Textron Aviation has successfully completed initial ground engine tests on the prototype Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop featuring Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines. These ground engine tests verified the functionality of the fuel system and engines, as well as the interface with the avionics and electrical systems.
“The successful engine run tests are a pivotal step toward proving the maturity of the aircraft and its systems as we prepare for first flight,” says Chris Hearne, senior VP of programs and engineering. “We continue to meet each important milestone in our development schedule, and we look forward to having an outstanding aircraft for our customers.”
The Cessna SkyCourier program continues to advance with assembly of the prototype and additional five flight and ground test articles. The tail was installed to the fuselage in early February 2020. Power to the aircraft's electrical system was turned on in January, and the wings were successfully mated to the fuselage in December 2019.
The SkyCourier will be offered in various configurations including a 6,000-pound payload capable freighter, a 19-seat passenger version or a mixed passenger/freight combination, all based on the common platform.
The aircraft is designed for high utilisation and will deliver a combination of robust performance and lower operating costs. Cessna SkyCourier will feature the popular Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite and offer highlights such as a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 kts and a maximum range of 900 nm. Both freighter and passenger variants of the SkyCourier will offer single-point pressure refuelling, to enable faster turnarounds.