The first flight model of the promising multi-purpose aircraft Cessna 408 SkyCourier made its first flight on May 17, 2020, reports Flightglobal. This is the largest Cessna turboprop aircraft owned by Textron Aviation. The plane received registration number N408PR.
The development of the Cessna 408 SkyCourier has been underway since 2017. The courier company FedEx became the starting customer of the new aircraft. In 2017, she placed an order for 50 SkyCourier aircraft. The company also entered into an option to supply another 50 aircraft of this type.
SkyCourier is a multi-purpose twin-engine turboprop aircraft, designed according to the high-wing plan with a T-tail. The aircraft is equipped with engines PT6A-65SC take-off power of 1.1 thousand horsepower each. The aircraft is 16.7 meters long, has a wingspan of 21.9 meters, and a height of 6 meters.
The aircraft is designed to carry 19 passengers and 2.3 tons of cargo in the cargo-passenger version or up to 2.7 tons of cargo in the cargo version. According to the project, SkyCourier is capable of flying at speeds of up to 370 kilometers per hour over distances of up to 740 kilometers.
According to the company Textron Aviation, the duration of the first flight of SkyCourier was 2 hours 15 minutes. Tests were conducted at Beach Field Airport in Kansas. Pilots checked the controllability of the aircraft, the operation of its onboard systems, and engines. All validated checks are considered successful.
So far, the largest Cessna turboprop aircraft was the Cessna 208 Caravan, which made its first flight in 1981. The length of this single-engine aircraft is 11.5 meters, the wingspan is 15.9 meters, and the height is 4.5 meters. Caravan is designed to carry from 9 to 13 passengers, depending on the version. In the cargo version, the aircraft can carry up to 1.4 tons of cargo.
Cessna 208 can fly at a speed of 344 kilometers per hour for a distance of up to 1.2 thousand kilometers.