As part of the company’s investment programme over the last two years CAe has created a new flying service; CASPA (Cranfield Aerospace Special Purpose Aircraft) is a bespoke modified Cessna 421 adaptable as both an ADS-B compatible flying test bed and as a special purpose operations aircraft for UK and European customers.

Gordon Dickman, Head of Airborne Systems, commented “The key to CASPA’s success so far has been our rapid response one-stop shop approach for customers; from requirements capture to design and certification, through to operational flying.”

Underpinning CAe’s high service level is its comprehensive regulatory approvals and its ability to fly experimentally under EASA Part 21 as well as AOC operations through its partner DO Systems.

The MD of CAe commented, “I am very pleased to see CASPA so busy and am impressed with the value-for-money its service provides to customers”

Editor Notes:

  1. CAe chose to use the Cessna 421 for this role following its success using the same aircraft type for its contract with the UK Met Office for the 24/7 Met Office Civil Contingency Aircraft (MOCCA) whose primary role is airborne measurement in response to volcanic ash.
  2. CASPA can be kitted with a wide range of equipment; sensors, antennas, atmospheric instruments, hard-point mounted pods and other items.
  3. CASPA is a single pilot operation and is pressurised up to 25,000 feet with a speed up to around 200kts
(Seb Di Cataldo – Finance Director, Roger Bailey – Chief Test Pilot, Steve Jones – Quality Assurance Manager, Ray Crowhurst – Chief Aircraft Engineer, stood next to the converted Cessna 421; CASPA)