Cessna SkyCourier 408 is a new twin-engine, high-wing, large-utility turboprop being developed by Textron Aviation for FedEx Express.

Scheduled to enter service in 2020, the aircraft will be available in cargo and passenger versions for high utilisation operations. It will offer the capacity to transport up to 19 passengers or 2,722kg of payload.

FedEx Express placed an order of 100 SkyCourier 408 aircraft, including firm orders of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more aircraft.

Textron Aviation will assemble the Cessna SkyCourier 408 in Wichita, Kansas, US. The advanced features and capabilities of the aircraft will boost FedEx’s long-term feeder aircraft modernisation strategy.

Cessna SkyCourier 408 design and features

The Cessna SkyCourier 408 features a high-wing monoplane design, integrating T-tail empennage configuration. The clean-sheet design will deliver superior cabin flexibility, payload capability and performance at low operating costs.

“Scheduled to enter service in 2020, the aircraft will be available in cargo and passenger versions for high utilisation operations.”

Specifically designed for revenue service, the cargo version will be fitted with a built-in roller system and rigid cargo barrier. The dual crew doors and a separate aft passenger door will enable crew and passengers to easily access the aircraft.

The aircraft will have a length of 16.71m (54ft 10in), wingspan of 72ft (21.95m) and height of 6.02m (19ft 9in). The maximum payload capacity of the commuter and passenger variants will be 5,000lb (2,268kg) and 6,000lb (2,722kg) respectively.

The passenger aircraft is designed to transport up to 19 passengers and two pilots. It will also feature a digital cockpit.

SkyCourier 408 cargo and commuter variants

In cargo configuration, SkyCourier will feature a flat floor cabin, which can house three LD3 shipping containers. Containers and pallets loading will be facilitated through a large 87in x 69in cargo door, which offers a low door sill height.

The commuter variant will offer smooth boarding through its large crew and passenger doors. Its spacious cabin will be fitted with large windows for natural light and views.

The single-point pressure refuelling capability of the cargo and commuter aircraft will further deliver faster turnarounds.


The Cessna SkyCourier 408 will be equipped with two PT6A-65SC engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney Canada. The engines will develop a maximum power of 1,100shp.

The PT6A engine will enhance the performance and reliability of the aircraft while minimising fuel consumption. The versatile PT6A engine is designed with innovative aerodynamic and material technologies to develop additional power without increasing its size.

The engines will be coupled to two Blackmac four-bladed aluminium full feathering propellers supplied by McCauley. The reversible propellers will deliver high performance and reliability at low operating costs.

Cessna SkyCourier 408 performance

The Cessna SkyCourier 408 can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 200ktas (370km/h) and reach a maximum altitude of 25,000ft (7,620m).

The take-off field length of the aircraft will be 3,300ft (1,006m). The maximum range of the passenger variant will be 900nmi (1,667km), while the cargo variant will attain a range of 400nmi (741km) with a payload of 2,268kg.