The Columbia series of aircraft are derived from a successful line of kit-built airplanes. The original Columbia 300 aircraft was certificated in 1998. In response to demand for an even better equipped IFR aircraft, the Columbia 350 was born.
Cessna Aircraft Company bought Columbia Aircraft Company in 1997 and has renamed the aircraft the Cessna 350 Corvalis.
The Cessna 350 Corvalis comes standard with a dual electrical system. There is no vacuum system. The two electrical systems are independent, with separate wire routings, batteries and alternators. Only one is required to power all the electrical systems on the 350. A glass cockpit multifunction display (MFD) from Avidyne is available as an option.
Both the well-equipped standard avionics suite and the optional MFD package come standard with Garmin GPS.
As with the Columbia 300, a 310 hp Continental powers the Cessna 350 Corvalis at speeds up to 190 knots. The four-place cabin is comfortable for its class. Big gull-wing doors make entry and exit over the wing as easy as it can be in a low-wing airplane. With side-stick controls, there is no banging the controls into the knees of the right-seat passenger. The aircraft is certificated in the Federal Aviation Administration's “utility” category, with more stringent requirements than the “normal” category.
The composite construction, fixed-gear single offers excellent performance for a four-place aircraft that approaches or exceeds that of retractable models. In fact, it is faster than many retractables, without the weight and cost penalty.