FIRST FLIGHT: CESSNA SKYCOURIER

CARGO HAULER FLIES FOR 2 HOURS, 15 MINUTES

Textron’s new Cessna SkyCourier 408, a twin-turboprop utility airplane introduced in November 2017, had its first flight on May 17.

Textron’s Cessna SkyCourier made its first flight on May 17. Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.

The flight lasted two hours, 15 minutes and tested the airplane’s performance, flight controls, stability and control, and environmental systems, as well as the fuel system’s integration with the avionics and electrical systems. It also kicked off the rest of the airplane’s formal flight test program, which will continue with this prototype and five additional flight and ground test articles. Previous milestones included first engine runs on March 23, and first ground runs on March 27.The airplane—a clean-sheet design—is equipped with two Pratt&Whitney PT6A-65SC engines of 1,100-shaft horsepower each. Max cruise speed is set at 200 knots and max range is targeted at 900 nautical miles. Textron says the SkyCourier’s range carrying 5,000 pounds of cargo is 400 nm. Orders for 50 SkyCouriers—with options for 50 more—have already been placed by FedEx.

Read more at AOPA.

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