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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Mtns2Skies, Nov 28, 2017.
Probably targeting Fedex/UPS feeder outfits and commuter airlines in Europe.
Since Textron owns Beechcraft it seems a little redundant but IDK.
'Nother try at a DC-3 replacement ... ?
Looks more like a twin otter to me, maybe a touch bigger.
Reminds me of an Islander.
According to Avweek, it was developed in cooperation with Fedex, who will buy 50 with options on an additional 50.
Slow, ugly, fat,,=cargo hauler
Slower than a king air but built to handle containers. Sorta defines its purpose.
A little easier boarding for passengers and the speed difference won’t matter on <200 mile routes. Maybe some passenger service in third world countries but not really a STOL performer.
I think they could have come up with a better name. Too similar to the ill-fated SkyCatcher.
If this takes off....this could hurt Cessna's jet market.
Hmmm... looks like no off airport capability...
Looks slow. Then again, it is a Cessna...
Does it have fixed gear? Kinda looks like it by the photo.
This looks like a sure winner for Cessna, expanding on the capabilities of the Caravan line and getting themselves into a market segment that isn't well-served.
For a commercial operator over short haul routes, airspeed isn't necessary (or that helpful), but cutting time on the ground is. It holds 3 standard packaging shipping containers, which can be pre-packed at the depot and loaded onto the plane by a forklift driver and a spotter in, what, 10 minutes? Single-point refueling will make it faster to service. Those are going to be big time-savers for FedEx, more than enough to make it worthwhile to replace their existing Caravans.
I bet they won't be able to make them fast enough. Suprised they didn't call it a Twin Caravan.
maybe I can get a job flying one of those for fedex
So what does this do to the KA line?
I don't think so, as we're really speaking of two very distinct segments. This is aimed squarely at freight feeders (with short-haul passenger ops a VERY distant second) and that's definitely an underserved niche. Chances are good that FedEx affiliates will comprise +/- 75% of all SkyCourier buyers, and Textron Aviation would probably be very happy with that.
Ayres Corp in ALbany GA was supposed to build something similar for FedEx back in the 90s. It was supposed to hold 2 or 3 FedEx pods I think. Used to be one (prototype?) in the weeds when I'd fly scheduler service in there. I don't know if it's still there or not.
Next to no impact, as the slow and unpressurized SkyCourier would be an ill-fit for corporate travel, air ambulance, and other traditional KA roles.
Not to mention that CEO Ernest would never approve a new aircraft development program that robbed from an existing cash cow (45 King Airs delivered through Q3 this year.)
The article says, "The Cessna SkyCourier 408 will have almost twice the cargo space of the Caravan 208 and will add a large cargo door to support container operations." That will make it an easy choice for FedEx to replace their existing Caravans.
Sure? I know a few companies that switched from KA-90/200s to a Quest Kodiak for short hauling on the east coast.
Between DC and Boston, you are largely stuck low, and and the distances are right in the sweet spot for the new plane.
I'll stick with "more sure than not" while allowing for the qualifiers you mention. TA wouldn't spend the money otherwise.
I don't think this is going to carve many sales away from the King Air line, either. King Airs and PC-12s serve (mostly) different market segments (fast, pressurized, expensive, moderate size) than the Caravan/SkyCourier (slow, unpressurized, optimized for LOTS of cargo). They also have the advantage that there are a lot of pilots qualified for each. If a Kodiak fits the role for those companies that switched, my guess is that they picked the wrong airplane for their role in the first place, or maybe they went looking for a market after they already had their fleet, or maybe they'd been a legacy King Air shop from a time before there were better options.
Does this mean I might be able to get a good price on a used 208 soon?
Well, at least they moved it out of the weeds. Sad, that used to be a thriving manufacturer.
Interesting,the freight doge should be happy.
Yup. Rumor is it'll fit the smaller FedEx cargo containers without modifications.
Only the FedEx ones. The UPS contracts will probably remain, "We don't care what you fly, as long as it's dirt cheap."
P.S. Maybe not even the FedEx freight dogs will be happy. This thing will be designed such that a really cheap pilot can fly it... no offense to anyone who ends up flying it... but I'm sure that's a design goal.
If it's similar to the Ayres plane above, they'll design the plane around the pods, like the A10 w/ the 30 mm gun was.
P.P.S. I'd fly it. Dumpy, slow, high-wing, carries a metric-crap-ton of stuff, ugly... just my kind of airplane. LOL!
There was a perfectly good short hauler, introduced in 1976, the Short SD-330.
We had the 360 for awhile....unpressurized.
I didn't fly it, before I got hired, but old Capt's loved flying it.
Yeah, a T-tail Otter
Twin-engine redundancy is never a bad thing. I think it's a great step up from the Caravan, plus it'll be more comfortable as a passenger hauler. With that fixed gear it'll be cheaper to insure, too.
There are several small airlines in the US using the Caravan for EAS service. This would give them a new 19 seat option that hasn't existed in over a decade. Beech hasn't built the B1900 since around 2003. There are no new aircraft in the 19-30 seat market, and a void has been created as the existing fleet ages out.
I wonder if Cape Air might want a few for some of their routes as well. Supposedly Tecnam is coming to market with a twin piston small airliner for them, but this might better fill a few niches in some of their more well traveled routes.
Cape Air specifically asked for a piston replacement for the Cessna 402. They deemed turboprops to be too expensive to operate in their network. Cessna was unwilling to restart production of the 402 for them.
I could see this getting some "special missions" adaptations too. ISR type stuff where speed isn't a need, just a nice slow loiter. And as they depreciate, the non-defense aerial survey world would like to get hold of them too. Their fleets of Cessna 402/404/406 aren't getting any younger.