General Aviation Cessna SkyCourier 408 completes wind tunnel tests

  • Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation has announced, that it has successfully completed wind tunnel tests for its new Cessna SkyCourier 408 turboprop.

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The tests are needed to gain information on general performance and aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft. Furthermore, structural load data will contribute to finalize the aircraft´s design.

“For the initial wind tunnel testing, we use a custom, precision model with electric motors and scaled propellers calibrated to represent the thrust produced by the real aircraft,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president, Engineering. “We’re making outstanding progress in the development of this clean-sheet aircraft and are eager to continue defining the details that will allow us to start creating tools and parts.”

The SkyCourier 408 was announced by Textron Aviation in November 2017. Since then, several operators have indicated interest in the large-utility turboprop. Cessna´s SkyCourier 408 will also be available in a cargo variant.

Thress added: “The flexibility and mission potential for the Cessna SkyCourier is attractive to a wide variety of operators [...] The feedback we’re gathering from the CAB is extremely important as we develop an aircraft that is reliable, efficient and meets the diverse requirements of an array of mission profiles.”

Launch customer FedEx has ordered 50 SkyCourier 408s freighters, with options to buy 50 more. The carrier plans to serve smaller airports while replacing the aging Cessna Caravan fleet.

According to the manufacturer, the first flight will take place in 2019. Entry into service is planned for 2020.

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