Though largely viewed as a cargo/utility aircraft, Textron Aviation’s Cessna SkyCourier recently notched its first delivery as a “passenger unit” to Hawaii-based Lāna’i Air, which provides high-end air service between the island of Lāna’i and Oahu.
According to Textron, the Cessna SkyCourier team developed “innovative ways to optionally convert the aircraft from a 19-seat passenger configuration to cargo configuration using patent-pending quick-release seats and removable bulkheads.” The SkyCourier achieved FAA type certification in early 2022. Textron characterizes the twin-engine, high-wing turboprop as delivering “a combination of performance and lower operating costs for air freight, commuter and special-mission operators. It’s available in both freighter and passenger versions.”
In the passenger role planned for Lāna’i Air, the SkyCourier includes crew and passenger doors for comfortable boarding. Large cabin windows provide ample natural light and panoramic views.
Meanwhile, the freighter variant is equipped with an oversize door and a flat-floor cabin. It is configured to accommodate as many as three industry-standard LD3 shipping containers. Payload is 6,000 pounds. “Both configurations offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds,” according to Textron.
Lannie O’Bannion, Textron Aviation’s senior vice president of global sales and flight operations, said the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65S-powered twin is, “highly versatile, with cabin flexibility, payload capability, performance and low operating costs, and has already proven to be popular around the world. The Cessna SkyCourier is well on its way to becoming a legendary aircraft for our company.”
I like this design. It is a ‘very Cessna’ airplane. Very on-brand for the company that makes famously tough utility aircraft.