Cessna marks 30th anniversary of Caravan utility aircraft

April 21, 2015

Company celebrates 30 years of the multi-tasking single-engine turboprop

LAKELAND, Fla. (April 21, 2015) – Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, this week during the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo is kicking off a celebration of the 30th anniversary of initial deliveries of its Caravan 208 single-engine utility turboprop.

“Three decades after entering into service, the Cessna Caravan still defines the modern single-engine utility segment,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Turboprop Aircraft and Interior Design.“We continue our robust investments in the Caravan family based on customer needs, with the latest being the Grand Caravan EX.”

Conceived as a rugged utility aircraft with low operating costs, the Caravan was designed for use in remote areas with extreme weather changes, mountainous terrain and rough landing conditions. As the aircraft’s versatility became renown in all corners of the world, the Caravan began to see wide use in global markets by a variety of customers, including government agencies, law enforcement and militaries, air ambulance operators, freight haulers, corporations and humanitarian organizations.

The first Caravan was delivered on Feb. 25, 1985, to an air service provider in Alaska, and the next day Federal Express (now FedEx) took delivery of its first Caravan, which included a belly cargo pod and other modifications specially designed for the express delivery pioneer. Today, FedEx, through contracts with Part 135 operators, makes use of about 240 Caravans reporting a dispatch reliability rate in the 99th percentile.

Later this year, the company expects to deliver its 2,500th Caravan, and the fleet is now certified in 100 countries with more than 13 million flight hours amassed. The Caravan’s unique combination of power, range, versatility and short field performance make it ideal for a wide range of missions, while its simplicity and durability make it the first choice for operators needing dependable air transportation. Throughout the years, the versatile design has helped businesses expand globally while remaining the reliable and rugged workhorse for which it was designed.

Cessna currently offers four Caravan models: the Caravan, the Grand Caravan EX, the Caravan Amphibian and the Grand Caravan EX Amphibian. The Grand Caravan EX features a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 engine rated at 867 horsepower to give the upgraded model a 38 percent improvement over the rate of climb of the previous Grand Caravan model, a 350-foot reduction in takeoff roll and a 10-12 knot cruise speed improvement on average.

Cessna Caravan program milestones

1981 Cessna launched the Caravan program

1982 First flight of Caravan 208 prototype

1984 Caravan 208 received FAA type certification

1985 Cessna began deliveries of the Caravan 208

1985 Caravan 208 approved for amphibious floats

1986 Caravan 208B Super Cargomaster, stretched by four feet in a freight specific configuration, received FAA type certification

1990 First production Grand Caravan 208B delivered

1998 Delivery of 1,000th production Caravan 208

1998 Cessna began deliveries of the new standard Caravan 208, a Caravan 208 that features a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A engine rated at 675 horsepower

2002 Delivery of 1,000th Grand Caravan 208B

2003 Oasis executive interior option offered

2005 Delivery of 1,500th production Cessna 208

2008 Garmin G1000 becomes standard avionics equipment

2008 TKS ice protection offered as optional

2012 Cessna and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company Ltd., (CAIGA) announce joint venture to conduct final assembly of Caravans in China for the Chinese market

2013 Cessna began deliveries of Grand Caravan EX, featuring a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 engine rated at 867 horsepower

2013 Grand Caravan EX Amphibian received FAA type certification, deliveries commence

Image: Cessna Grand Caravan EX

Image: Cessna Caravan – 1980s

Web page: Caravan Family

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About Textron Aviation Inc.
Textron Aviation Inc. is the leading general aviation authority and home to the iconic Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying. The Textron Aviation companies include Cessna Aircraft Company and Beechcraft Corporation, bringing together decades of unmatched experience in designing, building and supporting airplanes. It provides the most versatile and comprehensive general aviation product portfolio in the world through five principal lines of business: business jets, general aviation and special mission turboprop aircraft, high performance piston aircraft, military trainer and defense aircraft, and a complete global customer service organization. Its broad range of products include such best-selling aircraft as Citation and Hawker business jets, King Air and Caravan turboprops and T-6 military trainer aircraft, all of which are backed by the industry’s largest global service network. For more information, visit txtav.com.

About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information visit: www.textron.com.

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Contact information: Textron Aviation Corporate Communications, Textron Aviation Inc., 1 Cessna Blvd, Wichita, KS 67215

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