Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

Front page

Cessna marks 30th anniversary of Caravan utility aircraft

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

Press release issued by Cessna Aircraft Company on April 21, 2015


 Contact details from our directory:
Cessna Aircraft Company Airframer


 Related aircraft programs:
Cessna 208 Caravan

Enhanced listings:

General Plastics Manufacturing Co.
General Plastics has been supplying OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies with flame-retardant foam core materials and custom flexible foam molded parts for aircraft flight decks and interior cabins for over 50 years.

Victrex Plc
New VICTREX® AE250 composites and hybrid molding technology are changing the equation in Aerospace composites – find out more!

USA Borescopes
USA Borescopes is a global supplier of world class visual inspection equipment. We are the one stop source for aviation professionals.

Belden Universal
Specialty universal joints and drive shafts, designed to satisfy even the most rigorous operating criteria. Belden Universal is AS9100C certified.

The leading provider of heat treatment services worldwide. Bodycote offers high quality, reliable and cost-effective services to manufacturers whatever their size or market sector.

See our advertising tariff.


Monthly page limit exceeded. Please buy a subscription.

© Copyright of Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2016. Terms & Conditions of reading.