Looks like perhaps a marketing exercise to me - low cost multi-role airpower...
Some external hardpoints for, I guess, air to ground weaponry
Some sort of underslung pod...(one assumes not baggage!) Given the size I would say not realistic to expect it to be something intended to part company with the aircraft - perhaps a sensor pod?
Something whacky at the top of the wing strut - maybe a FLIR sensor or an electronic warfare aerial?
Then again maybe its just an eccentric millionaire's toy!! (or perhaps a way of getting extra parachute jumpers aloft for special forces insertions!!)
The Cessna 208 was in the Don, on an official trial visit, to try out for what later became the GASU Defender's role. It flew with the Marchetti's camera pods and, as you've guessed, did para-dropping trials with the Rangers. As far as I know, it was the last Cessna actively touted by Pierce Cahill (who was there that day)in his position as Cessna's agent. It was in the Don for about a week.
Hint for the lancaster is : 'initially paddock fruit alright'
that's me with Sally B.......the crop-sprayer is a Cessna Agwagon, I think, at Kilworth, around the mid-Seventies. Also present was a Cessna 150 from one of the clubs at Cork Airport. I don't think it was held at a formal airfield, though........the Lanc, of course, is at Cranfield for the PFA Rally.
This is one of my old mounts, also at Cranfield.
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