Less than two years after first flight, the 408 Cessna SkyCourier has received its FAA type certificate, Textron Aviation announced today. Certification of the high-wing, twin-turboprop utility airplane follows a flight-test program in which 2,100 hours were accumulated on three SkyCouriers.
The first delivery of the clean-sheet airplane is expected “soon” to launch customer FedEx Express, which has ordered 50 of the type in a cargo configuration with options for 50 more. Equipped with a 7-foot-3-inch by 5-foot-9-inch door, the SkyCourier can be configured as a cargo or 19-seat passenger airplane, as well as in a combination passenger/cargo variation.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC turboprop engines with four-blade McCauley aluminum propellers, the airplane has a maximum cruise speed of 200 knots and a 900-nm range. The cockpit features Garmin G1000 NXi avionics. In a cargo configuration, the SkyCourier can hold up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000 pounds of payload capacity. The airplane is also certified for single-pilot operations.
“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,” said Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper. “We expect the SkyCourier to be a workhorse of the fleet for FedEx and many other customers around the globe for decades to come.”