Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft King Air 360 turboprop has entered service with launch customer Stamoules Produce Company. It is the first-ever aircraft purchase for the California-based firm.
The King Air turboprop lineup has been flying customers throughout the world for more than 50 years. The King Air 360 offers technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin and enhancements to passenger comfort.
“This is a special day for Beechcraft King Air turboprops as we begin a new era for such a beloved aircraft,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president of sales and flight operations for Textron Aviation. “We are privileged to welcome Stamoules Produce Company to the Beechcraft family. This upgraded aircraft features innovative technology and next-generation capabilities, and it will allow this launch customer an opportunity to transform the way they do business.”
Stamoules Produce Company is a family-owned business based in the San Joaquin Valley, often referred to as the cantaloupe centre of the world. Specialising in growing and harvesting fruits, vegetables and nuts on its 17,000-acre farm, Stamoules Produce Company has steadily expanded its business since it began in 1927.
“We’re very proud to be the launch customer of the new Beechcraft King Air 360,” said Katie Stefanopoulos, a family member, who will also serve as corporate pilot for the new aircraft. “When selecting our first aircraft, we looked for a product that would not only give us the performance and flexibility we need to grow our business, but also by a company with a trusted name and expertise in the industry – and we found that in the King Air 360 and Textron Aviation. We were excited to learn of the new upgrades and features to an already exceptional aircraft, and I am even more excited to fly.”
The King Air 360 cockpit features the addition of the IS&S ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent and go-around phases of flight. Another key update is the new digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurisation during both climb and descent.
Other upgrades include a lower cabin altitude at the aircraft’s certified ceiling of 35,000ft – more than 10% lower when compared to the King Air 350i.
The redesigned cabin features craftsman-built cabinetry, partitions and sideledges, upgraded materials and finishes, and new interior schemes. Other amenities that come standard on the entire King Air lineup include pull-out work tables, power outlets, USB charging stations and a private aft lavatory.
Business Jet Interiors International spoke to Christi Tannahill, senior vice president of customer experience at Textron Aviation, for a feature on the King Air 360 in the September/October 2020 issue. Click here to learn all about the design, including how seat-mapping technology has helped in optimising seat comfort.
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.