Wherever you want to go, the Cessna Caravan can get you there. First introduced by Cessna in 1985, the Caravan was designed to land nearly anywhere, on land or water. Undoubtedly, it has lived up to its creators’ intentions. Whether supplies need to be brought to a flooded village in the mountains of Peru, an injured person needs to be flown out from a remote lake in Alaska, or an archaeologist wants access to a tiny site in the African desert, the Caravan has what’s needed to do the job.
In the initial design of the Caravan, Cessna took the fuselage of a Model 207 Stationair and enlarged it. However, it didn’t take Cessna long to realize that in order to create a plane that provided enough cargo and fuel-carrying space, they’d have to start from close to scratch. They used sections of the 207 in the first prototype, but the ultimate design of the Caravan had no real predecessor.
Caravans have large fuel tanks and tough, sturdy landing gear to ensure the aircraft’s reliability on rough, unpaved airstrips. (And that landing gear can easily be replaced with floats in order to handle water landings.) Caravans also sport large wings for quick liftoffs on short, rough runways. One hundred and seventy-four square feet of wing area provide 335 gallons of fuel capacity. The oil-only strut in the nose gear acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the engine from large loads placed onto it by the engine mounts as the airplane rolls over rocks and potholes.
The first amphibious Caravan was certified in March 1986 and was officially rolled out two months later. In the Amphibians, two large floats replace the landing gear. However, each float contains retractable landing gear, making the airplane truly amphibious. Each float can carry 200 pounds of gear inside watertight bulkhead compartments. The Amphibian also has retractable water rudders that provide maneuverability on the water and vertical fins on its horizontal stabilizer that balance the large float surface and provide more control.
The first Caravans were made-to-order for Federal Express. FedEx has continued to depend on the Caravans’ reliability, flexibility, and strength to provide hundreds of small communities around the world with access to overnight delivery service.
As of 2005, more than 1500 Caravans worldwide log more than 71,000 hours per month—more than half a billion miles since the Caravan first took off.
As for the Amphibians, one of the earliest customers of the floating flyers was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. These amphibious planes gave the RCMP access to miles of rivers and lakes throughout the provinces for both law enforcement and rescue missions.
|Maximum Speed||175 knots||324 km per hour|
|Cruise Speed||175 knots 324 km/hr at
10,000 feet164 knots 305 km/hr at 20,000 feet
|Engine||Pratt & Whitney
Canada, Inc., Free Turbine. Flat Rated at 675 shaft
constant speed, full feathering, reversible,
|Maximum Endurance||5.1 hours with maximum
cruise at 10,000 feet6.6 hours with maximum cruise at 18,000 feet6.4 hours with maximum range at 10,000 feet7.2 hours with maximum range at 18,000 feet
|Service Ceiling||22,800 feet||6,950 meters|
|Fuel Capacity||335 gallons||1,268 liters|
|Empty Weight||4,575 pounds||2,075 kilograms|
|Maximum Gross Weight||8,785 pounds||3,980 kilograms|
|Length||41 feet, 7 inches||12.8 meters|
|Wingspan||52 feet, 1 inches||15.85 meters|
|Height||15 feet, 5-½ inches||4.7 meters|
|Seating||Up to 14|
|Useful Load||4,000 pounds||1,814 kilograms|
Many factors affect flight planning and aircraft operation, including aircraft weight, weather, and runway surface. The recommended flight parameters listed below are intended to give approximations for flights at maximum takeoff or landing weight on a day with International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) conditions.
Important: These instructions are intended for use with Flight Simulator only and are no substitute for using the actual aircraft manual for real-world flight.
Note: As with all of the Flight Simulator aircraft, the V-speeds and checklists are located on the Kneeboard. To access the Kneeboard while flying, press SHIFT+F10, or on the Aircraft menu, click Kneeboard.
Note: All speeds given in Flight Notes are indicated airspeeds. If you’re using these speeds as reference, be sure that you select “Display Indicated Airspeed” in the Realism Settings dialog box. Speeds listed in the specifications table are shown as true airspeeds.
By default, this aircraft has full fuel and payload. Depending on atmospheric conditions, altitude, and other factors, you will not get the same performance at gross weight that you would with a lighter load.
Required Runway Length
2,500 feet (765 meters), with ISA conditions.
Note: The length required for both takeoff and landing is a result of a number of factors, including aircraft weight, altitude, headwind, use of flaps, and ambient temperature. Lower weights and temperatures will result in better performance, as will having a headwind component. Higher altitudes and temperatures will degrade performance.
The engine will be running automatically every time you begin a flight. If you shut the engine down, you can initiate an auto-startup sequence by pressing CTRL+E. If you want to do the startup procedures manually, use the checklist on the Kneeboard.
Set prop and mixture should be full forward for taxiing. As you move down the taxiway, use the rudder to turn the nose right and left for directional control. (Twist the joystick; use the rudder pedals; or press 0 or ENTER on the numeric keyboard to turn left or right, respectively.)
Run through the Before Takeoff checklist found in the Kneeboard (F10). Set flaps (press F7, or click the flaps lever) between 0 and 20 degrees, depending on the runway situation.
Align the aircraft with the white runway centerline, and advance the throttle to takeoff power (1900 torque).
Set climb speed for between 110 and 120 KIAS.
Cruise altitude would normally be determined by winds, weather, and other factors. You might want to use these factors in your flight planning if you have created weather systems along your route. Optimum altitude is the altitude that gives the best fuel economy for a given configuration and gross weight. A complete discussion about choosing altitudes is beyond the scope of this section.
Set your airspeed for 155 KIAS. Set your propeller for 1600-1900 rpm by pressing CTRL+F2 or CTRL+F3.
Descent and Approach
Reduce airspeed to 75-85 KIAS with flaps fully down. Adjust flaps slowly in increments as follows: At 175 KIAS, lower to 10 degrees. At 150 KIAS, lower to 20 degrees. Finally, lower to 30 degrees at 125 KIAS.
On final approach, plan for a landing speed of 75-85 KIAS with full flaps. Plan to land slightly tail-low.
Upon touchdown, bring the power back to idle, gently lower the nosewheel, and lightly apply the brakes by pressing the PERIOD key.