The Beechcraft King Air has been in production for almost 60 years. The manufacturer is now bringing two new versions onto the market.
Cessna and Beechcraft have long been brands of Textron Aviation. With good reason, the two daughters were allowed to keep their names under the new mother. Both American manufacturers made a name for themselves in the past decades with legendary propeller-driven aircraft. Every aviation enthusiast knows the Cessna 170 or the Beechcraft King Air.
The King Air has been in production for 57 years. More than 7000 units of the machine, which is powered by two turboprop engines, have left the factory halls so far. It is particularly popular on scheduled flights with little demand. Beechcraft continuously modernized the versatile aircraft and developed modifications. Now the manufacturer is giving its bestseller a refresh.
On Tuesday (August 4th) Textron Aviation presented the new Beechcraft King Air 360 and the new King Air 360 ER. The new models are based on the King Air 350, which they replace. Like their predecessor, the two aircraft are 14.2 meters long and have a wingspan of 17.65 meters. Nevertheless, they have been completely modernized.
On the King Air 360 and King Air 360 ER, for example, Beechcraft has installed a more modern cockpit system. An automatic thrust program is intended to make steering easier for pilots.
SUVs as a model
The manufacturer also made adjustments in the cabin. In the future, a higher air pressure can be generated in the aircraft. This increases the comfort. Customers can also choose six new features for the cabin.
Extending tables, USB sockets and leather seats should create an ambience similar to that of SUV cars, says the manufacturer. An Internet connection via WiFi can also be set up as an option. The King Air 360 ER is a variant with an increased range, the cabin of which can also be converted for freight missions or patient transport.
More range or shorter take-off distance
With 15 passengers, the King Air 360 ER can fly almost 5000 kilometers. With the King Air 360 with space for 11 passengers, the range is about a third less. At a little more than 1000 meters, the start distance of the lighter basic variant, King Air 360, is more than 200 meters shorter.
According to Textron, units of the new King Air series are already in production. The manufacturer expects the first King Air 360 to be delivered this autumn.
See pictures of the Beechcraft King Air 360 and King Air 360 ER in the picture gallery above.