Textron To Mark Citation, SkyCourier milestones in 2021
Next September will mark the 50th anniversary of the FAA type certification for the Cessna Model 500, the first of its Citation variants that fundamentally changed the business from a general aviation manufacturer to a business aviation manufacturer. . The expected certification and first delivery of the Cessna SkyCourier 408 turboprop is also slated for 2021. The Wichita, Kansas aircraft maker plans to mark both milestones in the second half of the year.
FedEx Express is the launch customer for SkyCourier, which was announced in November 2017, and is expected to take delivery of 50 of the planes in a cargo configuration with an option for 50 more. The aircraft will replace FedEx’s aging Caravan and ATR fleet. Textron Aviation officials previously said AIN that the aircraft, which is also available in a 19-passenger configuration, has also aroused great interest among regional airlines in the Asia-Pacific region.
What is not clear at this point is whether another Cessna aircraft in development, the Denali, will see its first flight in 2021, as company officials declined to set a timeline on the milestones of the single turboprop. Powered by the clean-leaf GE Aviation Catalyst engine, the Denali was originally scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2019, but that did not happen due to delays in the engine program. However, GE began ground testing of the Catalyst on a Beechcraft King Air flight test stand in December and delivered the flight safety engine to Textron Aviation, which brought the aircraft closer to the start of its program. flight tests.