Textron Aviation has rolled out its first production Cessna 408 SkyCourier turboprop, as it eyes delivery to its launch customer FedEx Express later in 2022.
According to Textron, the Cessna 408 SkyCourier is expected to be certified in the first half of 2022.
The next big thing in flight, our @Cessna SkyCourier, has officially rolled off the production lines! Thank you to our incredibly hardworking employees and the Textron Aviation community for making this momentous occasion possible.— Textron Aviation (@TextronAviation) February 4, 2022
Learn more: https://t.co/43wPFDTt0l#FlyCessna pic.twitter.com/DuSQvPxLh0
The Cessna 408 SkyCourier’s design was developed to match FedEx’s requirements. In 2017, FedEx signed up as the launch customer for an order of up to 100 yet to be certified Cessna 408 SkyCourier freighters. The first batch of 50 SkyCouriers was scheduled to arrive in mid-2020. But due to the pandemic, the delivery date has reportedly been postponed to late 2022.
The Cessna 408 SkyCourier is a twin-engine turboprop capable of carrying three LD3 shipping containers with a maximum payload of 2,722 kilograms (6,000 lb). The aircraft can also be turned into a passenger jet with a layout of 19 seats and a maximum range of 900 nautical miles (1,667 kilometers).
The Cessna SkyCourier took off for its first test flight in 2020.
“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,” Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation announced in a press statement.
Draper added: “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.”