After signing for up to 50 ATR 72-600F freighters earlier this month, FedEx Express has announced an order for up to 100 Cessna SkyCourier 408s.
It's all go at the lower end of the cargo/utility turboprop market, with FedEx Express becoming launch customer for two new aircraft concepts in the space of three weeks. After signing for up to 50 ATR 72-600F freighters earlier this month, the company has announced an order for up to 100 Cessna SkyCourier 408s, including a firm order for 50 aircraft.
The SkyCourier is a twin-engine, high-wing design that rounds out the top end of the Cessna turboprop product lineup. Offered in cargo and passenger versions and designed for high-utilisation operations, the aircraft measures 16.71m in length and has a wingspan of 21.95m.
The company aims to fill a gap in the market by combining high performance and low operating costs with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency of a clean-sheet design. Entry into service is planned for 2020.
The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat-floor cabin sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000 pounds of maximum payload capability. The aircraft will offer a maximum cruise speed of 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range.
The 19-passenger variant will include crew and passenger doors and large cabin windows. Both configurations will offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.
The SkyCourier will be powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada's 1,100 shp PT6A-65SC engine enhanced with a fully connected FAST (Full-flight data Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) system. The FAST prognostic solution captures, analyzes and wirelessly transmits high-density, full-flight data after each mission. It can also be used for on-board event detection and crew alerts, and turbine blade creep counting.