Cranfield Aerospace is pleased to announce the development of CASPA, Cranfield Aerospace Special Purpose Aircraft. Building on Cranfield Aerospace’s reputation and experience in modifying aircraft for specialist applications, CASPA is designed to provide its customers with a highly flexible flying service.

Special Purpose Aircraft

Based on a single pilot, piston-powered Cessna 421C, CASPA can be made available for specific special purpose flying services or as part of a complete turnkey programme for research, equipment validation and certification, system simulation and multi-aircraft or role modelling operations.

The basis of the service is a Cessna 421C, registration G-VVIP. Being pressurised, the aircraft has a flight envelope capable of meeting all but the most demanding of flight requirements. The aircraft is being equipped with standard racks to allow insertion of customer specific equipment. With a twin operator console, the flight test engineers enjoy a comfortable operating environment and with single pilot operation, the aircraft is capable of carrying five additional people during flight test operations. Based at Cranfield Airport, centrally located just 60miles north of London, the aircraft is also capable of being deployed to forward operating bases and test facilities, wherever the customer requires.

Key Data:

  • Single pilot operation
  • Altitude Ceiling 25,000ft
  • Maximum speed 256kts
  • Average rate of climb of 1000ft/min to 25000ft
  • Cruise Speed 170kts
  • Short take-off 4,200ft (ISA MTOW)
  • Max take-off weight 7,450lb
  • Stall speed 83kts
  • Typical range 1000nm
  • Digital autopilot and ADSB compatible
  • Extendable nose for special payloads (e.g. seekers)
  • Roof, wing and belly mounting points
  • Multiple power supplies and Ethernet comms
  • Twin Continental GTSIO-520-Ls turbocharged piston engines
  • Generic instrumentation/equipment rack
  • Two person operator console (upgrade plan)
  • Next generation sensor technologies

With CASPA, Cranfield Aerospace offer a fully turnkey solution to your flight trials requirements.

As an EASA approved organisation and with our own test pilots in-house, we are able to offer a complete service from requirements analysis, through modification to flight trials and data reduction. You choose how much of the process you need and how much you want to be involved. Few companies are able to offer such a service where they are fully in control of all aspects of the programme, with minimal reliance on third-party suppliers. This allows CAeS to maintain control of budgets and timescales, guaranteeing that their customers meet their schedules and targets.

The CASPA aircraft is highly adaptable, offering the ultimate flexibility from simple observer flights, through to modification programmes to incorporate complex new sensors and systems and offer a complete aerial survey capability. The aircraft is highly reconfigurable, to:-

  • Assist formal equipment certification
  • Enable modifications for flight services, e.g. flight calibration services
  • Provide a surrogate aircraft for role modelling
  • Allow systems and equipment prototyping

CASPA is centrally based at Cranfield Airport but can be deployed to forward operating bases as required.

With our own Part 145 and Part M maintenance and flight test facilities, we can ensure that CASPA is available when you need it, on budget, on time.



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