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D-FSWW Cessna 208B Grand Caravan c/n 2080B0639 - Skydive Westerwald - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 17 July 2019 OE-FDN at EDWF

The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan is a single-turbo-engine, fixed-gear, utility transport aircraft and short-haul airliner for upto fourteen passengers and one or two crew. Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas, USA, started development of the Cessna Model 208 by the end of the 1970s as a single-engined turboprop aircraft for up to ten passengers or up to a ton of load. The Cessna Model 208 was designed as a rugged utility aircraft to replace the aging De Havilland Canada Otters, Beavers and Beech 18 aircraft in use with bush operators. Therefor the design had to include the possibillity to equip the aircraft with skis and floats for use in remote areas with extreme weather changes, mountainous terrain and rough landing conditions. Final design work of the Cessna Model 208 started in 1979. The prototype Model 208 (serial number 699), registered N208LP, flew first on 9 December 1982. FAA-certification for the Cessna Model 208 Caravan I was awarded on 23 October 1984. The first Caravan was delivered on 25 February 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. The Cessna 208A Cargomaster, was developed with FedEx as a pure-cargo version of the Caravan. A further development with a lengthened fuselage is the Cessna 208B. The protoptype Model 208B Super Cargomaster, registered N9767F, flew first on 3 March 1986. The 208B Super Cargomaster entered service with Federal Express in 1986. Federal Express was the main operator of the Cessna 208 with a fleet of 39 Cessna 208A Cargomasters and over 200 Cessna 208B Super Cargomasters all-cargo variants. These aircrafts have a large cargo door, no side windows and are fitted with additional cargo tiedown points, cargo nets and an underfuselage cargo pannier. Fourty aircraft were built as Model 208A’s, these were subsequently all converted to Model 208’s by embodiment of a Cessna Service Kit or out of service. The designation Model 208A was removed from the FAA TCDS at Rev 13. The Cessna Model 208B Grand Caravan was the passenger model derived from the Super Cargomaster and was certified on 13 december 1989. Many Grand Caravan variants include an underbelly cargo pod, which can be used for additional freight capacity, or for passenger baggage. In 2012, the Cessna Grand Caravan EX with a Garmin Glass Cockpit and a 867 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 engine was announced. The new model keeps its 208B designation, but gives operators a great deal more power, thanks to the expressly for the EX developed Pratt & Whitney PT6-140 turboprop engine. In January 2013, after a quick certification test program, Cessna earned FAA approval for the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX. A number of Cessna 208 variants is converted to skydiving aircraft with the left-side cargo hatch converted to a roll-up door. This skydiving platform makes its possible to bring up to 20 parachutists to the jump height. The military variants of the Cessna Model 208 uses the designations U-27A; C-16 and Cessna AC-208 Combat Caravan. In 1985, Cessna Aircraft Company ceased to be an independent company. It was purchased by General Dynamics Corporation and became a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1992, General Dynamics sold Cessna to Textron Inc. and on 29 July 2015, the company name changed to Textron Aviation Inc., Wichita, Kansas. Building of the Cessna 208 started in Wichita. In May 2012, Cessna announced that an assembly line for the 208 by a Cessna-AVIC joint venture would be established in Shijiazhuang in the People's Republic of China. In August 2016, Textron announced that it is moving the Cessna 208 production from its Wichita headquarters to its Independence, Kansas production facility. Over 2.500 Cessna 208 aircraft in the diverent variations have been delivered since the Cessna 208 entered service in 1985.

On 29 December 1997, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan c/n 208B0639 was registered N1132Y in the USA with First Security Bank / Cessna Aircraft Company. The turbine-powered Cessna Grand Caravan was destined for the Grupo TACA and painted in their color scheme. On 31 March 1998, the Grand Caravan was registered TI-LRB in Costa Rica with SANSA Servicios Aéreos Nacionales, part of Grupo TACA. The next operator of the 1997-built Cessna 208B was Isleña Airlines, Honduras, where it was operated under registration HR-IBJ. On 4 October 2010, the Gran Caravan was registered N452NU in the USA with Aviation Consultants & Sales Corp. / Falcon USA Inc., Miami, Florida. On 27 November 2002, registration N452NU was cancelled as exported to the United Arab Emirates, where it on 26 November 2002, was registered A6-MBM with a privat owner. On 5 October 2004, the Gran Caravan was registered ZS-PJJ Frost Air Aviation. On 16 October 2007, the Cessna 208 B was registered 5H-TZU with Tanzanian Air Services in Dar es Salaam. In service with Tanzanian Air Services, the Cessna was equipped with a cargo pod. On 20 November 2015, the CofA of the 5H-TZU expired, but at time the aircraft was already exported to Germany, where it was converted into a skydive platform and registered as D-FSWW. On 12 June 2015, Cessna 208B Gran Caravan Supervan 900 D-FSWW operated by Airservice Westerwald and Skydive Westerwald was delivered at Siegerland Airport. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Supervan 900 D-FSWW is operated out of Siegerland Airport as a skydive platform for Skydive Westerwald to bring up to 20 parachutist to their jump high. On 17 July 2019, during Pink Boogie Leer 2019, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Supervan 900 D-FSWW was seen at Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg.

page last updated: 25-07-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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