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Milestone Reached for New EPIC Caravan

Raisbeck Engineering, a provider of performance enhancement systems for aircraft, reports it has successfully completed its pre-certification flight tests for its new Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) program for the EPIC Caravan, a drag reduction system designed for the Cessna Caravan 208B.

Completion of the pre-certification flight tests marks a “significant milestone and clears the way for STC approval,” which company officials anticipate receiving in August 2021.

“We are in the final phase of pre-certification,” said Hal Chrisman, president. “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 receiving 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.”

EPIC Caravan was designed to address the aerodynamic drag issues associated with the Cessna Caravan 208Bs flying with cargo pods, company officials said, explaining, “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, which weighs in at 38 pounds, addresses the need to reduce drag and decrease fuel burn. The system, which includes a composite Forward Cargo Pod Fairing and metal Dual Aft Body Strakes, offers a “cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution by reducing drag in all phases of flight while providing the option to add 4-5 knots cruise speed at typical cruise power settings or reduce fuel flows and lower interstage turbine temperature (ITT) by flying the same speed,” company officials explained.

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, officials add.