Raisbeck Engineering (Booth 1401) has signed Redding Aero as the launch customer for the aircraft modification company's Epic Caravan drag-reduction system for the Cessna 208B turboprop single. Redding will take 11 systems for deliveries beginning in 2022 for its fleet of Caravan 208Bs that supports overnight package carriers and medical couriers. It also provides FBO and aircraft maintenance services at the Redding (California) Municipal Airport (RDD).
Epic Caravan was designed to address the aerodynamic drag and resultant lower speed and higher fuel consumption on Cessna Caravan 208Bs flying with cargo pods. It features a composite forward cargo pod fairing and metal dual aft body strakes. The system weighs 38 pounds and adds about five knots of speed at cruise power settings or reduces fuel flows and lowers ITT by flying at the same speed as a stock pod-equipped Caravan. The new forward cargo pod fairing eliminates the need for a cargo pod de-ice boot, reducing maintenance costs.
After 24 months in development and more than 130 hours of flight testing, the company has completed all comprehensive pre-certification flights. STC approval for the new drag-reduction system is anticipated in mid-December.
“We are pleased to have Redding Aero as our first Epic Caravan customer. The aircraft that we have been flying for our certification testing has been a Redding aircraft. I think that is an important point,” said Raisbeck president Hal Chrisman. “Our first customer is the operator that knows the most about this modification and has seen first-hand the performance improvement the Epic Caravan modification provides.” Chrisman said Raisbeck has begun a nationwide demonstration tour in the U.S.
NBAA-BACE 2021 marks Raisbeck Engineering's first presence at an industry trade show since company founder James Raisbeck passed away on August 31. He founded the Seattle-based business in 1973 and designed modifications that have been incorporated on thousands of aircraft. The firm was acquired by Acorn Growth Companies in 2016, but Raisbeck continued to advise the company and focused on philanthropic interests.