FAA Certification Flight Tests of AeroAcoustics Aircraft Payload Extender STOL on the New Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX Hosted by Propel Aviation
Propel Aviation recently hosted AeroAcoustics Aircraft Systems, Inc. of Everett, Washington in a flight test of the new Cessna Grand Caravan EX. AeroAcoustics and Propel Aviation worked closely together from May 15th to May 20th of 2013 to perform the FAA certification flight tests necessary to obtain approval of AeroAcoustics’ Aircraft Payload Extender (APE) STOL on the new Caravan model.
The APE STOL, which is approved on legacy versions of the Caravan, provides increases in maximum takeoff and landing gross weights and provides for improvements in short field performance. The EX, however, differs from the previous version of the Caravan by the incorporation of the new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 engine which is rated to 867 SHP.
Propel assisted AeroAcoustics during the tests by providing an excellent support base conveniently situated to allow access to a flight test area within 10 minutes. Additionally, Propel’s maintenance department worked quickly and effectively to make airplane configuration changes in order to complete testing under a tight schedule.
Propel is a sister company of Africair, Inc. of Miami, Florida. Africair played a key role in this process by providing a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan EX to use as a test bed for the APE STOL. Propel and Africair have been long time valued dealers representing AeroAcoustics APE products for over 15 years.
The APE STOL provides takeoff and landing field length reductions up to 20% by incorporating unique aerodynamic devices attached to the leading edge of the wing and trailing edge of the flaps. The kit adds less than 6 lb to the aircraft empty weight and can easily be installed in several hours.
The APE STOL equipped Caravan 208B also provides an increase in maximum takeoff gross weight to 9062 lb and an increase in maximum landing weight to 9000 lb. With the APE STOL installed, operations at hot and high conditions result in takeoff weights as much as 700 lb better than an unmodified Caravan.
AeroAcoustics Aircraft Systems provides performance improvement products for Cessna aircraft with a focus on the Caravan. These products are designed to enhance the payload capability of the aircraft hence the name Aircraft Payload Extender or APE. APE kits are installed on over 800 aircraft throughout the world and have been in continuous operation without incident since 1994.