Cessna’s SkyCourier Gets Down And Dirty With New ‘Gravel Kit’


Textron Aviation announced today (February 7) it now offers an optional “gravel kit” for its utility Cessna SkyCourier turboprop twin. The kit enables operators to use unimproved runways around the world. First deliveries of aircraft equipped with the kits will begin later this month.

Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president of sales and flight operations, said, “The addition of this new gravel kit greatly enhances the already rugged reliability of the SkyCourier. Cessna aircraft have been moving people and critically-needed goods in and out of remote areas for decades, and this new capability allows SkyCourier customers to operate in some of the world’s most demanding environments.”

The SkyCourier is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC turboprop engines driving McCauley Propeller C779 110-inch aluminum four-blade propellers, with full feathering with reversible pitch. Maximum cruise speed is more than 200 knots true and maximum range is 900 nautical miles. The SkyCourier cockpit features Garmin’s G1000 NXi avionics.

According to Textron Aviation, the new gravel kit for the SkyCourier “paves the way [their pun, not mine] for further use in global markets by a variety of customers, including government agencies, law enforcement and militaries, air ambulance operators, freight haulers, corporations and humanitarian organizations.”

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. The gravel kit may indeed, “pave the way for further use in global markets..” but is Mark Phelps asphalt for not telling us more?

  2. The Sky Courier gravel kit, sounds like the title for a Johnnie Cash (RIP) song. It would be nice to know what a gravel kit consists of though.

  3. Nothing new here. Hawker-Siddeley had “gavel kits” on HS-125 jets back in the ‘70s. ARCO operated them on gravel in Alaska.

  4. Early 737s had a gravel kit option. Most of the nose armored landing gear door came down with the wheels and acted as a deflector to keep the gravel out of the engines.

  5. The 737 and Hawker series have retractable gear, the SkyCourier has fixed gear. What would need to be modified on a fixed gear airplane with high mounted wings on a fat square fuselage for gravel ops?

  6. “today (Jan. 7)” – you sure about the month there? As for the gravel kit questions, more answers would probably be available if AvWeb did a better job of linking to press releases in articles like these.

  7. Uhm, given how the aircraft is marketed, am I the only one wondering why the kid is not standard and has to be paid for as an optional extra?