Cessna SkyCourier completes wind tunnel testing

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Textron Aviation has completed the first wind tunnel tests of its new twin-engine Cessna SkyCourier turboprop.

Results from the wind tunnel tests will provide performance and aerodynamic characteristics and structural load data to help finalize the aircraft’s design.

Brad Thress, senior vice president of engineering for Textron Aviation, said, “For the initial wind tunnel testing, we use a custom, precision model with electric motors and scaled propellers calibrated to represent the thrust produced by the real aircraft.

“We’re making outstanding progress in the development of this clean-sheet aircraft and are eager to continue defining the details that will allow us to start creating tools and parts.”

Textron Aviation announced the Cessna SkyCourier in November 2017, and says it has seen tremendous interest from operators looking for a modern solution in the large twin-utility space. As part of the aircraft’s design development, the company is garnering feedback from its Customer Advisory Board (CAB).

“The flexibility and mission potential for the Cessna SkyCourier is attractive to a wide variety of operators,” said Thress. “The feedback we’re gathering from the CAB is extremely important as we develop an aircraft that is reliable, efficient and meets the diverse requirements of an array of mission profiles.”

The first flight of the Cessna SkyCourier is planned for 2019 with entry into service in 2020.

The turboprop is targeted for air freight, commuter and special mission operations. The freighter variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with an 6,000lbs of maximum payload capability. The 19-passenger variant will include crew and passenger doors. Both configurations will offer single-point pressure refueling.

March 21, 2018

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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