Textron Aviation announced that its SkyCourier utility twin made its first flight on Sunday from the company’s Beech Field. The flight lasted for two hours and 15 minutes, a long flight for an initial test hop. During that time, the crew was apparently very busy. Textron Aviation said in a press release that the two-person crew checked out “…the aircraft’s performance, stability and control, as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems.”
Textron, despite the pandemic, is throwing a full-court press at the certification of the new plane, which is expected to become a major player in areas the company current competes with its single-engine Caravan single, including but not limited to, package delivery, regional airline, charter and business flying. And because it’s reconfigurable, the plane will be able to serve a variety of roles, including a dedicated 19-seat transport, a cargo configured freight hauler or a mixture of the two.
Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A turboprop engines, the non-pressurized twin will be able to carry as much as 6,000 pounds in freight, cruise at as fast as 200 knots and fly for up to 900 nm with reserves.