Cessna SkyCourier. Photo: Textron Aviation
The US Federal Aviation Administration has granted type certification for Textron Aviation’s new twin-engine, large-utility turboprop Cessna SkyCourier.
Kansas, US-based Textron Aviation rolled out the first production unit of the Cessna SkyCourier in February. This first unit will soon enter the market with launch customer FedEx Express.
Three SkyCourier aircraft accumulated more than 2,100 hours throughout the flight test programme, which formally started with an inaugural flight in May 2020.
FedEx Express has agreed to an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.
“Achieving FAA certification for the Cessna SkyCourier demonstrates the expertise and hard work of our employees, as well as Textron Aviation’s continued investment in providing solutions for our customers,” said Ron Draper, president and chief executive officer at Textron Aviation. “Our clean-sheet design brings to this segment what customers said they need: the ability to load, fly, unload and repeat with low operating costs and maximum cabin flexibility and efficiency. We expect the SkyCourier to be a workhorse of the fleet for FedEx and many other customers around the globe for decades to come.”
The Cessna SkyCourier, which is available in passenger and freighter formats, is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and features the McCauley Propeller C779, a four-blade propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch, designed to enhance the performance of the aircraft while hauling large loads.
The aircraft is operated with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics. It has a maximum cruise speed of more than 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range. It features a large door and a flat floor cabin, and the freighter version can hold up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000 pounds of payload capability.