Warplanes: Cessna Caravan Covers Afghanistan


October 30, 2011: The Afghanistan Air Force recently received the first three of six Cessna Caravan 208B transport aircraft. This is a large, single engine, aircraft that can carry up to 14 passengers or 1.3 tons of cargo. It costs about half what the more popular (in the U.S. armed forces) twin engine King Air does, and is already popular as a passenger/cargo aircraft in remote parts of the planet. The Afghan air force wants to eventually have over twenty these "light transports". But first, the initial six must prove they can survive and thrive in the many different (in terms of terrain and climate) parts of the country. These first six will also be used to train experienced pilots to fly the 208B.

The four ton 208B has a cruising speed of 317 kilometers an hour and can stay in the air for about six hours per sortie. The 208 has been in service since the mid-1980s and over 2,000 have been built. New ones cost about $2 million each.





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