Cessna 208 Caravan
MAF International operates C208 Caravans in both Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.
The majority of MAF’s C208s are the Grand Caravan (C208B) variant, with an increase in fuselage length of 1.21m, which carries a maximum of 13 passengers, or up to 1,200kg of cargo. The aircraft can fly both day and night operations, using VFR and IFR.
The cabin can be easily and quickly converted to accommodate passengers, freight, or a mixture of the two. Large loading doors allow bulky items such as building materials or small vehicles to be loaded.
For many years, the C206 was the mainstay of MAF’s fleet, proving to be very adaptable for mission flying. However, the number of C206 in the MAF fleet is reducing due the scarcity and cost of Avgas, making it a less cost-effective option. We now have C206 aircraft located in just three of our Africa programmes.
Most of our C206 are U206s – the ‘U’ stands for Utility, which has a range of factory modifications to facilitate carrying cargo as well as passengers. For example, the large double door in the side of the fuselage makes it easier to load bulky items into aircraft.
- Able to land and take-off from shorter airstrips compared to the C208 Caravan.
- Our aircraft have been adapted to better suit bush-flying, and include: upgraded wheels and brakes; larger diameter tyres; a V-shaped bracket is installed in the windscreen area, to strengthen the cabin framework; radios and other avionics are improved to make navigation safer and easier.
Cessna 182 SMA
We currently have C182 SMA aircraft serving in Africa. The basic design dates from 1956, though has been progressively updated during its history
MAF has only begun using this aircraft in recent years, due to the spiraling cost and limited availability of Avgas fuel reducing the cost-effectiveness of alternative small planes like the C206. MAF’s models use a special diesel-type engine, developed by the French company SMA, which use jet fuel, and offer a more cost-effective solution.
Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan
A utilitarian aircraft, built in Australia, the GA-8 was conceived to bridge the gap between Cessna’s 206 and 208 models.
MAF International operates both the normally-aspirated GA-8 and the turbo-charged GA-8 TC320 in three of our Asia-Pacific programmes. The main drawback for MAF is that the GA-8 burns expensive and scarce Avgas fuel.
Cessna 208 Amphibious Caravan
Our C208 Amphibious Caravans are based in Bangladesh.
Designed to operate from both land and water, the aircraft is based upon the standard short Caravan and can carry a maximum of nine passengers. In water-logged countries like Bangladesh, the ability to land almost anywhere on the river network is hugely beneficial.
Wipaire-manufactured floats have been added, which feature retractable wheels and water-rudders, and the tail unit features secondary vertical stabilizers to improve directional stability when fitted with floats.