin recoverable rating to its certification. Never before has such
high performance been so easy to handle.
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