Continental To Build Former Cessna Cabin Class Twin

Engine maker buys type certificate.

Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II

Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II

Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II (Photo: Pedro Aragão via Wikipedia CC)

Continental Motors plans to bring the Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II back into production after acquiring the type certificate, inventory and manufacturing rights for the twin from Reims Aviation of France.

Continental says it is partnering with ASI Innovation in France on the unpressurized, 14-passenger twin, first introduced by Reims Aviation in 1983. Once production resumes, buyers can choose to equip their F406 with either Pratt & Whitney PT6s or a Continental Motors geared, FADEC and diesel engines.

"We are pleased by the acquisition of this great airframe," said Rhett Ross, president of Continental Motors. "We will be excited to see it return to production in both a turbine and piston engine configuration to meet global demand for a cost effective twin engine utility aircraft."

A total of 85 airplanes were built under the original ownership, formerly a subsidiary of Cessna, before the company went bankrupt in 2013. The F406 generally flew outside North America.

Continental, a subsidiary of China's AVIC, and ASI say they will will jointly oversee the continued airworthiness of the existing F406 fleet. As the companies work to bring the product back to production, "ASI will have responsibility and control of all business related to government application of the F406 product, while Continental Motors will have responsibility for all commercial applications and restoring the F406 to production," Continental said in a statement.

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