Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 13), a division of Textron Aviation, announced a 10-aircraft order for float-equipped Grand Caravan EXs yesterday at ABACE 2014 from Beijing-based Reignwood Group for tourism services in China. The company agreed to acquire the amphibian turboprop singles through the Cessna-AVIC Shijiazhuang facility, which has been assembling Cessna Caravans for the Chinese market since late last year.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted approval for the Cessna Grand Caravan EX to operate on floats in China in March. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140, the EX offers a 38-percent improvement in rate of climb over the standard Grand Caravan, as well as a 10- to 12-knot boost in cruise speed.
“The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is incredibly durable and versatile, exactly what Reignwood was looking for to fit the types of missions they are planning,” said Cessna vice president of sales for Asia and Asia Pacific Bill Harris. “The options for how the aircraft can be configured means it can be put into service for freight deliveries, commuter air travel, executive travel, aerial survey or tourism, all while being durable enough for both on- and off-airport operations and for amphibious use with floats.” According to Harris, sales of both wheeled and amphibious Caravans in the region has been “strong.”
Cessna-AVIC Aircraft Shijiazhuang is in its first year of operations and has been delivering Caravans to customers in China since the fourth quarter of last year. The joint venture was formed in 2012 with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA), a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The joint venture officially began operating when its business license was approved in September.
To date, Cessna has delivered more than 2,200 Caravans since the aircraft was introduced in 1985. The company delivered the 100th Grand Caravan EX last Wednesday to Hussain Ali Rashid Almoalla for use at his aviation club in United Arab Emirates.