Friday, July 23, 2021

Surf Air Mobility Orders 150 Cessna Caravan EX to Electrify

TEXTRON AVIATION ANNOUNCES ORDER FOR UP TO 150 CESSNA GRAND CARAVAN EX AIRCRAFT TO AID SURF AIR MOBILITY IN ACCELERATING ELECTRIFIED COMMERCIAL TRAVEL


WICHITA, Kan. — July 20, 2021 — Textron Aviation today announced Surf Air Mobility Inc., has signed a purchase agreement for up to 150 Cessna Grand Caravan EX single-engine turboprop aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 100 aircraft and an option for 50 more. The order, which is subject to Surf Air Mobility obtaining financing, is part of an exclusive relationship between the two companies supporting Surf Air Mobility’s development of electrified Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, beginning with a hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft powered by Surf Air Mobility’s proprietary powertrain technology.   

The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.

 

Textron Aviation’s initial deliveries of the Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft to Surf Air Mobility, a company accelerating the adoption of electric regional air travel, are expected to begin in Q2 2022. Surf Air anticipates that its hybrid electric system for the Grand Caravan, upon certification, will power a 9-seat variant of the iconic single-engine turboprop.

Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel. Ron Draper, President & CEO, Textron Aviation

“Hybrid electric propulsion technology, deployed at scale for environmental and commercial benefits, is an important part of the future of travel,” said Ron Draper, President & CEO, Textron Aviation. “This relationship with Surf Air Mobility leverages the unique performance capabilities of the Cessna Grand Caravan in both passenger and cargo operations and continues to demonstrate the aircraft’s adaptability for innovative missions and configurations.”

 

The hybrid electric Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft is anticipated to be utilized by Surf Air Mobility across its own network, connecting more airports with short-haul direct service across the U.S. on a path to creating a regional mass transport platform to sustainably connect communities.

 

“This is an opportunity to showcase the combined expertise and technologies of both Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Textron eAviation. “The outstanding capabilities and versatility of the Grand Caravan make it an ideal aircraft to take advantage of this new technology.”

 

“The Cessna Grand Caravan EX is one of the most adaptable and prolific aircraft in flight today. Through this exclusive relationship with Textron Aviation, we’re able to make electrified aircraft broadly available to existing and new operators, and bring the benefits of lower cost, lower emission air travel to customers faster and at scale,” said Sudhin Shahani, Co-founder, CEO & Executive Chairman, Surf Air Mobility. “We believe electrifying the Cessna Grand Caravan is the most significant step that can be made toward reduced emission flying with the quickest path to market.”

 

The transactions between Textron Aviation and Surf Air Mobility are subject to certain closing conditions, including the receipt of financing by Surf Air Mobility.





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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Operating Tips for an Icing Encounter in the Cessna Caravan

Operating Tips for an Icing Encounter in the Cessna Caravan 

In the Northern Hemisphere, there is still one more month of Winter remaining, one more month of increased chances that the Caravan that you fly will have an icing encounter. Are you familiar with the various steps that you can take to help manage the impact of an icing encounter? Whether you own, fly or manage a Cessna Caravan, we here at Caravan Nation recommend that you, not only read this article, but print and save the below listed operating tips for future reference.

The operating tips listed below are part of the FedEx Caravan Icing Program. "In the Caravan, like every other airplane, you can help manage the impact of an icing encounter by remembering two general rules: A) Keep the airspeed/power up and, B) Keep the deck angle/AOA down. Additionally we recommend that you consider the following:

1. Make sure that you receive a thorough weather briefing. Know the right questions to ask, and don't hesitate to ask them.

2. Compare frontal movement with the proposed flight path, remember to look well up-wind of your course line to see what kind of weather is approaching your flight path.

3. Pre-flight ALL of the aircraft anti/de-ice systems for proper operation and cycle sequences.

4. Periodically wax areas of the aircraft that are exposed to ice accumulation: e.g.
  • Nose wheel fairings & accessories (not the shock)
  • Engine cowling
  • Cargo pod
  • Wing-strut/wing-joint area including tie-down hook
  • Main landing gear dressing including brake-pad housing, but not the brake-disk
  • Gurney-strip of the trailing edge of the flaps
  • Left & right outer elevator horn
5. Exercise self-discipline and try to envision ALL possible "What if (s)" that might be encountered during the initial take-off and climb in icing conditions.

6. Use of flaps for take-off should be carefully evaluated when icing is anticipated during departure.

7. Remember... snow, slush, or water standing on the runway will greatly increase the required take-off distance, as well as landing roll. Be particularly careful when a take-off is being conducted. Slow acceleration to liftoff speed followed by an ABORT will require considerably more runway. Therefore, where a choice can be made, pick the longest runway for both take-off and landing.

8. After take-off, increase speed to 110-115 kts as quickly as possible. This will help keep ice formation on the protected areas of the aircraft. Continue to climb with a minimum deck-angle.

9. At airports where SIDs are used, pick a direction of departure which has the lowest climb-gradient. Once you are at a safe altitude you can then proceed to your destination.

10. Constantly monitor & assess the icing situation of your aircraft. Be particularly alert to OAT changes during the climb. Observing the OAT during your climb to altitude can provide clues which could save your life.

11. Consider not using the auto-pilot when operating in ice. This is not to imply that the auto-pilot is not approved for ice operation, but that a pilot can not possibly know how the aircraft is FEELING if the auto-pilot is engaged.

12. When encountering icing and the airspeed begins to drop below 130 KIAS, MAXIMUM CONTINUOUS POWER e.g. 1865# torque/805 C ITT (675 HP) as applicable, should be used.

13. De-ice boots are more effective at higher airspeeds. At lower speeds effectiveness may be improved by SMOOTHLY changing the pitch attitude as the boots are being MANUALLY inflated which will allow the changing relative wind to assist in removing the ice from the wing leading edge.

14. A vibration may occur as ice starts to build on the propeller hub and the back side of the blade near the hub. Under extreme conditions the vibration may continue to increase the the point where the instrument panel begins to shake. In conditions of MODERATE and above accumulation rates, the automatic propeller anti-ice system may not be sufficient to keep the propeller clear of ice. Under these conditions, consider using the MANUAL propeller anti-ice feature and briskly cycling the prop between the maximum and minimum RPM (minimum 200 RPM change) to assist in removing the ice.

15. Don't keep flying into deteriorating conditions. Have a plan, e.g. climb, descend or turn to get to less severe conditions if it become necessary. KEEP YOUR SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AHEAD OF THE AIRPLANE. DON'T ALLOW YOURSELF TO RUN OUT OF OPTIONS!

16. Communicate your situation with ATC. Keep them advised of your icing problems. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Failing to use all of the resources at your disposal is sellling yourself short. DON'T LET A MACHO ATTITUDE OVERLOAD YOUR BOAT!

17. Monitor the terminal approach frequency while you are still in the enroute portion. This will allow you to listen-in on any problems other pilots may be encountering while in their attempt to land. During the approach keep your air-speed at least 15-20 knots higher than normal. Stall speed increases with ice accumulation.

18. Do not cycle the boots during landing since boot inflation may increase stall speeds by as much as 10 knots.

19. Fly the aircraft down-to-the-ground, do not attempt a normal flare-out to a stalled landing.

If you have any questions about this article, contact CaravanNation.com 
Never get complacent... stay proficient!