Textron unveils new turboprop, FedEx orders 100


Textron Aviation has unveiled a new large-utility turboprop, the Cessna SkyCourier 408, and has signed an agreement to sell up to 100 of the aircraft to long time customer FedEx Express.

SkyCourier is a clean-sheet aircraft developed with input from FedEx Express. The new aircraft looks to offer greater capability and mission flexibility than its previous large-utility offerings. The SkyCourier is planned to enter service in 2020.

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 fulfil 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.”

The SkyCourier 408 will be available in cargo and passenger variants. The aircraft will have a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 ktas and a maximum range of 900 nautical miles.

The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door, flat floor cabin built to accomodate three LD3 shipping containers with a maximum payload of 6,000 pounds. The alternate 19 passenger option will include crew and passenger doors and large cabin windows. Both variants will feature a single-point pressure refuelling system to enable fast turnarounds.

The Order

FedEx has signed a purchase agerement with Textron for a solid order of 50 cargo aircraft with the option to extend to 100. FedEx Express has operated the Cessna Caravan aircraft for more than 30 years.

“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,” said David L. Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express. “The Cessna SkyCourier 408 offers a number of significant features that will enhance our long-term feeder strategy.”