American Utilicraft’s full-size fuselage mockup arrived in New Orleans on September 11, to be ready for display at the scrubbed NBAA Convention. Under development for 10 years, the FF-1080 is designed to carry six fully loaded (2000-lb) LD-3 cargo containers up to 500 mi or four such containers up to 1,500 mi
Overnight-package carriers FedEx, UPS and Airborne Express use big jets to move cargo between major hubs and rely on smaller piston and turboprop airplanes, such as the Cessna Caravan, to service outlying airports. Packages, which are shipped in containers on the cargo jets, must be removed from the containers and placed on pallets for loading into the smaller airplanes.
Freight Feeder Aircraft supplier Metalcraft Technologies restarted production of detail parts for the FF5000 fuselage in February. The first detail parts are formed exterior skins and the machined floor-section keel beams. The FF5000 is a larger version of the original Freight Feeder design and can fit standard M-1-size cargo containers as well as standard-size pallets.
The single-turboprop AeroCourier utility airplane, proposed by a Minneapolis company of the same name, has progressed little since its announcement at NBAA 2001. As with all startup OEMs, money is the problem. “We’re working on new investment,” Justin Ladner, vice president of engineering operations, told AIN, “but the project is still in the early, ‘fetus’ stage.”