Cessna's new C408 SkyCourier twin turbo-prop has started the certification flight test phase of its development, Textron Aviation announced yesterday.
Certification flight testing will be carried out with a fleet of three prototypes and has the aircraft on track for the first customer deliveries in late 2021.
"The SkyCourier was designed to fulfill a need in the marketplace for a flexible, reliable, high-utilisation aircraft for customers around the world, and its versatility makes it a great fit for a wide range of operations,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering and Programs.
“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.”
So far, the development and testing teams have put 700 hours on the fleet in preparation for type certification.
The SkyCourier will be offered in two configurations including a freighter with a 2.7 t payload capability and a 19-seat passenger version. The aircraft will include single-point pressure refueling as standard to enable faster turn-arounds. The aircraft features Garmin G1000 NXi avionics and a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 KTAS and a maximum range of 900 nm.