Cessna Grand Caravan EX: The Engine

The new PT6A-140 engine's increase in power is nearly 20 percent.

Cessna Grand Caravan EX closeup

Cessna Grand Caravan EX closeup

The powerplant Cessna used in the EX is by Pratt & Whitney Canada, the same manufacturer that provided the engines used in every other Caravan Cessna has ever built. The new engine, the PT6A-140, was designed expressly for the Caravan EX. The 140 puts out a whopping 867 shaft horsepower at 1,900 rpm — the low rpm is great for a low noise signature and low vibration. The new engine weighs around 60 pounds more than the previous PT6, but the cowling and exhaust exit did not change, making it hard to tell the difference between the models by looking at the airplanes on the ramp.

Moreover, the new PT6 requires no anti-icing fluid (Prist) in the fuel, as it uses excess turbine heat to eliminate ice. The result is cost savings and decreased hassle for pilots. Strangely enough, Cessna isn’t the first company to add power to the Caravan. Blackhawk, among others, has been making this modification to Grand Caravans for a while and selling a lot of them, using the P&W PT6-114. Texas Turbines and Aero Twin make Honeywell TPE-331 conversions that go beyond 900 shp. The Grand Caravan EX, however, marks the first substantial Caravan power boost from Cessna since the Caravan’s inception almost 20 years ago.