The parachute aircraft is a kind of aeroplane that is approved to fly at an altitude suitable for skydiving. The choice of parachute aircraft or a jump plane would depend on the needs and preferences of both skydiver and pilot. Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 105-2C has a list of a variety of jump aircraft, but knowing a few from the list allows skydiving enthusiasts to choose the best for a good skydiving experience.
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Cessna Grand Caravan (C208)
The Cessna Grand Caravan series of aircraft is one of the most popular jump aircraft for skydiving. It has very good capacity, as it can fly up to 17 skydivers at a time. It has a high-wing design that improves stability and promotes good visibility. The wings of this plane are also equipped with an anti-icing system for enhanced safety. According to the Cessna website, the Grand Caravan is made out of durable aluminium, making maintenance and repair easy. It has a range of 1,188 nautical miles. The steel gears with rough-field tires allow the Grand Caravan to land on even rough terrain. Its lifting power is roughly equivalent to four to six Cessna 182s.
The Cessna 182 or Skylane is another popular parachute aircraft or jump plane. It has been described as the original and most popular small skydiving aircraft in the world. Unlike the Grand Caravan, the 182 is designed to carry only two or three passengers and one pilot. Just like the Grand Caravan, it is made out of aluminium and has a similar high-wing design for added stability, visibility and overall safety.
De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter
The de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter is a plane that competes with the Cessna Grand Caravan. Like the Grand Caravan, it is a large capacity parachute aircraft that can carry up to 23 passengers. This makes the DHC-6 a very good plane for large groups of people who are going to skydive simultaneously. Like Cessna models, the de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter also has a high-wing design. It distinguishes itself from popular Cessna models in that it has twin engines. The DHC-6 was designed to be light and fast, which appeals to skydivers.
Pacific Aerospace P-750 XSTOL
The Pacific Aerospace P-750 XSTOL has been described as a "globally recognised ultimate skydiving platform." The acronym XSTOL in the P-750 stands for its main feature: extremely short take-off and landing. The P-750 can take off in less than 800 feet, which is less than half the take-off distance of the Cessna Grand Caravan (2,055 feet). It has similar passenger capacity compared to the Grand Caravan, as it can carry 15 passengers. The very short take-off capability lets the P-750 make more trips to carry skydivers within a certain span of time.
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