Cessna 208 Caravan

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Cessna 208 Caravan
Cessna 208B SKS (105090285).jpg
208B Grand Caravan with cargo pod
Role Light turboprop transport
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight December 9, 1982
Introduction 1984
Status In production
Primary users FedEx Feeder
Brazilian Air Force
Afghan Air Force
Colombian Air Force
Produced 1982-present
Number built 2,500[1]
Unit cost
US$1.95 million (208 Caravan, 2017)[2]
US$2.53 million (208B Grand Caravan EX, 2017)[2]
Variants Soloy Pathfinder 21

The Cessna 208 Caravan is an American single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft that is built by Cessna. The airplane typically seats nine passengers with a single pilot, although with a FAR Part 23 waiver it can seat up to fourteen passengers. The aircraft is also used for cargo operations.

Design[edit]

Low-density seating in the cabin of a passenger-carrying version

The Cessna 208 is a high-wing braced cabin monoplane powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop in tractor configuration. It has a fixed tricycle landing gear but can also be fitted with floats or skis. The cabin has room for nine passengers and two crew when used as a passenger aircraft with four doors: one for each crew member, an airstair door on the right side of the cabin and a cargo door on the left. The aircraft can be optionally fitted with an underslung cargo pod.

The basic 208 airframe can be outfitted with various types of landing gear, allowing it to operate in a wide variety of environments. Some common adaptations include floats with retractable landing gear on the Caravan Amphibian model and skis.[3]

208B Grand Caravan in the Netherlands, modified with roller door for parachuting operations; skydivers sitting on the cabin floor are visible inside the rear roller door

The Caravan interior can be outfitted with seats or as a cargo compartment. The standard high-density airline configuration has four rows of 1-2 seating behind the two seats in the cockpit. This variant is capable of holding up to thirteen passengers, although it is marketed as being able to make a profit carrying just four.[4] The cabin can be configured in a low density passenger configuration, with 1-1 seating, as a combination of passengers and cargo, or as a strictly cargo aircraft.[citation needed] Many variants include an underbelly cargo pod, which can be used for additional freight capacity, or for passenger baggage. A number of Caravans are operated as skydiving aircraft with the left-side cargo hatch converted to a roll-up door.[5]

Development[edit]

A Fedex Super Cargomaster with cargo pod. The Cargomaster and Super Cargomaster variants are built without cabin windows.
Cockpit of a pre-2008 Caravan

The prototype first flew on December 9, 1982.[6] The production model was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October 1984.[3] A freighter variant without cabin windows was developed at the request of Federal Express as the Cargomaster.[3] Another cargo variant for Federal Express, with a longer fuselage and a cargo pod under the belly, was developed as the 208B Super Cargomaster and flew for the first time in 1986.[3] A passenger model, the 208B Grand Caravan, was derived from the Super Cargomaster.[3] Since then, the Caravan has undergone a number of design evolutions, including upgrading the avionics in 2008 to provide a glass cockpit with the Garmin G1000 system.[7] In January 2013 a higher-powered (867 shp from P&WC PT6A-140) version, the Grand Caravan EX, received FAA certification.[8]

In August 2016, Textron announced that it would move the Cessna 208 production line from its Wichita headquarters to its Independence, Kansas production facility, for manufacture alongside along the piston-powered 172S Skyhawk, 182T Skylane, T206H Turbo Stationair and Cessna TTx; and the Citation M2 light jet. The move was made to make room for production of the Citation Longitude and Denali in Wichita.[9]

Chinese production[edit]

In May 2012 Cessna announced that an assembly line for the 208 would be established in China, with the government-owned China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) conducting final assembly of Caravans at its plant in Shijiazhuang for the Chinese market.[10] Chinese government approval was granted in September the following year and the first Chinese assembled Caravan was delivered in December 2013.[11][12] By April 2016 about 30 aircraft, assembled from kits of parts shipped from the US by Cessna, had been delivered to Chinese operators by the joint venture.[13]

Variants[edit]

Civilian[edit]

