Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A turbine-aircraft buyer’s guide
Cessna Caravan | www.cessna.com
Unpressurized, Fixed-Gear Load Haulers
Need to carry more, get into the backcountry, or operate on water? Fixed-gear, single-engine turboprops are ideal for anyone with a need to transport a load of people or cargo under a wide variety of conditions. Since they're unpressurized, these aircraft are ideal for operations mostly below 12,000 feet, and can get into short unimproved strips or convert to floats.
With over 14 million flight hours under its belt, the Cessna Caravan is the granddaddy of the big, fixed-gear turboprop load haulers. Introduced in 1984, the total Caravan fleet is over 2,200 airplanes and today consists of two models: the 675 and the Grand Caravan. The 675 features a 675 hp PT6-114A engine that delivers a top speed of 186 ktas. Top the tanks with 332 gallons of Jet A, take up 1,071 pounds of payload and travel for 949 nm at 10,000 feet. Seating can be configured with eight to 14 places with capacity for 325 pounds of baggage in 32 cubic feet of dedicated space. Up front, a G1000 system makes the airplane single-pilot friendly. The Caravan needs 2,055 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle on takeoff, and is certified to 25,000 feet. Direct operating cost is estimated to be $412/hour ($2.40/nm). Base price is $1.89 million, with typically equipped prices around $2.11 million. The Grand Caravan is the most popular model with 1,800 aircraft in the fleet. It has a stretched fuselage, seating for up to 14 and a base price of $1.93 million. Amphibious and float options are available for both airplanes.
Quest Kodiak | www.questaircraft.com
Single-Engine, Pressurized Turboprops
Tuck in the gear, add pressurization to get up into the flight levels, and you'll find that single-engine turboprops provide some of the most efficient and cost-effective travel available.
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