Cessna 208 Caravan

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Cessna 208 Caravan
Cessna 208B SKS (105090285).jpg
Role Light transport turboprop
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight August 8, 1982
Introduction 1984
Status In production
Primary user FedEx Feeder
Produced 1982-present
Number built 2,500[1]
Unit cost
US$2,022,450 (Base price, Caravan 675, 2011 price)
Variants Soloy Pathfinder 21

The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft that is built in the United States 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 feederliner operations.

Design and development[edit]

The prototype first flew in December 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984. Since then, the Caravan has undergone a number of design evolutions. Working with FedEx, Cessna produced first the Cargomaster and followed that with the stretched and upgraded Super Cargomaster. The passenger model, the Grand Caravan, was derived from the Super Cargomaster. In January 2013 a higher-powered (867 shp from P&WC PT6A-140) version, the Grand Caravan EX, received FAA certification.[2] This higher-powered version will be produced by a Cessna-AVIC joint venture in China.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan factory demonstrator, with underbelly baggage locker, bearing the Cessna Caravan motto "Sure Thing"

Cessna offers the 208B in many configurations. 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 skis, enlarged tires for unprepared runways and floats on the Caravan Amphibian model.

The Caravan interior can be outfitted with seats or cargo holds. The standard high-density airline configuration features 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.[3] 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. 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.[4]

A Purolator Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster

On April 28, 2008, Cessna announced that the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit will be standard equipment on all new Caravans.[5]

In May 2012 Cessna announced that an assembly line for the 208 would be established in the People's Republic of China. The government-owned China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) will conduct final assembly of Caravans at its plant in Shijiazhuang for the Chinese market.[6]

In August 2016, Textron announced that it is moving the Cessna 208 production from its Wichita headquarters to its Independence, Kansas production facility, where it will be built alongside along the piston-powered 172S Skyhawk, 182T Skylane, T206H Turbo Stationair and Cessna TTx, and the Citation Mustang and Citation M2 light jets. The move was made to make room for the Citation Longitude and Cessna Denali in Wichita.[7]



A SeaPort Airlines Cessna 208 in October 2015
An RCMP 208 Caravan on amphibious floats
An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan flies over Iraq on a training sortie.
A FedEx 208 Caravan flies overhead on short approach.
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Green Hawk Aerobatic Team perform in SAREX 2008 at Hua Hin Airport 30 May 2008.
Seawings Caravan on amphibious floats
The cockpit of a FedEx Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
208 Caravan I
The basic introductory model, outfitted for passenger operation.
208 Caravan 675
The current production model of the basic Caravan, with higher-powered PT6A-114A engine.
208A Cargomaster
Developed with FedEx, a pure-cargo version of the Caravan. The "A" designation has caused some confusion over the years. It denotes a specific option package for FedEx aircraft only, and not a distinct model. All 208A aircraft were produced and serialized as 208 models. FedEx purchased 40 of this version.
208B Grand Caravan
A 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan I. The 208B features a more powerful PT6A-114A engine.
208B Grand Caravan EX
Version certified in December 2012, powered by a 867 hp (647 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-140 that improves climb by 38%. The model's upgrade is aimed at float operators and will compete with aftermarket conversions.[8]
208B Super Cargomaster
The cargo variant of the 208B series. FedEx purchased 260 of this model.
Caravan Amphibian
A 208 Caravan with Wipaire 8000 floats in place of the landing gear, for water landings or land operations.[9]
Soloy Pathfinder 21
A twin-engined stretch of the 208 that was developed by the Soloy Corporation. This aircraft features two PT6D-114A engines driving a single propeller and a 70-inch (1,800 mm) fuselage stretch behind the wing.[10]
850 Caravan
208 with an 850 hp (634 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[11]
950 Grand Caravan
208B with a 1,000 hp (746 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-704AT engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[11]
Blackhawk Caravan
208 and 208B conversion to 850 hp (634 kW) PT-6A-42A.[12]
Supervan 900
208B with a 850 hp (634 kW) (900 hp (671 kW) flat-rated) Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine, installed by Texas Turbine[13]
XP42A Upgrade
208B with an 850 hp (634 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine, installed by Blackhawk[14]


An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan launches Hellfire missile[15]
A military offering of the 208.
The Brazilian Air Force designation for the standard U-27.
The proposed United States Army designation.
AC-208 "Combat Caravan"
An ISTAR version built by ATK armed with Hellfire missiles is used by the Iraqi air force.[16][17] The AC-208 received its combat debut in January 2014 when the Iraqi Air Force began employing it against insurgents in Anbar province.[18] One aircraft crashed in March 2016.[19]
The Lebanese Air Force requested a new AC-208 and the conversion of the C-208 it already operates.[20]
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.[21]


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 Feeder is the largest operator of the Cessna 208, with over 250 aircraft.[22]

Military operators[edit]

 South Africa
 United Arab Emirates
 United States

Specifications (208B Grand Caravan EX)[edit]

