Textron Aviation Delivers First SkyCourier


Textron Aviation announced on Monday that it has delivered the first Cessna SkyCourier twin-engine utility turboprop to launch customer FedEx Express. The aircraft is one of an order of 50 placed by FedEx in 2017. As previously reported by AVweb, the SkyCourier received its FAA type certificate in March 2022.

“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, FedEx Express CEO and executive vice president of aviation. “The SkyCourier will make us more efficient, now being able to move containerized and palletized freight for our customers.”

The Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC-powered Cessna SkyCourier is equipped with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics and is available in either cargo or passenger configurations. The cargo version, which can hold up to three LD3 shipping containers, offers a top cruise speed of 210 knots, 940-NM range and maximum payload of 6,000 pounds. Also cruising at a maximum of 210 knots, the 19-passenger variant has a 920-NM range and payload of 5,000 pounds.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Now if we could just get ’em to build new 172’s at a price mere mortals could afford and justify.

    • It’s a trap!

      We need a modern engine and a safer air frame. If Cessna put a modern engine in the 172, it wouldn’t be the same and the flight schools would be forced to change. Once that happened, Cessna might lose its stranglehold on GA, and a new player might take market share. Also, sales might increase to the point they have to change their own processes.

      Nothing changes while the present 172 is still meeting flight school demand. Nothing.

    • Good catch. It does seem to be a grammatically challenged moniker.

      Since Marketing wants to be cute, maybe they should change it to FedEx^2? (Pronounced “FedEx squared.”)

      Someone save my text in case they use this. I’ll want royalties for this one.

  2. There was one without the FedEx livery in Bellingham on the way up to Alaska for delivery last week, before the date of the press release. So I wonder if this was the first “press worthy” delivery for the largest customer. That one was in standard Cessna livery.

    • could be a demonstrator, remote areas need capability but only buying a few at a time

      (The Twin Otter was renowned in the Arctic decades ago – two turbine engines that start quickly in cold weather.

      I overnighted in Resolute Bay once, walking from hotel to cafeteria I heard an odd sounding engine – rounded the corner to see a Bristol Freighter being warmed up. Probably after some time preheating.

      We did have to improve cold weather operations of the Herc, such as:
      – brake seals
      – system to blow hot air on propeller hubs so blades rotating on startup wouldn’t tear seals
      – automatic system to drain water out of APU pneumatic control system on shutdown

      We wondered how US military/NG operations coped in Antarctica, one suspicion is they never shut the airplane down at strips like McMurdo. (I don’t recall if Hercs serviced the Pole in summer, Twin Otters did in shoulder seasons, a technician part of crew.))

    • Yeah, not sexy looking. But practical. And 210 kts cruise is very good for a flying box. Especially for fixed gear.