General Aviation Textron Aviation celebrates first production Cessna SkyCourier rollout
Textron Aviation´s Cessna has celebrated the rollout of the first production SkyCourier aircraft.
At Cessna´s manufacturing facility in Wichita, the first large-utility turboprop aircraft Cessna SkyCourier has rolled out of the final assembly line. During a ceremony, the company celebrated the newest milestone in the aircraft programme.
The SkyCourier incorporates new assembly and fabrication techniques and processes into the manufacturing process and the successfully assembly represents a positive sign that these new processes have been performed well.
Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation, commented: “Today is a rewarding day for our employees who have worked to design and build what I believe will become a legendary airplane for our company […] The SkyCourier brings an impressive combination of cabin flexibility, payload capability, performance and low operating costs to the twin engine utility segment. We look forward to this highly versatile aircraft entering the market very soon.”
Launch customer of the Cessna SkyCourier will be freight airline FedEx. Together with the company, the Textron Aviation teams were instrumental in creating the SkyCourier with all its manufacturing methods and materials. Even product features were developed together.
Regarding the production techniques, Textron Aviation stated: “Production of the SkyCourier incorporates many of the latest advancements in aircraft manufacturing, including the use of monolithic machining throughout the airframe. With this technique, major assemblies are milled from a single piece of metal rather than assembled from smaller pieces, reducing the overall number of parts and resulting in a more precise tolerances for easier assembly.”
The SkyCourier initially took off for its successful maiden flights back in May 2020. Since then, the manufacturer has logged in more than 2,100 flight hours as it is currently working on the type certification, which is expected to be issued in the first half of this year.
Then, this first production unit will be delivered to FedEx. The U.S.-Freight giant has signed a purchase agreement with Textron Aviation for 100 Cessna SkyCouriers. Initially, the company will receive 50 aircraft but has purchase rights for 50 more.
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