Soloy's Pathfinder 21 modification to the Cessna Caravan 208B is set to begin flight- testing in January following US Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certification of the 1,000kW (1,330shp) Soloy Dual Pac, which combines two Pratt & Whitney PT6-114As driving a single-propeller shaft (Flight International, 3-9 December).

Flight-testing will continue throughout the year, with airframe certification expected by early 1999. The Pathfinder 21 configuration includes a 1.83m stretch, and a 1,702kg weight increase, to 5,675kg. A new landing gear and wing modifications are also part of the Caravan modification.

The Pathfinder 21 will be certified and normally operated as a twin-engine aircraft, but Soloy claims that it may operate the aircraft with one engine shut down to extend range or endurance on certain missions.

The aircraft will be initially offered as a combi, with room to seat nine passengers and 11.7m3 (413ft3) of cargo space. A 15-seat commuter aircraft and a freighter version are also planned.

About 800 Caravans are being flown worldwide, and Soloy hopes to re-engine and stretch at least 150 of them into Pathfinder 21s. The company is holding discussions with "several interested parties" but no orders are yet in hand.

Source: Flight International