Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II
|F406 Caravan II|
|An F406 of the Hellenic Coast Guard|
|First flight||22 September 1983|
|Developed from||Cessna 404|
Design and development
The F406 Caravan II is a twin turboprop engined, fourteen-seat low-wing monoplane of conventional aluminium and steel construction. A development of the Cessna 404 with two Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop engines, it is similar to the pressurized Cessna 441. The aircraft first flew on 22 September 1983, and was produced by Reims Aviation (later known as GECI Aviation) until their 2013 demise In 2014, the Chinese based Aviation Industry Corporation of China subsidiary Continental Motors, Inc. partnered with French based marketer ASI Innovation to purchase rights to the F406, and restart production of piston and turboprop variants with diesel fuel capability.
The F406 is aimed at passenger and small cargo transport, and civilian and military surveillance. For extra cargo capacity a cargo pod can be fitted to the belly of the aircraft. The Surmar is a new maritime surveillance version of the aircraft with extra equipment such as a 360 degree radar.
Though the two engines make it more expensive to operate than similar aircraft such as the single-engined Cessna 208 Caravan I, having two engines makes it comply with European regulations regarding commercial operations, which only allow multi-engine aircraft for commercial instrument flight.
- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service - Two F406s operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia for maritime patrols.
- AAM Pty Ltd - Two F406s operated as aerial survey platforms working within Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
- French Army - Two F406s as utility aircraft.
- Directorate-General of Customs and Indirect Taxes - Used seven F406s for maritime patrol activities. From 2012 onwards being replaced by the Beechcraft King Air 350
- Hellenic Coast Guard - Three F406s for maritime patrol activities.
- Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources - Two F406s for monitoring fishing activity.
- Westair Aviation (Pty)Ltd - Operates five F406's for cargo, passenger, geological survey operations within Namibia and Africa.
- Republic of Korea
- Republic of Korea Navy - Ordered five F406s for use as target tugs in May 1997 with delivery from November 1998.
- United Kingdom
- RVL Aviation Three F406 used in multiple roles (including one operated on behalf of HRMC listed below).
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Two F406s operated by DirectFlight for monitoring fishing activity.
- Her Majesty'sMaritime and Coastguard Agency - One F406 for pollution detection, vessel identification and SAR top-cover.
- Marine Scotland - Two F406s for monitoring fishing activity.
Accidents and incidents
- 3 November 2001 – Shortly after takeoff from runway 03R at OR Tambo International Airport, an F406 crashed, killing all 3 occupants. The accident was probably caused mainly by a 16% over-load. The cargo, including two 3-meter-long steel bars, was not properly fixed and shifted the airplane's center of gravity beyond the certified rearward limit during takeoff rotation. Additionally the aircraft did not have a valid certificate of airworthiness at the time of the incident.
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89 
- Crew: Two
- Capacity: 12 passengers
- Length: 11.89 m (39 ft 0 in)
- Wingspan: 15.08 m (49 ft 5¾ in)
- Height: 4.01 m (13 ft 2 in)
- Wing area: 23.50 m2 (253 ft2)
- Empty weight: 2,283 kg (5,033 lb)
- Gross weight: 4,246 kg (9,360 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-112 turboprop, 373 kW (500 hp) each
- Maximum speed: 424 km/h (263 mph)
- Cruising speed: 370 km/h (230 mph)
- Range: 2,135 km (1,327 miles)
- Service ceiling: 9,145 m (30,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 9.4 m/s (1,850 ft/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Taylor 1988, p. 79.
- "GECI Aviation". Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- "Cessna Twin Returns to production in France". AOPA pilot: 36. June 2014.
- Cobham Receives AUD$ 7 million Additional Contract Extension from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, article retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Airscene: Military affairs". Air International, Col.56, No. 1, January 1999. p. 3.
- "ReimsF406 - 700m South of the threshold of Runway 03R FAJS" (PDF). South African Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- Taylor 1988, p.80.
- Indicated Air Speed.
- Max cruise, 45 min reserves
- Taylor, John W.R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Defence Data, 1988. ISBN 0 7106-0867-5.
- EASA Type Certificate
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