21 FEBRUARY 2022
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
The first production model of a completely new aircraft is rare these days, particularly with the pandemic.
The Cessna SkyCourier celebrated its inaugural flight in May 2020, the test programme’s three aircraft having accumulated more than 2,100 hours since then.
Following certification, which is anticipated in the first half of 2022, this first production unit will be delivered to the launch customer, FedEx, which has agreed to purchase up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.
The Cessna SkyCourier twin-engine, high-wing turboprop offers a combination of performance and lower operating costs for air freight, passenger and special mission operators. In addition to the freight version, there is a 19-passenger variant of the SkyCourier that includes crew and passenger doors for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for natural light and views. Both configurations offer single-point pressure refuelling to enable faster turnarounds.
The new, clean-sheet design has allowed for the incorporation of the latest state-of-the-art assembly and fabrication processes and techniques into the manufacturing of the aircraft.
“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”.
The aircraft is a direct competitor for the de Havilland Canada Twin Otter, still in production after nearly 60 years.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Richard Gardner, United Kingdom
Nothing wrong with the Viking/DH Twin Otter or BN Islander surely?