Early Bird

Textron Aviation Successfully Completes Ground Engine Tests On Cessna SkyCourier Prototype

Textron Aviation, owner of the Cessna brand, reported in late March that it has successfully completed initial ground engine tests on a prototype of the twin-engine Cessna SkyCourier turboprop. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

Textron Aviation recently got a little closer to entering its all-new, clean-sheet design Cessna SkyCourier into service when it successfully completing initial ground engine tests on a prototype of the twin-engine utility turboprop. Introduced in 2017, the SkyCourier features Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC engines. Textron says the ground engine tests earlier this month verified the engines and fuel system’s functionality, as well as the interface for the SkyCourier’s Garmin G1000 NXi avionics and electrical systems.

Meeting Milestones

Chris Hearne, Textron Aviation senior vice president, programs and engineering, notes that successfully completing engine run tests are a “pivotal” step toward proving the maturity of the SkyCourier and its systems.

“We continue to meet each important milestone in our development schedule, and we look forward to having an outstanding aircraft for our customers,” he says. Previously, Textron—which owns the Cessna brand, along with the Beechcraft and Hawker brands—successfully mated the prototype’s wings to the fuselage in December, turned on power to the electrical systems in January, and installed the tail to the fuselage in February.

Flexible Design

Textron will offer the SkyCourier in several configurations, including as a freighter with 6,000-pound (2,722-kilogram) payload, a 19-seat passenger version, and as a mixed passenger-freight combination. Features will include single-point pressure refueling, 900-nautical-mile (1,666-kilometer) range, and 200 KTAS maximum cruise speed.

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