New SkyCourier Reflects Textron Aviation, FedEx Partnership
Textron Aviation's SkyCourier, a clean-sheet high-wing twin-turboprop, was designed by the company with input from FedEx, its launch customer. FedEx has 50 aircraft on order. The SkyCourier was designed with a rugged landing gear, single-point refueling for quick turnarounds and oversize cargo door. It also was designed to land on unimproved runways. FedEX is expected to take delivery of the first SkyCourier later this year. Credit: Molly McMillin
A Cargo Carrying Aircraft
FedEx’s relationship with Textron Aviation began more than 30 years ago, when FedEX took delivery of its first Caravan, says Bill West, FedEx vice president of supplemental air operations. The SkyCourier will help FedEx reach areas with products that previously could not have been moved, West says. For one, it will carry more cargo than the Caravan. The aircraft can handle pallet-loaded and loose cargo. It also can be configured for passenger use. Here, West addresses the crowd at a media event on Boeing Plaza at AirVenture Oshkosh. Credit: Molly McMillin
Room For Shipping Containers
The Sky Courier has the ability to carry three FedEx LD3 shipping containers with a 6,000 lb.maximum payload. The aircraft's cargo door measures 87 in. wide by 69 in. tall. Credit: Molly McMillin
With wings that are 12-ft. high from the ground, engineers designed the aircraft with a single point of fueling to make it easy to fuel and without the pilot climbing onto the wings or struts. The SkyCourier is also approved for single-pilot operation. Credit: Molly McMillin
Textron Aviation’s new Model 408 SkyCourier twin-turboprop made its first visit to AirVenture Oshkosh on the opening day of the show, where officials from the company and from FedEx, the aircraft’s launch customer, were on hand to speak with the media.
Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.