The all-new Cessna SkyCourier made its debut on the ramp in Wichita, Kansas last week, surrounded by a group of enthusiastic Textron Aviation employees. Designed for the needs of launch customer FedEx Express and other members of Textron Aviation’s Customer Advisory Board, the “clean sheet design,” Pratt & Whitney-powered large utility turboprop is expected to receive FAA certification in the first half of 2022.
“Today is a rewarding day for our employees who have worked to design and build what I believe will become a legendary airplane for our company,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO of Textron Aviation.
The SkyCourier, or Model 408, features a 900nm maximum range, max cruise speed of “more than 200 ktas,” and design simplicity for areas that may improve dispatch reliability, such as its fixed landing gear and four-blade aluminum propellers. Other notable features include Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics suite, large loading door, and flat cabin floor large enough to accommodate three LD3 shipping containers. There is also a 19-passenger version in the works, although we doubt that that configuration will be on FedEx Express’s shopping list.