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D-FSCM Cessna 208B Grand Caravan c/n 208B0395 - Fallschirm Club Münster - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 17 July 2019 Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg (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 6 May 1994, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan s/n 208B0395 was registered N1123R in the USA with Bering Air Inc., Nome, Alaska. The turbine-powered Cessna Grand Caravan was operated by Bering Air to bring passengers or bulky freight in all weather conditions to almost any airstrip in Alaska. On 8 September 1997, Cessna 208B N1123R suffered severe damage at Noorvik-Curtis Memorial Airport, Alaska, USA, when the tail of Cessna 402C N2649Z struck the right aileron of Cessna 208B N1123R. After repairs, Cessna 208B N1123R resumed service with Bering Air. Although, Cessna 208B N1123R was in service with Bering Air, she was registered with Norton Basin Services, Nome, Alaska. In service with Bering Air, Cessna 208B N1123R was most often used as freighter, equipped with a cargo pod. In 2015, the Cessna 208B Grand Caravans in the fleet of Bering Air were replaced by eight Cessna 208EX aircraft. On 6 November 2015, Cessna 208B N1123R was transferred to Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc Trustee, Bungay, UK. A trust is an Anglo-Saxon legal. Trustees like the Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc Trustee are “Insured fiduciaries". Legally there is no owner, but the Trustee became the owner. This construction is often used for enabling non-US Citizens to obtain "N" registration of aircraft with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for aircraft operating principally outside the United States. In fact Cessna 208B N1123R was sold in Germany and flown from Alaska via Greenland and Iceland to Berlin, Germany. In Berlin the aircraft was converted into a skydive platform and entered service with MS-Air GmbH, Telgte, Germany. The aircraft is equiped with a 1,000 shp (746 kW) Honeywell TPE331-12JR-704AT engine, installed by Aero Twin Inc. On 30 April 2016, Cessna 208B Gran Caravan Supervan 950 N1123R arrived at its new home Flugplatz Münster-Telgte. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Supervan 950 is operated out of Münster-Telgte Airport as a skydive platform for FSC Münster to bring up to 20 parachutist to a jump high of 4.000 mtrs. On 18 July 2017, registration N1123R was cancelled as exported to Germany where it was registered D-FSCM. On 17 July 2019, the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Supervan 950 D-FSCM was seen at Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg during Pink Boogie Leer 2019.

page last updated: 20-07-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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