Textron Aviation Inc. today announced it has successfully mated the wings to the fuselage of the first Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop prototype aircraft, a key milestone in the development of the clean-sheet aircraft.
“As expected, the operation was sound as the wings were secured on the fuselage, and the new Cessna SkyCourier took another major step in its development,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Programs and Engineering. “The Cessna SkyCourier’s rugged, high-wing design will give the aircraft excellent operational and performance characteristics for its diverse mission profile.”
The program is progressing considerably with the assembly of the prototype and additional five flight and ground test articles. Landing gear testing continues as well as avionics ground testing. First flight of the Cessna SkyCourier is anticipated in 2020.
The Cessna SkyCourier will be offered in various configurations including freighter, passenger or combi, all based on a common platform with a 6,000-pound payload. The freighter configuration is designed to accommodate three standard air cargo containers (LD3) while the passenger variant carries up to 19 passengers and baggage.
The Cessna SkyCourier is designed for high utilization and will deliver a combination of robust performance and lower operating costs. Cessna SkyCourier will feature the popular Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite and offer highlights such as a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 ktas and a maximum range of 900 nm. Both freighter and passenger variants of the Cessna SkyCourier will offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.