SkyCourier Prototype Gets Wings

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Textron Aviation announced that it has successfully attached the wings to the fuselage of its first Cessna SkyCourier prototype. According to the company, landing gear and avionics ground testing for the twin-engine utility turboprop are also underway. The first flight of SkyCourier is expected to take place in 2020.

“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 Textron Aviation Senior Vice President for Programs and Engineering Chris Hearne. “The Cessna SkyCourier’s rugged, high-wing design will give the aircraft excellent operational and performance characteristics for its diverse mission profile.”

The Cessna SkyCourier will be equipped with the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite and powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC engines. Depending on aircraft configuration, it is designed to seat up to 19 passengers or carry three standard LD3 air cargo containers. The SkyCourier has a range of 900 NM, 6,000-pound payload and maximum cruise speed of up to 200 knots.

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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9 COMMENTS

  1. Textron proudly announces that they have successfully mounted the wings to the fuselage. What, this is hard? If the wings don’t fit, you had better check the qualifications of your design engineers!

    • I think it is more of a logistics victory (having two wings and a fuselage) than a matter of having those things fit together.

  2. Hopefully Cessna learned from the C208 Caravans yearly gear pull AD so operators don’t have to pull apart the fixed gear on this airplane every year! Defeats the purpose of having fixed gear. And actually design the seats big enough for reasonable comfort, not the rigid, narrow, and thin “cushioned” benches that most regional aircraft now have. I know FedEx has orders for this plane, I wonder if any passenger airlines have any interest in this plane.

    • I’m betting drop-zones are looking closely at this plane, too. If it can do what the Twin Otter can do, but “better”, it’ll sell well for skydiving operations. And they don’t care about seats. 🙂

      • It will be a long time before any DZ in this country could afford one. Look at how long it took for C208s to be common flying skydivers. If it is certified for single pilot then yes I would agree that eventually it would be used at DZs. If it is certified for a 2 pilot crew then not so much.

    • It will be interesting to see how the new known icing rules will work with pneumatic deicers that Cessna will use. Pt 23 certification does not require meeting any climb gradients for single engine inop climb, just a minimum climb rate for turbine power. May be great for operators but not sure that is a benefit for the pilot/crews.

  3. I’m surprised that Textron didn’t name it the “Twin Muskrat”. They ripped off every other part of the design. That goes for their new “PC-13” too.

  4. Depending on the certification life limits, this could make great skydive platform once the ratty ones start showing up on the used market in 20 years.

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