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Textron Launches New SkyCourier Turboprop With Cargo, Pax Versions [复制链接]

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发表于 2017-11-30 11:47:24 |显示全部楼层


Textron Aviation has launched a new twin-engine, utility turboprop called the CessnaSkyCourier 408, with entry-into-service scheduled for 2020.


FedEx is the aircraft’s launch customer with an order for 50 cargo aircraft and an option for 50 more. Textron Aviation has been working with FedEx for the past seven months to develop the clean-sheet aircraft, the company said.


The SkyCourier will fill a gap in the market segment with “superior performance and low operating costs,” said Scott Ernest, Textron Aviation president and CEO.


“We’re extremely excited to work with FedEx,” Ernest said in a conference call with reporters. “We feel this is a great opportunity for us to get into the twin utility turboprop market in a very disciplined and focused fashion.”


Textron Aviation has had a long track record with its Caravan turboprop and for years has contemplated a larger version, said Scott Donnelly, Textron chairman and CEO.


Cargo demand has grown. “This is a very logical thing for us to do,” Donnelly said.


Textron Aviation will offer cargo and passenger variants of the aircraft. The cargo variant will include a large cargo door and flat cabin floor to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000 lb. of maximum payload capacity.

A passenger version will hold 19 passengers and include crew and passenger doors and large cabin windows and have a 5,000 lb. maximum payload capacity.


The $5.5 million SkyCourier will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC engines and come equipped with Garmin 1000 avionics and a 110 in. McCauley propeller. It will have a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 kt., 900 nm maximum range and be Part 23 certified.


The aircraft will have a conventional aluminum structure.


“This is all about utility (and) our ability to enter the market quickly with an economical solution,” Donnelly  said. “This is going to be a workhorse.”


For FedEx, the Cessna SkyCourier is part of its fleet modernization strategy and will likely replace some older turboprops, said Bill West, FedEx vice president of supplemental air operations. The company plans to take delivery of one SkyCourier per month, West said.


The aircraft will accommodate cargo containers and loose packaging and be able to be loaded and unloaded quickly, said Brad Thress, Textron Aviation senior vice president of engineering.


Wind tunnel testing is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018, with first flight in mid-2019 and first delivery in 2020.

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