Raisbeck Engineering has completed pre-certification flight tests of its Epic Caravan drag-reduction system for the Cessna Caravan 208B, clearing the way for STC approval that is expected in August. A composite forward cargo pod fairing and metal dual aft body strakes comprise the Epic Caravan system.
Caravan 208Bs flying with a factory cargo pod experience what Raisbeck said is a significant decrease in speed and increased fuel burn. The 38-pound Epic Caravan system provides operators with the option to add about five knots in cruise speed at typical cruise power settings or reduce fuel flows and interstage turbine temperature (ITT) by flying at the same speed, according to Raisbeck. The latter results in lower engine maintenance costs. Maintenance costs are further reduced since a cargo pod deice boot isn’t needed with the forward cargo pod fairing.
Raisbeck president Hal Chrisman said that, with more than 131 flight hours completed, the company has verified that Epic Caravan complies with FAA Part 23 regulations. Up next, Raisbeck will present its test results to the FAA pending type inspection authorization that is expected in mid-June and is the final milestone before the FAA performs its own flight tests.