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Textron unveils flexible and mission-ready SkyCourier
The SkyCourier, like many of Textron's props, is designed to be ultra-versatile. In seating configuration it can accommodate up to 19 passengers, while its freight variant can handle a whopping 6,000 pound payload.

Textron Aviation unveiled a full-scale mockup of its twin-engine large utility turboprop Cessna SkyCourier at the recent NBAA-BACE in Orlando, Florida, offering a preview into the aircraft's passenger options and standard features.

“The Cessna SkyCourier was engineered to be a versatile, heavy utilisation turboprop with significant payload to undertake a variety of missions,” says senior VP of sales and marketing Rob Scholl. “We're excited for customers to experience many of the aircraft's distinctive features firsthand.”

The passenger configuration of the Cessna SkyCourier cabin offers seating for up to 19 with a 32-inch seat pitch and separate entry doors for passengers and crew. Inside the aircraft, a netted rear cabin cargo area can accommodate luggage and equipment, and optional overhead baggage compartments provide additional storage space onboard. USB charging ports are located throughout the seating area, and large windows add natural light.

“Since announcing the SkyCourier last year, we've seen continued interest from operators searching for a modern utility aircraft capable of flexible operations and configurations,” continues Scholl. “Their feedback has enabled us to optimise many of the aircraft's features, allowing us to deliver a mission-ready platform.”

The SkyCourier is designed to deliver a combination of robust performance and low operating costs for air freight, commuter and special missions operators. Textron has also designed a separate freighter variant of the turboprop to offer a maximum payload of 6,000 pounds and capable of accommodating up to three LD3 shipping containers. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and operated with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics, the prop features a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 kts and delivers a maximum range of 900 nm.

Both freighter and passenger variants of the Cessna SkyCourier will offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.

Earlier this year, Textron completed initial wind tunnel testing and the first build of the aircraft's main landing gear and nose gear is now underway. The OEM anticipates that its first flight will take place in 2019, with entry into service in 2020.

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