Cessna SkyCourier Debuts At Oshkosh

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MIflyer

1st Lieutenant
6,437
12,613
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
The new Cessna SkyCourier showed up at the Oshkosh EAA fly in and Fedex announced they have ordered 50.

Just think, it is 2021 and we are building new design aircraft with fixed gear and strut braced wings. With 19 seats, it's practically a DC-3, but except for the engines, less advanced by 1935 standards.
sky_courier_whole_plane.jpg
 
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Twin Otter! Which it more than a little resembles, and which is still in production, since 1965! Of course the Pilatus PC-12 as well as the Cessna Caravan fit in that market as well.

It just goes to show you that a "dated" design using "old technology" is nothing to turn your nose up at. It's hard to imagine anything that would be better than an A-10 for its missions, but that does not prevent dumasses from asserting it's old fashioned and we should not be flying it.

In 1957 we were flying Atlas and Thors with LOX/Kerosene engines. It was "obvious" a few years later that N2O4 and A-50 was more advanced for rockets but today we are still flying LOX/Kerosene and those More Advanced storable fuels are almost gone.
 
Twin Otter! Which it more than a little resembles, and which is still in production, since 1965! Of course the Pilatus PC-12 as well as the Cessna Caravan fit in that market as well.

It just goes to show you that a "dated" design using "old technology" is nothing to turn your nose up at. It's hard to imagine anything that would be better than an A-10 for its missions, but that does not prevent dumasses from asserting it's old fashioned and we should not be flying it.

In 1957 we were flying Atlas and Thors with LOX/Kerosene engines. It was "obvious" a few years later that N2O4 and A-50 was more advanced for rockets but today we are still flying LOX/Kerosene and those More Advanced storable fuels are almost gone.
That was my 1st thought exactly! Fixed gear and all.
 
Twin Otter! Which it more than a little resembles, and which is still in production, since 1965! Of course the Pilatus PC-12 as well as the Cessna Caravan fit in that market as well.
Just the Twotter as a 19-seat twin turbo-prop competitor then. Plenty of airlines won't use single-engine aircraft for IFR operations.
 
I am sure than any resemblance of that airplane to the MU-2 is purely a coincidence.

A few years back I saw an early MU-2 at Spruce Creek. It lacked the landing gear pods.

I believe that the LET is powered by two Walther 601 turbines, and the used ones were popular for a while with homebuilders in the US. The guy with the hangar next to mine built a beautiful CompAir 10 with a 601. Unfortunately it threw some turbine blades through the casing and has not moved since.
 
-D type batteries (the so called 'flashlight size') have been in use since 1898.
-The 6.35mm audio jack ('quarter inch) has been in use since 1878

If something works for a specific purpose, no need to reinvent it ;)
 
And the Schrader valve has been on virtually every vehicle ever built since it was invented, including space boosters.
 
I am sure than any resemblance of that airplane to the MU-2 is purely a coincidence.

Superficially they have a similar configuration, but they are very different aircraft. The Let is bigger with a greater MTOW than the Mu-2. Lets were built in far greater numbers and yes, they were powered by Walters, which is a copy of the PT-6, but the first ones were indeed powered by PT-6s. Walters are good reliable engines, very widely used. The company has been building other company's engines for years, the Bristol Mercury, Argus As-10, Rolls-Royce Nene...

If something works for a specific purpose, no need to reinvent it

Ever heard of modernisation? Reduction of number of parts, manpower in maintenance, construction time etc compared to its nearest competitor? What about anticipating a need for when older designs leave specific markets and require immediate successors, what about the desire for sales because a company is good at a particular niche? Lots'a reasons why a company might want to bring an aircraft or a thing into the world.

Let's also say that the B737 Max was a good reason why Boeing should have built an entirely new airframe instead of upgrading the basic 737.
 
Ever heard of modernisation? Reduction of number of parts, manpower in maintenance, construction time etc compared to its nearest competitor? What about anticipating a need for when older designs leave specific markets and require immediate successors, what about the desire for sales because a company is good at a particular niche? Lots'a reasons why a company might want to bring an aircraft or a thing into the world.

