WICHITA, Kan. FedEx Express in Memphis, Tenn., has signed on as the launch customer for the new Cessna SkyCourier 408 twin-engine, high-wing, large-utility turboprop from Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company. The new turboprop with a 6,000-pound payload capacity is part of the express transportation company’s aircraft modernization strategy.
“We were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier,” says Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation.
FedEx Express officials have signed on for up to 100 aircraft, including an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.
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. (Photo: Business Wire)
“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,” Ernest adds.
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 SkyCourier will build on the success of the Cessna Caravan platform in the large-utility category, offering even greater capability and mission flexibility, officials say.
Textron Aviation has built a strong relationship with FedEx Express, which has utilized the Cessna Caravan platform in its feeder aircraft fleet for over 30 years.
“FedEx Express has had a great relationship with Textron Aviation over the years, and this new, advanced aircraft will play a key role in our feeder aircraft modernization strategy,” explains David L. Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express. “The Cessna SkyCourier 408 offers a number of significant features that will enhance our long-term feeder strategy.”
Textron Aviation Inc. is home to the Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying, officials say. For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation has provided a versatile and comprehensive business and general aviation product portfolio through five principal lines of business: business jets, general aviation and special mission turboprop aircraft, high-performance piston aircraft, military trainer and defense aircraft, and a complete global customer service organization. Textron Aviation has delivered more than 250,000 aircraft in over 143 countries. Its broad range of products include such best-selling aircraft as Citation business jets, King Air and Caravan turboprops, and T-6 military trainer aircraft.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial, and finance businesses to provide customers with solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.