The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified Textron’s newest twin-engine turboprop, the Cessna SkyCourier. The new turboprop can now enter commercial service in the United States.
The manufacturer says the first SkyCourier will “soon” enter service with launch customer FedEx Express. However, Textron did not disclose the aircraft’s exact delivery date.
“Achieving FAA certification for the Cessna SkyCourier demonstrates the expertise and hard work of our employees, as well as Textron Aviation’s continued investment in providing solutions for our customers,” Ron Draper, president and CEO of Textron Aviation announced in a statement dated March 14, 2022.
“We expect the SkyCourier to be a workhorse of the fleet for FedEx and many other customers around the globe for decades to come,” Draper added.
The @Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop —passenger and freighter configurations— are now officially FAA certified!— Textron Aviation (@TextronAviation) March 14, 2022
Thanks to our legendary Textron Aviation team, the next big thing in flight is ready for takeoff.
Learn more https://t.co/txWTceNgdI#FlyCessna #aviation pic.twitter.com/5YM0vSoFat
The Cessna 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 Cessna SkyCourier turboprops. The first batch of 50 SkyCouriers was scheduled to arrive in mid-2020. But due to the pandemic, the delivery date has been postponed to the first half of 2022.
The Cessna 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.
In February 2022, Textron rolled out its first production Cessna SkyCourier.