FedEx Express has contracted with modifications provider Yingling Aviation to install glycol-based TKS ice protection systems built by CAV Aerospace and Garmin G600 avionics in its fleet of more than 250 Cessna 208 Caravan cargo aircraft.
Wichita-based Yingling has started the first conversions and plans to ramp up to a rate of 50 aircraft per year for the modifications, with Cessna and Garmin providing technical support. Yingling expects to hire 30 additional employees to support installation of the systems.
The fluid-based anti-icing system will replace pneumatic wing leading edge boots, which had been the target of scrutiny from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following a spate of icing related accidents and incidents for the Caravan in the mid-2000s.
Included with the Garmin suite is synthetic vision technology on the primary flight displays and new Mode S transponders.