Textron Aviation rolled out the first series production Cessna SkyCourier. The utility turboprop aircraft is the US manufacturer’s new bet to serve the short-haul passenger and cargo segment.
“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, Textron Aviation. “The SkyCourier brings an impressive combination of cabin flexibility, payload capability, performance and low operating costs to the twin engine utility segment. We look forward to this highly versatile aircraft entering the market very soon.”
Equipped with two PT-6 engines, the SkyCourier recreates the characteristics that made the Cessna Caravan a success in the market, such as simplicity, robustness and versatility.
The passenger variant can be configured with up to 19 seats and fly up to 900 nautical miles (1,667 km) at a speed of 200 knots (370 km/h).
But it is the Cargo SkyCourier that will debut first on the market. The aircraft just completed by Textron will be delivered to FedEx, the model’s launch customer, and part of an order for 50 units, plus 50 options.
Textron expects to complete certification of the SkyCourier in the first half of 2022 and then deliver it to FedEx, which will utilize its capacity for up to 6,000 pounds of cargo on feeder routes from its express parcel hubs.