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Introduced in 1984, the Cessna 208 Caravan is a single turboprop engine, fixed gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft. The Caravan has the capacity for one crew member and nine passengers. However, with a FAR Part 23 waiver it can seat up to fourteen passengers. The empty weight is 4570 lb (2073 kg) and the gross weight is 8752 lb (3970 kg). The cruise speed is 171 knots (197 mph, 317 km/h) and the rate of climb is 770 ft/min (3.9 m/s).
Civilian and military models were produced. The civilian variants include the Cessna Caravan 208, 208A Caravan 675, 208A Cargomaster, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, Cessna 208 Super Cargomaster, Cessna 208 Amphibian, and Soloy Pathfinder 21. Military variants include the U-27A, C-98, C-16, and AC-208 "Combat Caravan". The aircraft is popular with cargo feederliner operations. Since it was introduced in 1984 the Caravan has undergone a number of design evolutions.
The Cessna 208's cabin can be outfitted with seats or cargo holds. Cessna announced that the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit would be standard equipment on all new Caravans in 2008. With over 250 aircraft, FedEx is the main operator of the Cessna 208.