Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 13), a division of Textron Aviation, announced a 10-aircraft order for float-equipped Grand Caravan EXs yesterday at ABACE 2014 from Beijing-based Reignwood Group for tourism services in China. The company agreed to acquire the amphibian turboprop singles through the Cessna-AVIC Shijiazhuang facility, which has been assembling Cessna Caravans for the Chinese market since late last year.
Cessna Aircraft delivered the 100th Grand Caravan EX this week. The milestone aircraft was handed over at Cessna’s Wichita headquarters to Hussain Ali Rashid Almoalla for use at his aviation club in the UAE. Almoalla, who also owns a Cessna 182 Skylane and 206 Stationair, planned to personally fly the Caravan back to his home base in Abu Dhabi, a trip of more than 9,000 nm. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140, the EX offers a 38-percent improvement in rate of climb over the standard Grand Caravan, as well as a 10- to 12-knot boost in cruise speed.
Ah, that new airplane smell.
Cessna demo pilot Rip Lee and I climb aboard the factory-fresh Grand Caravan EX and I glance over at the Hobbs meter: 4.3 hours total time. Airplanes don’t get much newer than this.
Flight-testing is complete on Blackhawk Modifications’ Cessna 208A Caravan XP42A upgrade and FAA STC approval is imminent, according to the company. The upgrade provides the same operational advantages as the 208B Grand Caravan.
Kitchener Aero Avionics has completed a new upgrade package for the Cessna 208 Caravan. The heart of the upgrade is an Aspen EFD-1000C3 PFD and Class B Taws. “For hardworking Caravans–especially those in commercial operations–this mod can really make a difference,” said Kitchener president Barry Aylward. The Aspen PFD replaces the problematic and expensive gyros in the Bendix/King KFC 150/225 flight control systems that were originally installed in the 208 fleet.
Buyers of certain Cessna Caravans can receive a $75,000 saving over the turbine single’s price of approximately $1.5 million. Customers purchasing one of a selected group of serial numbers now may choose between the zero-percent initial financing offer introduced last year or receive the $75,000 saving. Although there are more than 1,300 Caravans flying worldwide, sales have dropped sharply over the last few years.