Work on the 340 began in 1969 and the first aircraft was delivered in 1971, behind schedule as one of the prototypes was lost in 1970. The early models had two turbocharged Continental TSIO-520-K engines with 285hp each, but in 1976 the engines were upgraded to the more powerful Continental TSIO-520-NBs with 310hp. This more powerful variant is known as the 340A.
A cheaper, non-pressurized version of the aircraft with 300hp Continental TSIO-520-EB engines called the Cessna 335 was available from 1979, but it was not a success and only 64 of these were built when production stopped again in 1980. The 340 was more successful and remained in production until 1984 and 1287 of these aircraft were made.
Specifications given are for the 340A model.
- Crew: one, pilot
- Capacity: six passengers
- Length: 10.46m (34ft 4in)
- Wingspan: 11.62m (38ft 1in)
- Height: 3.84m (12ft 7in).
- Wing area: 17.1 m² (184ft²)
- Empty: 1780kg (3921 lb)
- Maximum takeoff: 2719kg (5990 lb)
- Powerplant: 2x Continental TSIO-520-NB, turbocharged, 310hp each
- Maximum speed: 452km/h (244kt)
- Range: 2603km (1406nm) at economic cruising speed
- Service ceiling: 29,800 ft
- Rate of climb: 1650 ft/min
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