Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II
|F406 Caravan II|
|A Caravan II of the French Army|
|National origin||France/United States of America|
|First flight||22 September 1983|
|Status||In service, production to recommence|
|Primary users||French DGDDI|
Republic of Korea Navy
|Developed from||Cessna 404 Titan|
Design and development
The F406 Caravan II is a twin turboprop engined, fourteen-seat low-wing monoplane of conventional aluminium and steel construction.[clarification needed] It is a development of the Cessna 404 Titan with two Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engines. The aircraft first flew on 22 September 1983, and was produced by Reims Aviation until the company's 2013 demise. In 2014, aircraft engine manufacturer Continental Motors, Inc., American subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, partnered with French-based marketer ASI Innovation to purchase rights to the F406; Continental Motors intends to restart production, including a diesel piston engine variant, with marketing to be carried out by ASI.
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 F406 is more expensive to operate than single-engine aircraft of the same passenger capacity such as the Cessna 208 Caravan, having two engines makes it comply with European regulations regarding commercial operations, which only allow multi-engine aircraft for commercial instrument flight.
In March 2014 Reims Aviation was acquired by Chinese-owned Continental Motors Inc and renamed ASI Aviation, two remaining incomplete airframes are finished in France before a probable shift to Mobile, Alabama with new avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, a new autopilot and an engine choice of current P&WC PT6A-135 or pistons : Continental GTSIO-520 and/or Continental CD-310 diesel. The Type Certificate transferred only had approval to produce spare parts and not the whole aircraft.
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- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service – Two F406s operated by Cobham Aviation Services Australia for maritime patrols.
- 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
- Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Two F406s for monitoring fishing activity.
- Westair Aviation Nine F406 used in multiple roles including charter and cargo flights 
- 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 Six 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's Maritime and Coastguard Agency – One F406 for pollution detection, vessel identification and SAR top-cover.
- Marine Scotland – Two F406s for monitoring fishing activity.
Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988–89 
- Crew: One
- Capacity: 12 passengers
- Length: 11.89 m (39 ft 0 in)
- Wingspan: 15.09 m (49 ft 6 in)
- Height: 4.01 m (13 ft 2 in)
- Wing area: 23.48 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: 260 km/h (160 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)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
References and notes
- One prototype and 98 production aircraft
- "EASA Type-Certificate Data Sheet EASA.A109" (PDF).
- "Operations Planning Guide" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation. Aviation Week. August 2012.
- Taylor 1988, p. 79.
- "GECI Aviation". Retrieved 9 June 2012. Archived March 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Pope, Stephen (March 28, 2014). "Continental To Build Former Cessna Cabin Class Twin: Engine maker buys type certificate". Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Cessna Twin Returns to production in France". AOPA Pilot: 36. June 2014.
- Paul Jackson (May 23, 2016). "Props And Turboprops About To Enter The Marketplace". Aviation Week Network.
- Cobham Receives AUD$ 7 million Additional Contract Extension from Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, article retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Airscene: Military Affairs: First Hellenic Coast Guard F406 enters service". Air International, Vol. 60, No. 5, May 2001. p. 262. ISSN 0306-5634
- Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 43.
- "Airscene: Military affairs". Air International, Vol. 56, No. 1, January 1999. p. 3.
- Taylor 1988, p.80.
- Indicated Air Speed.
- Max cruise, 45 min reserves
- Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, 8–14 December 2015, Vol. 188, No. 5517. pp. 26–53.
- 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.
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