Under the leadership of Scott Ernest, appointed CEO last year, Cessna has accelerated new product introductions. At yesterday’s opening of the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show, Cessna announced that the single-engine Grand Caravan turboprop is getting a bigger engine, an 867-shp PT6A-140. “It’s time for more power,” said Caravan business leader Lannie O’Bannion. With 25 percent more available power than the current model’s 675-shp PT6A, the new Grand Caravan EX will climb 20 percent better and fly 10 knots faster (without cargo pod). It will also accept floats. Deliveries of the EX should begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Also at Oshkosh, Cessna unveiled the diesel-powered Turbo 182 NXT, which replaces the avgas-powered Turbo 182 when deliveries begin in next year’s second quarter. The NXT’s engine is a 230-hp SMA diesel, delivering 155-knot max cruise at 11 gph. Price will be $515,000 compared with $443,000 for the avgas Turbo 182.
At AirVenture, Cessna is asking visitors for opinions about a conceptual single-engine turboprop model housed in the company’s exhibit. According to Jeff Umscheid, business leader single-engine aircraft, Cessna leadership “is extremely supportive. [It’s] really encouraging us to look into technologies and bring new things to market.”