Let's also say that the B737 Max was a good reason why Boeing should have built an entirely new airframe instead of upgrading the basic 737.
While I guess this looks like an old design, I expect that there are a lot of modern methods in it, and everything is there for a reason.

The struts are there to enable a smaller spar carry-through, so that containers fit, and you don't lose head-room. there is also a direct load-path to the undercarriage to minimise landing loads.
Fixed gear to minimise maintenance costs, and improve rough-field performance.
High-wing allows lower fuselage height, and easier loading.

It's a plane for a job...
 
It's a plane for a job...

Pretty much. Cessna won big with the Caravan and it might seem a bit anachronistic to build an entirely new design, but FedEx have shown an interest and who knows, with all those Let 410s and Harbins getting old, perhaps there is a market for a new one? The Twotter is a world-beater though and Viking putting it back into production brings back a great design. If someone does the same with the Q300 the world will have a different choice for the 50 seater regional turboprop market to the ATR 42, which, like the -72 is a bit rubbish in some areas.
 
Be interesting to put the numbers for the new Cessna next to those for a DC-3 and compare them.

Yes the 601 is a good engine, but Warsaw Pact maintenance philosophy considered it better to just swap out an engine with 1500 hours or so on it rather than overhaul it. The homebuilders idea was that it still had at least 500 hours left on it and that would last a long time. The turbine blades on the earlier model 601's did not have "Christmas Tree" slots holding it in the wheel but rather a tab that you bent over to keep the blade in. That probably was Okay for 1500 hours but was not for longer service. The FAA put out an AD on it after two of my friends had their 601's throw blades.

GE bought Walter and I guess they are going to a more conventional overhaul philosophy.
 
but Warsaw Pact maintenance philosophy considered it better to just swap out an engine with 1500 hours or so on it rather than overhaul it.

Lycoming offer the same service. Replacement is often cheaper than overhaul. The problem I see with your guy and his Walter is that GA tends to follow its own set of rules, whereas maintenance schedules of commercial rotables require a bit more stringency to prevent exactly that from happening.
 
Ever heard of modernisation? Reduction of number of parts, manpower in maintenance, construction time etc compared to its nearest competitor? What about anticipating a need for when older designs leave specific markets and require immediate successors, what about the desire for sales because a company is good at a particular niche? Lots'a reasons why a company might want to bring an aircraft or a thing into the world.

Let's also say that the B737 Max was a good reason why Boeing should have built an entirely new airframe instead of upgrading the basic 737.
The problem of modernization nowadays is that we're past the point of major improvements in many fields of engineering and, sometimes, instead of the expected diminishing returns you have when you improve the same basic concept times and again, you get unexpected, potentially catastrophic, troubles.

Another less touched aspect is that the more complex the design becomes, the more potential point of failures you have, which in turns demand more testing, sometimes additional backup against said failures and finally adjusting the basic design again to take into account all the extra stuff that needs to be there. It's a vicious circle.

One last aspect (very often forgotten in today engineering circles) is that modern, highly optimized designs tends to be very safe and very efficient when operating within the expected parameters but if you can't precisely control the environment, then they tend to break down or under perform very soon. A typical example are modern car engines. Efficient, clean, very reliable but change the fuel to something less optimal (like, for example, some low quality gasoline found in third world country) and they will break soon enough; a 'classic' car engine from 30-40 years ago even when fed with poor fuel, on the other side, may belch some smoke, be a little rough but it will keep on working.

If you seek something utilitarian, robust and tolerant also to less than optimal conditions, then some older designs -while less efficient- are better than more modern ones. :)
 
The problem of modernization nowadays is that we're past the point of major improvements in many fields of engineering
Consider the pedestrian bridge they built at the University of Miami. A conventional design was rejected as being "banal." They went with a more exciting design that collapsed and killed people before it was even finished. Saw on TV where another university wanted a pedestrian bridge over a ravine and decided to match the wooded area and make it out of wood, a wooden bridge with a reinforced concrete deck. It also collapsed before it was opened.

Nowhere do we see that kind of thing more than with computers and software, which has a mania about New Stuff.
 

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