5 APRIL 2021
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Textron Aviation's Cessna 408 SkyCourier turboprop, seen as a potential competitor to the ubiquitous DHC Twin Otter, is making significant milestones as it begins a flight test phase certification programme.
The 408's design was developed to match a FedEx requirement, the air freight specialist becoming the launch customer, with an order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.
The Cessna SkyCourier aircraft will be offered in two configurations including a 6,000lb payload capable freighter and a 19-seat passenger version, all based on the common platform.
The fleet of three flight test aircraft has now completed more than 700 flight test hours, and the programme continues toward FAA certification and first deliveries later this year.
“The SkyCourier was designed to fulfil a need in the marketplace for a flexible, reliable, high-utilisation aircraft for customers around the world, and its versatility makes it a great fit for a wide range of operations,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs.
“The aircraft has performed exceptionally well through every phase of testing, and we’re pleased by its progress. With the start of certification flight test phase, we are entering one of the most important phases of the SkyCourier program, and I’m confident in our highly skilled team and the outstanding abilities of this aircraft.”
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