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Cessna Prototype Flies For First Time

A new twin-turboprop prototype from Cessna took its first flight Sunday.  Known as the SkyCourier, the utility aircraft flew for 2.25 hours.

Powered by two 1,100-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines driving 110-inch McCauley propellers, the SkyCourier is capable of flying 200 ktas. It also features a Garmin G1000 NXi flight deck.

Configurable for both cargo and commuter operations, the high-wing turboprop is designed to carry a payload of up to 6,000 pounds with an 87-inch cargo door, a flat floor, and a nearly 70-inch tall and wide cabin to accept three standard LD3 air cargo containers.  In a passenger configuration, it will have seating for up to 19 passengers, with a netted rear cabin area for luggage and equipment.  It also will be available in a mixed passenger/cargo combination.

FedEx has already ordered 50 of the aircraft and holds an option for 50 more. 

Senior test pilot Corey Eckhart said, “We were very pleased with how the Cessna SkyCourier performed throughout its first flight.  It was particularly impressive to see how stable the aircraft handled on takeoff and landing.”