WICHITA, Kan. (May 9, 2022) – Textron Aviation today announced the first delivery of the Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop to FedEx Express. This is the first of 50 freighter aircraft that global logistics firm FedEx Express ordered as the Cessna SkyCourier’s launch customer. The clean-sheet aircraft achieved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification in March 2022.
The Cessna SkyCourier is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
“FedEx took delivery of its first Cessna in the mid-1980s and the two companies have had a collaborative relationship over the four decades since,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “We’re thrilled to deliver this aircraft that will help FedEx serve its customers more efficiently as it is designed with the option to carry industry-standard prepacked cargo containers. We believe many other air freight, passenger and special mission operators also will benefit from the winning combination of low operating costs and unparalleled lift capacity that the new Cessna SkyCourier brings to the market.”
In addition to the initial fleet order, FedEx Express has options for 50 more SkyCourier aircraft. Members of the FedEx Express design and engineering teams participated in Textron Aviation’s Customer Advisory Board to help shape the aircraft’s design, features and serviceability.
“For nearly 50 years, FedEx has been known for being flexible and innovative in finding solutions for our customers, and this aircraft will help us better serve small and medium markets where we aren’t able to operate our larger aircraft,” said Scot Struminger, CEO and Executive Vice President of Aviation, FedEx Express. “The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, now being able to move containerized and palletized freight for our customers.”
“The result of four-and-a-half years of collaboration with Textron Aviation on this aircraft, FedEx Express is excited to add the Cessna 408 SkyCourier as part of our fleet modernization program,” Struminger added.
About the Cessna SkyCourier
The Cessna SkyCourier twin-engine, high-wing turboprop offers a combination of performance and lower operating costs for air freight, passenger and special mission operators. In addition to the freighter version, there is a 19-passenger variant of the SkyCourier that includes separate crew and passenger entries for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for natural light and views. Both configurations offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.
The aircraft is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and features the McCauley Propeller C779, a heavy-duty and reliable 110-inch aluminum four-blade propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch, designed to enhance the performance of the aircraft while hauling large loads. The SkyCourier is operated with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics. It has a maximum cruise speed of more than 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range. The aircraft features a large door and a flat floor cabin, and the freighter version can hold up to three LD3 shipping containers with an impressive 6,000 pounds of payload capability.
TRU Simulation + Training Inc., an affiliate of Textron Aviation Inc., recently announced that its Cessna SkyCourier Full-Flight Simulator (FFS) earned Level D qualification from the FAA, which allowed pilot training for the SkyCourier to begin.