General Aviation Cessna accelerates SkyCourier certification process

Textron Aviation has announced, that its newest turboprop aircraft, the Cessna SkyCourier is building momentum as certification flight tests begin.

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Textron Aviation has released, that its brand Cessna is making good progress in the certification plan for the SkyCourier turboprop. As new milestone, the test bed aircraft fleet has entered into the flight phase.

The large utility high-wing aircraft will now perform various tests in the air to ensure, that all safety standards and functions are working properly. The successful completion of these flights will then result in the type certificate, which is going to be issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This latest achievement allows the members of the flight test program to gain a better understanding of how the aircraft performs under specific circumstances. It helps to gain a better understanding of strengths, weaknesses, capability and durability.

Textron Aviation seeks to have the certification in hand later in 2021. The aircraft manufacturer is working with three Cessna SkyCourier test aircraft toward that goal. Already, the fleet has accumulated more than 700 flight test hours.

Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs, commented: “The SkyCourier was designed to fulfil a need in the marketplace for a flexible, reliable, high-utilization aircraft for customers around the world, and its versatility makes it a great fit for a wide range of operations [...] The aircraft has performed exceptionally well through every phase of testing, and we’re pleased by its progress. With the start of certification flight test phase, we are entering one of the most important phases of the SkyCourier program, and I’m confident in our highly skilled team and the outstanding abilities of this aircraft.”

Since the third aircraft joined the manufacturer´s fleet, the team accomplished tests like hot and cold weather testing, bird strike testing or envelope expansion to all comers of the speed, altitude and structural design.

The aircraft is being powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines, which have gained certification form Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), with FAA to follow shortly.

Cessna´s SkyCourier will be offered in two configurations. Customers can choose between a 19-seater passenger variant of a 6,000-pound capable freighter aircraft. FedEx, one of the largest freight companies in the country, have already placed an order for the SkyCourier.

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