Yeah, I think they were brand new when the RNZAF bought them.
NZ7940 421C1023 Delivered 12 February 1981 as N67961. To NZ7923 at hand-over to 42 Squadron on 28 February 1981. BOC 23 March 1981. Serial number changed to NZ7940 during 1981. Sold to Dennis Thompson International 03 April 1991 as ZK-FYX. Cancelled 23 April 1991. Ferried ex Auckland to United States on 16 April 1991. Registered as N678SW to Southern Wings Aircraft Sales, Bethany, Oklahoma on 23 April 1991. To Aviation Management Associates, Chino, California October 1993. To M. Meador, Cave Junction, Oregon July 1994. To M. Mullaley Inc. Monterey, California, 26 November 1996. Still flying as N678SW.
NZ7941 421C1024 Delivered 24 February 1981 as N6793X. To NZ7924 at hand-over to 42 Squadron. BOC 23 March 1981. Serial number changed to NZ7941 during 1981. Sold to Dennis Thompson International 03 April 1991 as ZK-FYY. Cancelled 23 April 1991. Ferried ex Auckland to United States on 16 April 1991. Registered as N432SW to Southern Wings Aircraft Sales, Bethany, Oklahoma on 23 April 1991. Exported to Germany 12 December 1991. To Global Air Service GmbH, Eggenfelden, Germany as D-IKST 17 December 1991. To J. Muehlbauer, Straubing, Germany July 1993. German registration cancelled 1998. Further details not known.
NZ7942 421C1025 Delivered 14 March 1981 as N67933. To NZ7925 at hand-over to 42 Squadron. BOC 01 April 1981. Serial number changed to NZ7942 during 1981. Sold to Dennis Thompson International 03 April 1991 as ZK-FYZ. Cancelled 23 April 1991. Ferried ex Auckland to United States on 16 April 1991. Registered as N942SW to Southern Wings Aircraft Sales, Bethany, Oklahoma on 23 April 1991. US registration cancelled March 1992 and registered to Global Air Service, Munich, Germany as D-IGRB on 12 March 1992. German registration cancelled 25 August 1993. To Aviation Management Associates, Chino, California as N942SW September 1993. To P and S Realty, Marshall, Texas August 1994. To Aviation Enterprises, Wilmington, Delaware 28 November 1997. To Davenport Co., Mount Vernon, Illinois 12 May 1998. To Allied Dairy Services, Kirkville, Missouri 06 July 1998. To Zanetis Oil Co., Hendricks, Indiana, 07 May 2001. Still flying as N942SW.
I know of two factors relating to the turbocharged engines. One a minor irritant the other was expensive.
The minor one first. Please will some expert verify or correct this. Before shutting down such an engine it must be run for number of minutes at the correct rpm to allow the turbine to cool a bit. Now place yourself at a little airfield somewhere in NZ and a dignitary arrives in a little aircraft. It taxis up, parks, and while the reception committee waits for the big moment the engines drone on and on, much like this story, until finally all is quiet. Just a minor irritant but as always a major one at the time. I am sure I heard someone suggest starting the port engine shutdown routine as early as possible and taxiing in on one engine, but was it ever done?
Which leads to the major engine problem and pilot training. As far as I recall handling an engine failure involved instant shutdown in flight. This lead to many engine failures which was expensive, and at one stage we were using CAA's or Calflights spare engine to keep our Golden Eagles going.
With a full VIP load there would be two pilots and a Flight Steward. To prevent the aircraft becoming a 'tail sitter' during loading the pilots got in first and the Flight Steward positioned him/herself outside aft of the door where a shoulder or forearm could be surreptitiously used to balance the aircraft if the self loading cargo congregated in the door/rear seat area. True or not? I am sure I heard something like that a long time ago.
There is no such thing as a stupid question - It is stupid answers that cause all the worlds problems.
ahh, the Continental GTSIO-520 engines (Geared, Turbo-supercharged, Injected, 520 Cubic Inch...) Possibly one of the most complex piston engines available for GA Aircraft, and certainly a model that required very careful handling. "Gitsos" were definitely less reliable than the equivalent Lycoming TIO-540s used on Piper Chieftains etc. If the spec was for a close "like for like" replacement of the Devon, I wonder if the PA31 series was considered at the time? Obviously the budget at the time was for a piston twin, in which case the C421 and PA31 were new and state of the art. Short of going to a turbine such as the B200 or C406 whatever was chosen would have the turbine shutdown time issue and delicate C of G. Its interesting that several airlines operating turbocharged light twins found that on some routes (Cook strait, Auckland to Whangarei etc) elapsed time on the turbocharged piston twins was longer than that on a PBN Islander, which flew slower, but didnt have the run down time.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
I was associated with 42 Sqdn back then and only have bar talk to go by. I understood the requirement was for turbo-prop twins so the Chieftain was never considered.
It was only when someone in Wellington (Political Branch) was researching the Conquest they discovered the Golden Eagle. Basically three of them came for the price of one. It all went off the rails about then. Rumour was that even Cessna said the 421 was not the plane for the job.
I think the politicians of the day got a surprise when they discovered that a twin can't necessarily fly on one engine. Denis Butler took a MP, I think Koro Wetere, for a ride off the runway end and through a fence at Wairoa.
They should have just bought the King Air back then.
Turbos and training don't go wonderfully hand in hand. Being in the (questionably fortunate?) position of conducting type ratings in a turbo piston twin, the sequence goes something like this:
Day 1 of course - Intro to type. Today we learn how to look after turbocharged engines so they don't require replacement every few hundred hours.
Day 2 of course - Intro to asymmetric handling. Today we disregard pretty much everything we learned yesterday.
However the more suitable a piston twin is as a transport aircraft, in most cases, the less suitable it is as a multi trainer. There are exceptions of course but that would require a bit of research on the part of those making the purchasing decision...