Cessna Aircraft has introduced an uprated version of its basic Model 208 Caravan and is to step up production in 1998 to meet increased demand for the single-turboprop utility aircraft.

The Caravan 675 uses the more-powerful, 500kW (675shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A engine of the larger Model 208B Grand Caravan, improving climb rate, increasing cruise speed and reducing take-off distance. Several Caravan operators have already re-engined their aircraft with the -114A using aftermarket conversions, says Cessna.

Certification of the Caravan 675 is scheduled for April 1998, with deliveries beginning in May. The company expects to deliver 100 Caravans this year, about one-third of them 208s. Production of the basic aircraft will be increased threefold in 1998, says Cessna vice-chairman Gary Hay.

The company will deliver the 1,000th Caravan in 1998, having delivered its 2,500th Citation business jet in early September. Hay says that Cessna is looking at "two or three interesting niches" in its Citation family for new aircraft.

Source: Flight International