208 Caravan
First production variant with a PT6A-114 turboprop engine and seating for up to nine passengers. The landplane variant was type approved on October 23, 1984 and the seaplane version with Wipline Model 8000 Amphibious/Seaplane Floats was type approved on March 26, 1986. Early aircraft can be modified to use the higher-powered PT6A-114A but have restricted operating limits.[citation needed]
  • 208 Caravan 675
Marketing designation for the 208 Caravan with a higher-powered PT6A-114A engine.[citation needed]
A Fedex 208B Super Cargomaster
208A Cargomaster
A pure-cargo version of the Caravan developed with Federal Express (now FedEx); 40 aircraft produced.[14] All 208A aircraft were serialized as 208 models.
208B Grand Caravan in Mexico with its right rear airstair door open. The 208B Grand Caravan is 4 feet (1.2 m) longer than the 208 and the passenger-carrying version has eight side windows instead of the 208's six.
208B Grand Caravan
Officially named the 208B Caravan but marketed as the Grand Caravan. The 208B is 4 ft (1.2 m) longer than the 208; extending the cabin by the same amount. The 208B has a PT6A-114A engine. It was originally certified as a two-seater cargo version on October 9, 1986 and as a 11-seater passenger aircraft on December 13, 1989.[citation needed]
  • 208B Grand Caravan EX
Marketing name for upgraded version of the 208B Caravan certified in December 2012, with a more powerful 867 hp (647 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-140 that improves the rate of climb by 38% and was developed by Pratt & Whitney Canada specifically to power the 208B.[15][16] The unladen weight is 807 lb (366 kg) more but maximum payload is only 90 lb (41 kg) more. While the 192 hp (143 kW) more powerful PT6A-140 gives a 11-knot (20 km/h) higher cruise speed – and rate of climb is improved by 94 feet per minute (0.48 m/s), range is reduced to 964 nautical miles (1,785 km) on a similar fuel capacity. It requires a longer take off run at 2,160 feet (660 m) and its landing roll is at 1,871 feet (570 m).[17] Production had reached 347 aircraft as of May 2017.[18]
  • 208B Super Cargomaster
Marketing name for the cargo variant of the 208B series. FedEx purchased 260 of this variant.[citation needed]
Amphibious Caravan taking off from Loch Lomond in Scotland
Caravan Amphibian
A 208 or 208B with either Wipaire 8000 or 8750 floats that have retractable landing gear, for water landings or land operations.[19][20]

After-market variants[edit]

Production aircraft modified after delivery by Supplemental Type Certificates:

Soloy Pathfinder 21
Single example of a twin-engined stretched fuselage development of the 208 by the Soloy Corporation. Two PT6D-114A engines mounted side-by-side drove a single propeller; and the fuselage was extended by 70 inches (1.8 m) behind the wing. The project was abandoned as the design was unable to meet certification requirements.[21]
850 Caravan
208 with an 850 hp (634 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[22]
950 Grand Caravan
208B with a 1,000 hp (746 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-704AT engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[22]
Blackhawk Caravan
208 and 208B conversion to 850 hp (634 kW) PT-6A-42A.[23]
Supervan 900
208B with a 850 hp (634 kW) (900 hp (671 kW) flat-rated) Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine, installed by Texas Turbine[24]
XP42A Upgrade
208B with an 850 hp (634 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine, installed by Blackhawk[25]

Military[edit]

An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan launches a Hellfire missile
U-27A
United States Department of Defense designation for the Cessna 208.
C-16
United States Department of Defense designation for proposed variant to be used by the United States Army in El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s.[citation needed]
C-98
Brazilian Air Force designation for the standard U-27.[citation needed]
AC-208 Combat Caravan
Caravan with wing hardpoints. An ISTAR version built by ATK armed with Hellfire missiles is used by the Iraqi air force.[26][27] The AC-208 received its combat debut in January 2014 when the Iraqi Air Force began employing it against insurgents in Anbar province.[28] One aircraft crashed in March 2016.[29]
The Lebanese Air Force requested a new AC-208 and the conversion of the 208 it already operated.[30]
Other AC-208s are scheduled to be delivered to countries in the Middle East and Africa through the Foreign Military Sales program. Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso are possible recipients of these AC-208 Combat Caravans.[31][not in citation given]

Operators[edit]

Civil operators[edit]

The Cessna 208 is used by governmental organizations and by a large number of companies for police, air ambulance, passenger transport, air charter, freight and parachuting operations. FedEx Express operates 239 aircraft.[32]

Military operators[edit]

A total of 134 Cessna 208s were in military service in 2016.[33]

Specifications (208 Caravan)[edit]

Left: three-axis view of 208 Caravan Amphibian and side view of standard 208 Caravan
Right: 208B Grand Caravan with side views of Super Cargomaster and standard versions

