Raisbeck Reaches Milestone for Drag Reduction System on the Cessna Caravan

New drag reduction system reduces fuel flow or can improve airspeed by 4 to 5 knots. Courtesy Raisbeck Engineering

Raisbeck Engineering reported on June 9 it had completed the company’s comprehensive pre-certification flight tests for its new supplemental type certificate (STC) program, EPIC Caravan, a drag-reduction system for the Cessna 208B Caravan that includes a composite forward-cargo-pod fairing and metal dual aft-body strakes. The recent flight test clears the way for STC approval, which the company anticipates receiving in August.

In a new release, the company said, “The EPIC Caravan was designed to address the aerodynamic drag issues associated with the Cessna Caravan 208Bs currently flying with cargo pods. The Cessna Caravan 208B experiences a significant decrease in speed and an increase in fuel burn when equipped with the factory cargo pod. The new drag reduction system weighs in at 38 lbs and perfectly addresses the market need to reduce drag and decrease fuel burn. The system offers operators a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution by reducing drag in all phases of flight while providing the option to add 4 to 5 knots cruise speed at typical cruise power settings, or reduce fuel flows and [register] a lower ITT by flying the same speed. The lower ITT will reduce engine maintenance cost and the forward cargo pod fairing eliminates the need for a cargo pod de-ice boot, further reducing maintenance costs.”

Hal Chrisman, president of Raisbeck said, “We are in the final phase of pre-certification. We have completed over 131 flight hours and verified that EPIC Caravan is compliant with all of the required FAA Part 23 regulations. Our next step is to present company test results to the FAA pending issuance of a type inspection authorization (TIA), which we anticipate by mid-June. The FAA TIA is an important step towards STC approval, in that it marks the final milestone before the FAA finds compliance of the new system to Part 23 regulations by its own flight tests.”

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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