Textron Aviation announces new turboprop

Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, has announced its new twin-engine, high-wing, large-utility turboprop — the Cessna SkyCourier 408, the company said.

FedEx Express, the world´s largest express transportation company and longtime Textron Aviation customer, has signed on as the launch customer for up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more. Entry into service for the clean-sheet design Cessna SkyCourier is planned for 2020.

Built for high utilization operations, the Cessna SkyCourier 408 will be offered in cargo and passenger variants. The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with an impressive 6,000 pounds of maximum payload capability. The aircraft will also afford a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range.

The efficient 19-passenger variant will include crew and passenger doors for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for great natural light and views. Both configurations will offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.

The Cessna Caravan platform has set the standard in the single-engine utility category for decades. The Cessna SkyCourier will build on that proven success in the large-utility category, offering even greater capability and mission flexibility.

Textron Aviation Inc. is the leading general aviation authority and home to the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying.