Geophysical Survey Aircraft
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

Serial #
208B1228 208B1187 208B0783 208B0747 208B0524 208B0646 208B0600 208B0493

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan is an all metal, high wing single-engined aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A engine driving a constant speed, full feathering, reversible propeller.  The aircraft has fixed gear, extendable flaps and manually adjustable trim tabs on the primary controls for the roll and pitch axis and full rudder trim for the yaw axes.  The aircraft is equipped with full de-icing equipment and sufficient avionics for instrument flying including a flight control system and weather radar.  Supplementary fuel can be added for transoceanic flight.  The Caravan is certified for IFR flights in known icing conditions.

SGL aircraft have a rigid aluminum and composite material 3 m tail stinger designed to accommodate the magnetometer sensor.  The stinger can be easily removed and the aircraft returned to its original configuration.  There is a camera hole in the belly of the aircraft and provisions for other survey and navigation systems.

Geophysical Surveying

The Cessna Grand Caravan uses the extremely reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turbine engine.  They have recorded tens of millions of hours of flight time and with virtually no in-flight engine stoppages due to mechanical failure.  Over 1,300 Caravans are in use around the world.  Because the Caravan has one engine, fixed landing gear, and no single engine control speed limitations, it is considered an easy and very safe aircraft to fly.  The PT6 turbine engine provides ample power for takeoff and climbing over terrain, can withstand frequent rapid power changes, and works well at altitudes up to 7,000 m.  The low stall speeds and ample available power, mean that the Caravan is a safe and effective aircraft for surveys which require low airspeeds, drape flying over rough topography, or flights at high altitudes.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan Specifications

Crew Capacity:

  • Two pilots, one operator (optional)


  • Semi-monocoque


  • Strut braced, high wing
  • Outboard ailerons with trim tab


  • Conventional stabilizers
  • Elevators and rudder with trim

Power Plant:

  • Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A, 675 shp, free-turbine gas engine, overhaul 3,500 hours
  • Three-blade, fully-feathering, constant-speed, reversible propeller, overhaul 3,500 hours


  • Dual flight controls with IFR instruments and avionics
  • Flight control system
  • Two-axis autopilot
  • Weather radar
  • Full airframe and propeller de-icing


Wing span 52 ft 1 in 16.11 m
Exterior length 41 ft 7 in 12.68 m
Exterior height 15 ft 5.5 in 4.72 m
Interior usable length 15 ft 10 in 4.83 m
Interior usable width 5 ft 4 in 1.63 m
Interior height 4 ft 6 in 1.37 m
Usable fuel capacity (with survey tank) 519 US gallons 2,011 l


Empty 4,237 lb 1,926 kg
Maximum take-off 9,062 lb 4,110 kg

Performance (2000 ft ASL, standard day, MTOW, 1,900 rpm, 1,375 ft/lb tq):

Range, maximum range power (plus reserve) 1,450 nm 2,685 km
Cruise speed, maximum range power 155 kt 287 km/h
Fuel flow, maximum range power 50 US gallons/h 189 l/h
Stall airspeed, landing configuration 61 kt 113 km/h
Service ceiling 25,000 ft 7,620 m
Minimum required runway length 2,500 ft 762 m
Rate of climb 975 ft/min 297 m/min
Maximum sustained climb gradient 650 ft/nm 107 m/km

Type of Aviation Fuel:

  • Jet A, A-1, B, JP-1, 4, 5, 8

Maximum Endurance:

  • 9 hours plus 1 hour reserve at maximum range power

Geophysical Capabilities

AIRGrav, SGL airborne gravimeter
Magnetic total field
Tri-axial magnetic gradient
Gamma-ray spectrometer, up to 63 litres (3,840 in3) of detector crystals
SGMethane, methane gas sensing

Other Features:

  • Tail stinger 3 m long and 21 cm in diameter, capable of housing a 5.5 kg sensor
  • HF radio
  • Video camera mount with 14 cm diameter glass covered opening in the belly of the aircraft
  • Two instrument racks, standard 48 cm (19 in) width
  • Radar altimeter, 0-3,000 m
  • Electrical power capacity 28 VDC at 200 amp
  • Static inverters:  115 VAC, 400 Hz; 110 VAC, 60 Hz
  • GPS receiver and antenna plus data link for real-time corrections
  • Cabin fuel tank certified for normal production flying