Data from Cessna Textron[34]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one or two
  • Capacity: nine passengers or 13 with FAR Part 23 waiver
  • Length: 37 ft 7 in (11.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 1 in (15.88 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 11 in (4.55 m)
  • Wing area: 279 sq ft (25.9 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 9.702
  • Airfoil: wing root: NACA 23017.424, wing tip: NACA 23012[35]
  • Empty weight: 4,730 lb (2,145 kg)
  • Gross weight: 8,000 lb (3,629 kg)
    Maximum landing weight : 7,800 lb (3,538 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,224 lb (1,009 kg/332 gal/1,257 l)
  • Cabin height: 54 in (1.37 m)
  • Cabin width: 64 in (1.63 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop, 675 shp (503 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed McCauley Constant speed, full feathering, reversible pitch

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 214 mph; 186 kn (344 km/h) true air speed
  • Stall speed: 70 mph; 61 kn (113 km/h) calibrated air speed
  • Range: 1,232 mi; 1,070 nmi (1,982 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 28.674 lb/sq ft (140.00 kg/m2)

Avionics

  • Garmin G1000 with GFC700 integrated digital automatic flight control system

See also[edit]

A 208B Grand Caravan (foreground) alongside a Quest Kodiak on an airport apron
Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cessna unveils new standard production interiors for Caravan series" (Press release). Cessna. April 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "2017 Purchase Planning Handbook" p. 88
  3. ^ a b c d e Frawley 1997, p. 76
  4. ^ "Cessna Caravan. Sure Thing - Airline". Cessna Inc. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Skydiving aircraft in use at Netheravon, a UK dropzone". Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ Simpson 1992, p. 103
  7. ^ Goyer, Robert (April 26, 2008). "Cessna Caravan Perfected?". Flying. Flying Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Pia Bergqvist, Cessna Grand Caravan EX Certified, Flying, March 2013 issue, p. 14
  9. ^ "Cessna Moving Caravan Production to Independence Plant". Aviation International News. August 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Pew, Glenn (May 7, 2012). "Cessna Caravans Final Assembly In China". AVweb. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ "With 100 Caravan Sales In China, Cessna Focuses On Fleet Support". Aviation Week. Penton. April 11, 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Wynbrandt, James (April 13, 2015). "Cessna highlights deliveries of the first China-built XLS+". AINonline. The Convention News Company. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  13. ^ Waldron, Greg (13 April 2016). "ABACE: Cessna Caravan powers ahead in China". FlightGlobal. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Cessna Caravan Service Kit SK208-35B, Revision B". The Cessna Aircraft Company. June 9, 1995. 
  15. ^ Niles, Russ (January 13, 2013). "Cessna Certifies New Caravan, Starts M2 Production". AVweb. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  16. ^ Goyer, Robert (June 12, 2013). "Cessna Grand Caravan EX". Flying. Flying Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "Grand Caravan EX". Textron Aviation. Specifications. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  18. ^ "Cessna Caravan Service Letter CAL-57-03". Textron Aviation. May 23, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Cessna Caravan". Cessna Textron Aviation. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  20. ^ FAA Approved Model List for Installing Wipaire Floats Models 8000/8750
  21. ^ "The Soloy Pathfinder 21". Soloy Corporation. 2000 [1999]. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  22. ^ a b 850 Caravan Archived August 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  23. ^ Thomas Horne. "Blackhawk Boost". AOPA Pilot: T-11. 
  24. ^ Supervan 900 Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  25. ^ XP42A Upgrade Archived May 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  26. ^ "Iraq to triple its air force with U.S. help by 2010". worldtribune.com. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  27. ^ "News", Lebaneseairforce.info, December 2008, archived from the original on March 22, 2009 
  28. ^ Cenciotti, David (January 10, 2014). "AC-208 Combat Caravan". The Aviationist. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Iraqi army plane crashes, IS claims downing it". Yahoo News. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  30. ^ "US to deliver armed aircraft to Lebanon". Middle East Monitor. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  31. ^ AC-208 Combat Caravan's For Africa And The Middle East Archived December 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ "Financial and Operating Statistics" (PDF). FedEx Corporation. September 20, 2016. 
  33. ^ Craig Hoyle (2016). "World Air Forces Directory 2017". FlightGlobal. 
  34. ^ "Caravan Specifications". Cessna. 
  35. ^ Lednicer, David (2010). "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  • "2017 Business Airplanes Purchase Planning Handbook". Business & Commercial Aviation. Penton. May 2017. pp. 72–102. 
  • Frawley, Gerald (1997). The International Directory of Civil Aircraft 1997/98. Fyshwick ACT: Aerospace Publications. ISBN 1 875671 26 9. 
  • Simpson, R.W. (1991). Airlife's General Aviation. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1 85310 194 X. 

External links[edit]