Cessna SkyCourier Gains FAA Type Certification

The utility twin turboprop takes the next step toward its entry into service for launch customer, FedEx Express.

The Cessna SkyCourier achieved FAA type certification less than two years after its first flight. [Courtesy: Textron Aviation]

With more than 2,100 hours on three test articles complete, Textron Aviation (NYSE:TXT) has achieved FAA type certification on the Cessna SkyCourier utility twin turboprop.

The certification comes less than two years after the airplane’s first flight in May 2020.

The OEM announced the milestone on Monday morning. Production is already underway for the new clean-sheet model, and the company anticipates the ability to deliver the first units to launch customer, FedEx Express (NYSE: FDX), which has 50 on its initial fleet order and options for 50 more.

The clean-sheet design secured type certification, with the FAA’s Paul (Vu) Nguyen, acting manager of the Wichita ACO Branch (left) presenting the certificate to Chris Hearne, Textron Aviation’s senior vice president of Engineering.

“Achieving FAA certification for the Cessna SkyCourier demonstrates the expertise and hard work of our employees, as well as Textron Aviation’s continued investment in providing solutions for our customers,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “Our clean-sheet design brings to this segment what customers said they need: the ability to load, fly, unload and repeat with low operating costs and maximum cabin flexibility and efficiency. We expect the SkyCourier to be a workhorse of the fleet for FedEx and many other customers around the globe for decades to come.”

SkyCourier Specifications

The new model made its first flight in 2020 with the first production model seeing daylight in early February.

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC engines driving McCauley C779 four-blade, 110-inch-diameter propellers, the SkyCourier comes in both cargo and passenger configurations.

Features include:

  • Garmin G1000 NXi integrated flight deck
  • Large fuselage cargo door
  • Flat floor
  • Up to 6,000 pounds payload capacity; three LD3 shipping containers
  • Single-point pressure refueling

The SkyCourier cruises at speeds over 200 ktas and up to a 900-nm maximum range. The passenger variant can hold up to 19 people plus pilot—with a separate crew door for flexibility in boarding.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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