Popular Mechanics: When a Cessna Goes to War
The Combat Caravan could carry passengers, packages... or missiles.
If the Cessna Caravan looks familiar to you, it should.Cessna has built more than 2,500 of these turboprops since the prototype flew in 1982. They're popular as short-haul airliners in places like the Caribbean. More than 250 Caravans haul cargo while painted in the unmistakeable colors of FedEx. But there are a small number of Caravans that haul Hellfire missiles, electro-optical targeting, and reconnaissance systems.
During the recent Farnborough Airshow in the U.K., Cessna announced it has received FAA certification and is now offering wing hard-points for the Grand Caravan EX. Hard-points are structurally reinforced sections of a wing where you mount pylons or the other structures that carry external stores like fuel tanks or weapons. The upshot: This is a Cessna that could go into battle.
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WNU Editor: They are not as well protected as an A-10, and they do not have a cannon like the A-10 .... but it can kill.