Cessna Aircraft debuted a newly-configured special mission Cessna Grand Caravan EX demonstrator at last week’s Paris Airshow. The aircraft features a variety of special mission applications, such as a surveillance console and a medical stretcher, as well as a variety of cabin and seating configurations, including newly designed light-weight production seats in a half club configuration and a stowable utility seat.
The demonstrator aircraft is making its global debut through the year with appearances scheduled in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
“With a high percentage of our Caravan sales going into special mission roles around the world, this platform has proven to be a truly versatile multi-tasker,” said Dan Keady, vice president, Special Missions. “Having a fully equipped special missions Grand Caravan EX demonstrator in the market allows our customers to experience first-hand the extensive range of capabilities available on this platform.”
Cessna says that the Grand Caravan EX is particularly well suited for a wide array of operations due to its spacious cabin, high useful load of more than 3,500lbs (1,588kg), large cargo door and the ability to operate from short, unimproved surfaces. These aircraft have proven to be successful in a variety of special mission applications, including aerial survey, air ambulance, paratrooper, amphibious operations, surveillance, training and utility/transport.
The Grand Caravan EX can also be manufactured with structural provisions for two hard points on each wing, allowing the aircraft to be configured for missions that require armament. Both the Iraqi Air Force and Lebanese Air Force have taken advantage of this option and are currently operating Grand Caravans armed with Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. Alan Warnes