|Cessna 408 SkyCourier|
|Cessna 408 SkyCourier model shown at EBACE 2018|
|First flight||May 17, 2020|
|Introduction||2020 (initially planned)|
The Model 408 was launched on November 28, 2017 by Textron Aviation, with an introduction planned for 2020. The 408's design was developed to match FedEx Express requirements, like the earlier Cessna 208 Caravan. FedEx Express will be the launch customer, with an order of "50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more".
Initial wind tunnel tests were completed in March 2018. The first flight was originally planned for 2019 and first deliveries anticipated in 2020. The design will be certified to FAR Part 23 standards. FedEx plans to take monthly deliveries over four years starting in 2020, and a similar pace for a second batch, if it agrees to that option. A full-scale mockup of the 19-passenger cabin was displayed at the October 2018 National Business Aviation Association convention.
The mating of the wing and fuselage of the first aircraft was completed in December 2019.
By March 2020, initial ground testing was completed, checking the fuel system, engines, avionics interfaces and electrical systems. The first flight was completed on May 17, 2020, operating from Beech Factory Airport for a 2-hour and 15-minute flight. The prototype aircraft, along with five additional flight and ground test articles, will be used for testing leading to certification. The second prototype first flew in August 2020. It is the first production-conforming aircraft and will be used for testing the engines, propellers, environmental controls and the avionics. A third test aircraft first flew in September 2020.
The SkyCourier is a twin-turboprop, high-wing, utility aircraft. It will be available in a 19-passenger variant with large cabin windows and separate crew and passenger doors, or in a cargo variant sized for three LD3s and 6,000 pounds of payload, featuring a "large cargo door and a flat floor cabin". It will cruise up to 200 kn (370 km/h), with a maximum range of 900 nmi (1,700 km). Single-point refueling will speed turnarounds.
The clean-sheet design should offer better cabin flexibility and payload capability, superior performance and lower operating costs than its competitors. The airframe will be built from traditional aluminum materials and will be equipped with proven Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65 engines, fixed landing gear and Garmin G1000 avionics. The non-pressurized cabin will be 70 in (178 cm) tall and wide, with a flat floor and a 87 in (221 cm) cargo door.
Data from Cessna
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era