Data from Cessna Textron[45]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one or two
  • Capacity: nine passengers or 13 with FAR Part 23 waiver
  • Length: 41 ft 7 in (12.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 1 in (15.88 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)
  • Wing area: 279 sq ft (25.9 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 9.555
  • Airfoil: NACA 23000 Series
  • Empty weight: 4,558 lb (2,067 kg) (weight of typically equipped unit is 2127 kg/4690 lb)
  • Gross weight: 8,807 lb (3,995 kg) (maximum landing weight is 3856 kg/8500 lb.)
  • Fuel capacity: 335.6 gallon/2246 lb
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop, 868 hp (647 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hartzell Constant speed, full feathering, reversible pitch, 8.8 ft 106 in (5.37 m) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 213 mph (343 km/h; 185 kn) true air speed
  • Cruise speed: 213 mph (185 kn; 343 km/h) true air speed
  • Stall speed: 70 mph (61 kn; 113 km/h) calibrated air speed
  • Never exceed speed: 201 mph (175 kn; 323 km/h) indicated air speed
  • Range: 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,275 ft/min (6.48 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 31.49 lb/sq ft (153.7 kg/m2)


  • Garmin G1000 with GFC700 integrated digital automatic flight control system

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ "Cessna unveils new standard production interiors for Caravan series" (Press release). Cessna. April 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Pia Bergqvist, Cessna Grand Caravan EX Certified, Flying Magazine, March 2013 issue, p. 14
  3. ^ "Cessna Caravan. Sure Thing - Airline". Cessna Inc. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Skydiving aircraft in use at Netheravon, a UK dropzone". Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Cessna Certified to Build Caravans with Garmin G1000, TKS Ice Protection". Cessna Inc. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  6. ^ Pew, Glenn (May 7, 2012). "Cessna Caravans Final Assembly In China". AVweb. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Cessna Moving Caravan Production to Independence Plant". Aviation International News. August 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ Niles, Russ (January 13, 2013). "Cessna Certifies New Caravan, Starts M2 Production". AVweb. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Caravan Amphibian - Your all purpose aircraft for work or play". Cessna. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "The Soloy Pathfinder 21". Soloy Corporation. 2000 [1999]. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  11. ^ a b 850 Caravan Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  12. ^ Thomas Horne. "Blackhawk Boost". AOPA Pilot: T-11. 
  13. ^ Supervan 900 Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  14. ^ XP42A Upgrade Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  15. ^ Iraqi Air Force AC-208 Caravan Hellfire Shoot. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2016 – via YouTube. 
  16. ^ "Iraq to triple its air force with U.S. help by 2010". worldtribune.com. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  17. ^ Lebaneseairforce.info
  18. ^ Cenciotti, David (2014-01-10). "AC-208 Combat Caravan". The Aviationist. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  19. ^ "Iraqi army plane crashes, IS claims downing it". Yahoo News. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "US to deliver armed aircraft to Lebanon". Middle East Monitor - The Latest from the Middle East. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  21. ^ AC-208 Combat Caravan's For Africa And The Middle East
  22. ^ Federal Aviation Administration (July 2010). "FAA Registry - Name Inquiry Results". Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  23. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 30.
  24. ^ "La Aviación de Ejército incorporó una nueva aeronave a su flota". June 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 31.
  26. ^ "Cessna 208 Caravan I - History of the Brazilian Air Force". August 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008. 
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  28. ^ a b Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 34.
  29. ^ "En guerra electrónica" (in Spanish). El Espectador. August 15, 2009. 
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  32. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 35.
  33. ^ Strategy Page (February 2008). "Iraq Seeks Cessna Solution". Retrieved February 19, 2008. 
  34. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 40.
  35. ^ "تسلم القوات الجوية طائرة نوع Cessna caravan 208 B" (in Arabic). Lebanese Armed Forces. April 16, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009. 
  36. ^ Flight International 3 December 1988, p. 60.
  37. ^ Isby, David C. (August 2014). "ISR Caravans Received by Mauritania". Air International. Vol. 87 no. 2. p. 23. ISSN 0306-5634. 
  38. ^ "Niger Armed Forces receive new aircraft, vehicles". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  39. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 44.
  40. ^ (12) Department of Defence (October 2007). "Republic of South Africa Air Force Aircraft". Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  41. ^ Musisi, Frederic (11 March 2015). "United States To Replace Crashed UPDF Choppers". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  42. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 49.
  43. ^ Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 50.
  44. ^ Yemen; AF incepts C208 Caravan reconnaissance aircraft - Dmilt.com, 26 September 2013
  45. ^ "Grand Caravan EX: Specifications". Cessna. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  • Hatch, Paul F (December 3, 1988). "World's Air Forces 1988". Flight International. pp. 22–87. 
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  • Hoyle, Craig (10–16 December 2013). "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International. Vol. 184 no. 5419. pp. 24–51. 

External links[edit]