Textron Aviation has unveiled the Beechcraft King Air 260 turboprop, the newest member of the King Air 200 series. The aircraft features improvements in the cabin and cockpit. Production has already begun, with certification and deliveries scheduled to begin early in 2021.
The cabin features newly designed seats created through a pressure-mapping process designed to identify ways to provide a more comfortable journey for passengers, especially on longer flights.
The announcement comes on the heels of the recently introduced Beechcraft King Air 360, which features enhancements to the cockpit and cabin. The King Air 360 achieved FAA type certification in October 2020, and customer deliveries are underway.
“These investments reflect our commitment to providing superior upgrades and engineering innovation that create the best flying experience for Beechcraft King Air 260 owners and operators around the world,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO. “We place an immense value on our conversations with our customers, and the investments we make in our aircraft are a direct result of listening to their input. I’m proud of the impressive effort by our team for taking a legendary aircraft and adding technological advancements that will allow customers to achieve their varied missions.”
The Beechcraft King Air 200 series features an occupancy of up to nine, a maximum range of 1,720 nautical miles and a top cruise speed of 310ktas.
Key enhancements on the King Air 260 are the addition of the IS&S ThrustSense autothrottle, along with a new digital pressurisation controller. The cockpit also offers the Collins Aerospace Multi-Scan weather radar system as a standard feature on every King Air 260.
The new digital pressurisation controller schedules cabin pressurisation automatically during both climb and descent. Textron Aviation says this reduces pilot workload and increases overall passenger comfort. The pressurisation gauges have been integrated with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
“The Beechcraft King Air line-up is the most popular business turboprop in the world,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president of sales and flight operations at Textron Aviation. “It’s essential for us to continue exploring ways to bring innovation to such a renowned aircraft, and these enhancements will allow owners and operators to accomplish their various missions with greater comfort, technology and ease.”
The IS&S ThrustSense autothrottle is also available as an aftermarket upgrade through Textron Aviation service facilities on all Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft equipped with Pro Line Fusion.
The Beechcraft King Air family
Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 56 years, serving roles in all branches of the US military and flying both commercial and special-mission roles around the world.