Textron Aviation has delivered the 500th Cessna Grand Caravan EX

Textron Aviation has delivered the 500th Cessna Grand Caravan EX

October 3, 2019 By kent

The US manufacturer has achieved the delivery milestone in a little less than six years, having shipped the first example in early 2013.  This landmark aircraft (N795J) handed to South Aero, a family-owned charter operator and long-time customer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Launched in July 2012, the EX is the third variant of the all-metal, high-wing 208 Caravan – introduced in 1984 – and the second iteration of the Grand Caravan, a stretched version of the 208, which arrived four years later.

Cessna replaced the predecessor’s 675hp (500kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A engine with an 870hp PT6A-140. This delivers a 38% improvement in the EX’s rate of climb, and a 12kt (22km/h) boost in its cruise speed, to 195kt.

Cirium fleets data shows North America as having the largest inventory of EXs, with more than 50%, followed by Asia-Pacific with 20%, and Latin America with 15%.

The $2.7 million EX – which has an optional under-belly cargo pod – seats between 10-14 passengers, has a useful load of 3,690lb (1,670kg) and a maximum range of 960nm (1,770km).