Cessna 208 Caravan

Cessna 208 Caravan
Role Light transport turboprop
National origin United States
Manufacturer Cessna
First flight August 8, 1982
Introduction 1984
Status In production
Primary users FedEx Feeder
Brazilian Air Force
Afghan National Army Air Force
Colombian Air Force
Produced 1982-present
Number built 2,500[1]
Unit cost
US$2,822,450 (Base price, Caravan C208B-EX, 2016 price)
Variants Soloy Pathfinder 21

The Cessna 208 Caravan is an American single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing 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.


The Cessna 208 is a high-wing braced cabin monoplane powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop in tractor configuration. It has a fixed tricycle landing gear but can also be fitted with floats or skis. The cabin has room for nine passengers and two crew when used as a passenger aircraft with four doors, one for each crew member and an airstair door on right-side and a cargo door on the left. The aircraft can be optionally fitted with an underslung cargo pod.

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 as cargo holds. The standard high-density airline configuration has 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.[2] 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 underbelly 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.[3]


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.[4] This higher-powered version will be produced by a Cessna-AVIC joint venture in China.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan factory demonstrator, with underbelly baggage locker, bearing the Cessna Caravan motto "Sure Thing"
A Purolator Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster

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 China. The government-owned China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) will conduct final assembly of Caravans at its plant in Shijiazhuang for the Chinese market.[6]

In August 2016, Textron announced that it is moving the Cessna 208 production from its Wichita headquarters to its Independence, Kansas production facility, where it will be built alongside along the piston-powered 172S Skyhawk, 182T Skylane, T206H Turbo Stationair and Cessna TTx, and the Citation Mustang and Citation M2 light jets. The move was made to make room for the Citation Longitude and Cessna Denali in Wichita.[7]



A SeaPort Airlines Cessna 208 in October 2015
An RCMP 208 Caravan on amphibious floats
An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan flies over Iraq on a training sortie.
A FedEx 208 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.
Seawings Caravan on amphibious floats
The cockpit of a FedEx Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
208 Caravan I
First production variant with a PT6A-114 turboprop engine and seating for up to nine passengers. Official named Caravan it is sometimes known as Caravan I to distinguish it from later variants. Available as a landplane which was type approved on 23 October 1984 and the seaplane version with Wipline Model 8000 Amphibious/Seaplane Floats was type approved on the 26 March 1986. Early aircraft can be modified to use the higher-powered PT6A-114A but have a restricted operating limits. Aircraft from serial number 20800277 built with the PT6A-114A engine which can be used without restriction.
208 Caravan 675
Marketing designation for the 208 Caravan with a higher-powered PT6A-114A engine.
208A Cargomaster
Developed with FedEx, a pure-cargo version of the Caravan. The "A" designation has caused some confusion over the years. It denotes a specific option package for FedEx aircraft only, and not a distinct model. All 208A aircraft were produced and serialized as 208 models. FedEx purchased 40 of this version.
208B Grand Caravan
Official named the named the Caravan but marketed as the Grand Caravan it is a 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan I. The 208B has a PT6A-114A engine. Originally certified as a two-seater cargo version on 9 October 1986 and as a 11-seater passenger aircraft on 13 December 1989. The 208B was fitted with a Garmin G1000 Integrated Cockpit System and an optional ice protection system.
208B Grand Caravan EX
Version of the 208B Caravan marketed as the Grand Caravan EX and certified in December 2012, powered by a 867 hp (647 kW) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-140 that improves climb by 38%. The model's upgrade is aimed at float operators and will compete with aftermarket conversions.[8]
208B Super Cargomaster
Marketing name for the cargo variant of the 208B series. FedEx purchased 260 of this variant.
Caravan Amphibian
A 208 or 208B with either Wipaire 8000 or 8750 floats in place of the landing gear, for water landings or land operations.[9][10]

After-market variants

Production aircraft modified after delivery by Supplemental Type Certificate:

Soloy Pathfinder 21
A twin-engined 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.[11]
850 Caravan
208 with an 850 hp (634 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[12]
950 Grand Caravan
208B with a 1,000 hp (746 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-704AT engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc.[12]
Blackhawk Caravan
208 and 208B conversion to 850 hp (634 kW) PT-6A-42A.[13]
Supervan 900
208B with a 850 hp (634 kW) (900 hp (671 kW) flat-rated) Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine, installed by Texas Turbine[14]
XP42A Upgrade
208B with an 850 hp (634 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine, installed by Blackhawk[15]


