Textron Aviation starts Cessna SkyCourier deliveries to FedEx Express

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation has delivered the first of 50 Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop freighters to FedEx Express.

FedEx Express is the Cessna SkyCourier’s launch customer after signing a deal in 2017. The company agreed to an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.

Kansas, US-based Textron Aviation rolled out the first production unit of the Cessna SkyCourier in February.

The US Federal Aviation Administration granted type certification for the Cessna SkyCourier in March.

Ron Draper, president and chief executive at Textron Aviation, said: “We’re thrilled to deliver this aircraft that will help FedEx serve its customers more efficiently as it is designed with the option to carry industry-standard prepacked cargo containers. We believe many other airfreight, passenger and special mission operators also will benefit from the winning combination of low operating costs and unparalleled lift capacity that the new Cessna SkyCourier brings to the market.”

The Cessna SkyCourier is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation, however, members of the FedEx Express design and engineering teams participated in Textron Aviation’s customer advisory board to help shape the aircraft’s design, features and serviceability.

Scot Struminger, chief executive and executive vice president of aviation, FedEx Express, said the Cessna SkyCourier “will help us better serve small and medium markets where we aren’t able to operate our larger aircraft”.

He added: “The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, now being able to move containerised and palletised freight for our customers.

“The result of four-and-a-half years of collaboration with Textron Aviation on this aircraft, FedEx Express is excited to add the Cessna 408 SkyCourier as part of our fleet modernization programme.”

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.

Textron Aviation’s Cessna SkyCourier gains FAA approval

Textron Aviation’s Cessna SkyCourier gets flight ready

FedEx to be launch customer for new Cessna turboprop

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