Military Wiki
Cessna 208 Caravan
A 2004 Cessna 208B
Role Light transport turboprop
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight August 8, 1982
Introduction 1984
Primary user FedEx Feeder (253)
Number built over 2,000[1]
Unit cost
US$2,022,450 (Base price, Caravan 675, 2011 price)
Variants Soloy Pathfinder 21

The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single turboprop engine, fixed-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

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 under-belly 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 under-belly 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]

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 Company (CAIGA via China Aviation Industry Corporation II) will conduct final assembly of Caravans at its plant in Shijiazhuang for the Chinese market.[6]



An RCMP 208A Caravan on amphibious floats

An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan flies over Iraq on a training sortie.

A FedEx 208A 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.

File:Seawings Cessna Caravan 208A.JPG

Seawings Caravan on amphibious floats

The cockpit of a FedEx Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

208A Caravan I
The basic introductory model, outfitted for passenger operation.
208A 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. Fedex purchased 40 of this model.
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
Model certified in January 2013 powered by a 867 hp (647 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-140 that improves climb by 38%. The model is aimed at float operators and will compete with aftermarket conversions.[7]
208B Super Cargomaster
The cargo variant of the 208B series. FedEx purchased 260 of this model.
Caravan Amphibian
A 208A Caravan with Wipaire 8000 floats in place of the landing gear, for water landings or land operations.[8]
Soloy Pathfinder 21
A twin engine 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.[9]
850 Caravan
208A with a 850 hp Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[10]
950 Grand Caravan
208B with a 1,000 hp Honeywell TPE331-12JR-704AT engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[10]
Supervan 900
208B with a 1,000 hp (900 hp flat-rated) Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine, installed by Texas Turbine[11]
XP42A Upgrade
208B with an 850 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine, installed by Blackhawk[12]


A military offering of the 208A.
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 currently being marketed to the Lebanese and Iraqi air forces.[13][14]


Civil operators

The Cessna 208 is used by governmental organisations 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.[15]

Military operators

File:Cessna 208 Caravan.jpg

A Brazilian Air Force Caravan

  • Liberian Army bought two Caravans in 1986, one of which crashed in 1987.[26]
 South Africa
 United Arab Emirates
United States

Specifications (208B Super Cargomaster)

Data from[32][33]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: nine passengers or 14 with FAR Part 23 waiver
  • Length: 41 ft 7 in (12.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 1 in (15.88 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.70 m)
  • Wing area: 279 sq ft (25.9 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 9.72
  • Empty weight: 4,570 lb (2,073 kg) (weight of typically equipped unit is 2127 kg/4690 lb)
  • Gross weight: 8,750 lb (3,969 kg) (maximum landing weight is 3856 kg/8500 lb.)
  • Fuel capacity: 332 gallon/2224 lb
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop, 677 hp (505 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hartzell variable pitch


  • Cruise speed: 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h)
  • Range: 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves
  • Rate of climb: 770 ft/min (3.9 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 31.36 lb/sq ft (153.1 kg/m2)


  • Garmin G1000

See also


  1. "Cessna Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Caravan". Cessna. April 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  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. Niles, Russ (January 13, 2013). "Cessna Certifies New Caravan, Starts M2 Production". AVweb. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  8. Caravan Amphibian
  9. "The Soloy Pathfinder 21". Soloy Corporation. 1999/2000. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 850 Caravan Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  11. Supervan 900 Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  12. XP42A Upgrade Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  15. Federal Aviation Administration (July 2010). "FAA Registry - Name Inquiry Results". Retrieved July 17, 2010. 
  16. Defense Industry Daily (May 2011). ""Bird Dog" Light Planes for Afghanistan". Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 46.
  18. "Cessna 208 Caravan I - History of the Brazilian Air Force". August 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008. 
  19. Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 47.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 48.
  21. "En guerra electrónica" (in Spanish). El Espectador. August 15, 2009. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Hoyle Flight International 11–17 December 2012, p. 49.
  23. Strategy Page (2008month=February). "Iraq Seeks Cessna Solution". Retrieved February 19, 2008. 
  24. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 42.
  25. "تسلم القوات الجوية طائرة نوع Cessna caravan 208 B" (in Arabic). Lebanese Armed Forces. April 16, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009. 
  26. Flight International 3 December 1988, p. 60.
  27. "Niger Armed Forces receive new aircraft, vehicles". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  28. (12) Department of Defence (October 2007). "Republic of South Africa Air Force Aircraft". Retrieved February 13, 2008. 
  29. Flight International 15–21 December 2009, p. 51.
  30. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 51.
  31. Yemen; AF incepts C208 Caravan reconnaissance aircraft -, 26 September 2013
  33. Cessna Caravan website

External links

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