An Iraqi Air Force Cessna 208B Grand Caravan launches Hellfire missile[16]
Is a United States military designation for the Cessna 208.
Was a United States military designation for proposed use by the United States Army.
The Brazilian Air Force designation for the standard U-27.
AC-208 Combat Caravan
An ISTAR version built by ATK armed with Hellfire missiles is used by the Iraqi air force.[17][18] The AC-208 received its combat debut in January 2014 when the Iraqi Air Force began employing it against insurgents in Anbar province.[19] One aircraft crashed in March 2016.[20]
The Lebanese Air Force requested a new AC-208 and the conversion of the C-208 it already operates.[21]
Other AC-208s are scheduled to be delivered to countries in the Middle East and Africa through the Foreign Military Sales program. Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso are possible recipients of these AC-208 Combat Caravans.[22]


Civil operators

The Cessna 208 is used by governmental organizations and by a large number of companies for police, air ambulance, passenger transport, air charter, freight and parachuting operations. With 238 aircraft,[23] FedEx is the largest operator of the Cessna 208.

Military operators

 South Africa
 United Arab Emirates
 United States

Specifications (208B Grand Caravan EX)

Data from Cessna Textron[46] and The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage[47]

General characteristics



See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. "Cessna unveils new standard production interiors for Caravan series" (Press release). Cessna. April 21, 2015.
  2. "Cessna Caravan. Sure Thing - Airline". Cessna Inc. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  3. "Skydiving aircraft in use at Netheravon, a UK dropzone". Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  4. Pia Bergqvist, Cessna Grand Caravan EX Certified, Flying Magazine, March 2013 issue, p. 14
  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. "Cessna Moving Caravan Production to Independence Plant". Aviation International News. August 29, 2016.
  8. Niles, Russ (January 13, 2013). "Cessna Certifies New Caravan, Starts M2 Production". AVweb. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  9. "Caravan Amphibian - Your all purpose aircraft for work or play". Cessna. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  10. FAA Approved Model List for Installing Wipaire Floats Models 8000/8750
  11. "The Soloy Pathfinder 21". Soloy Corporation. 2000 [1999]. Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  12. 1 2 850 Caravan Archived August 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  13. Thomas Horne. "Blackhawk Boost". AOPA Pilot: T-11.
  14. Supervan 900 Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  15. XP42A Upgrade Archived May 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  16. Iraqi Air Force AC-208 Caravan Hellfire Shoot. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2016 via YouTube.
  17. "Iraq to triple its air force with U.S. help by 2010". worldtribune.com. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  18. Lebaneseairforce.info Archived March 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. Cenciotti, David (2014-01-10). "AC-208 Combat Caravan". The Aviationist. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  20. "Iraqi army plane crashes, IS claims downing it". Yahoo News. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  21. "US to deliver armed aircraft to Lebanon". Middle East Monitor - The Latest from the Middle East. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  22. AC-208 Combat Caravan's For Africa And The Middle East Archived December 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. "Operators - Federal Express". rzjets.
  24. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 30.
  25. "La Aviación de Ejército incorporó una nueva aeronave a su flota". June 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  26. 1 2 Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 31.
  27. "Cessna 208 Caravan I - History of the Brazilian Air Force". August 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  28. 1 2 Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 32.
  29. 1 2 Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 34.
  30. "En guerra electrónica" (in Spanish). El Espectador. August 15, 2009.
  31. "Armada Nacional adquiere nuevo Cessna Grand Caravan C208 EX". Webinfomil.com. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  32. Aviación Naval colombiana recibirá tercer Cessna Caravan. "Aviación Naval colombiana recibirá tercer Cessna Caravan | Avances | Noticias del Aire | El portal de la Aviación Colombiana". Aviacol.net. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  33. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 35.
  34. Strategy Page (February 2008). "Iraq Seeks Cessna Solution". Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  35. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 40.
  36. "تسلم القوات الجوية طائرة نوع Cessna caravan 208 B" (in Arabic). Lebanese Armed Forces. April 16, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
  37. Flight International 3 December 1988, p. 60.
  38. Isby, David C. (August 2014). "ISR Caravans Received by Mauritania". Air International. Vol. 87 no. 2. p. 23. ISSN 0306-5634.
  39. "Niger Armed Forces receive new aircraft, vehicles". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  40. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 44.
  41. (12) Department of Defence (October 2007). "Republic of South Africa Air Force Aircraft". Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  42. Musisi, Frederic (11 March 2015). "United States To Replace Crashed UPDF Choppers". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  43. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 49.
  44. Hoyle Flight International 10–16 December 2013, p. 50.
  45. Yemen; AF incepts C208 Caravan reconnaissance aircraft - Dmilt.com, 26 September 2013
  46. "Grand Caravan EX: Specifications". Cessna. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  47. Lednicer, David (2010). "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 26 November 2016.

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