Textron Aviation today launched the Cessna SkyCourier 408, a new design high-wing utility twin turboprop. Fedex is the launch customer with 50 firm orders and 50 options, with the first aircraft due to enter service in 2020. Fedex will place the airplanes with their feeder partners.

“With our depth of expertise and proven success in new product development, we were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation. “The aircraft will fulfill a gap in this market segment with its superior performance and low operating costs in combination with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency only a clean-sheet design can offer.”

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Cessna Skycourier 408 Fedex

Clean Sheet Design

The 408 is a new design. The airplane will be powered by 1,100 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines and will have fixed landing gear.

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 have a maximum cruise speed up to 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range.

The 19-passenger variant will include crew and passenger doors for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for great natural light and views. The passenger version will have a 5,000 pound payload. Both configurations will offer single-point pressure refueling.

About Greg Thomson

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated close to 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, and working as a manager in charge of a part 135 and part 121 training programs. Greg took a 5 year hiatus from flying and worked in software development and marketing. He has returned to flying and works for a major airline. Greg enjoys educating and helping pilots improve their professional lives and is passionate about applying technology and new methods to help with traditional challenges.