Textron Aviation has unveiled its new twin-engine, high-wing, large utility turboprop jet, the Cessna SkyCourier 48, with FedEx Express signing up as launch customer. The transportation company will receive up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more jets. The aircraft are set to be delivered for operation in 2020.
The Cessna SkyCourier 408 will be offered in cargo and passenger variants. The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000lbs (2,720kg) maximum payload. The passenger variant will be able to seat 19 individuals.
Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation, said, “With our depth of expertise and proven success in new product development, we were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier.
“The aircraft will fulfill a gap in this market segment with its superior performance and low operating costs in combination with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency only a clean-sheet design can offer.”
FedEx has worked with Textron Aviation for over 30 years, using the Cessna Caravan turboprop as part of its operations.
David Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express, added, “FedEx Express has had a great relationship with Textron Aviation over the years, and this new, advanced aircraft will play a key role in our feeder aircraft modernization strategy. The Cessna SkyCourier 408 offers a number of significant features that will enhance our long-term feeder strategy.”