Textron Aviation owned, Cessna has completed the first successful flight test of the new Sky Courier aircraft. The Sky Courier is a completely new clean sheet design. The aircraft took off from the company’s east campus Beech Field Airport. The aircraft was piloted by Corey Eckhart, senior test pilot, and Aaron Tobias, chief test pilot. The Cessna Sky Courier flew for two hours and fifteen minutes.
Textron Aviation has been working on a completely new utility turbo prop aircraft for medium range duty. The aircraft is twin turboprop and can be used as a cargo, passenger or mixed duty aircraft. It is capable of flying at a speed of 200 knots (360 Km/h) and has a range of 900 nautical miles (1,620 Km).
The Cessna Sky Courier can carry 6,000 pounds of payload or 19 passengers or a mix of the two. It is powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines and is installed with the popular Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite. For a fast turnaround, the Cessna Sky Courier is installed with single-point pressure refueling as standard.
During the two hours and fifteem minutes flight, the aircraft was tested for its performance, stability and control. The test pilots also tested the plane for its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems. As per Textron Aviation, the Cessna SkyCourier will be an excellent product in its segment due to its combination of cabin flexibility, payload capability, superior performance and low operating costs.
After the first test flight, the prototype Cessna Sky Courier will be tested extensively on ground as well as undergo five more rounds of flight tests to expand on performance goals, focusing on testing flight controls and aerodynamics.