WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 2, 2020) – Textron Aviation is launching an exciting new era for its renowned Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft with the introduction of the Beechcraft King Air 260 turboprop. Featuring the latest technological advancements to the cockpit and improvements in the cabin, the King Air 260 reflects the company’s continued commitment to making substantial investments to its current industry-leading products. Assembly production for the King Air 260 is already underway, and certification and deliveries are expected in early 2021.
The Beechcraft King Air 260 turboprop is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company.
The announcement comes on the heels of the recently introduced Beechcraft King Air 360, which features the latest enhancements to the cockpit and cabin. The King Air 360 achieved FAA type certification in October, and customer deliveries are underway.
The King Air 260 combines the platform’s rich history of rugged reliability and versatility with state-of-the-art upgrades and next-generation capability, offering a greater ease of flying. Key enhancements to the aircraft are the addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense® Autothrottle, along with a new digital pressurization controller. The cockpit also offers the Collins Aerospace Multi-Scan weather radar system as a standard feature on every King Air 260.
“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.”
With an occupancy of up to nine, a maximum range of 1,720 nautical miles and a top cruise speed of 310 ktas, the Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft has long been the aircraft of choice for customers around the world. The latest upgrades offer even more reasons for choosing the aircraft.
The ThrustSense® Autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight. This enhancement reduces pilot workload and is designed to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
Another key update in the cockpit is the new digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The pressurization gauges have been integrated with the powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
The Collins Multi-Scan RTA-4112 weather radar provides pilots with a fully automatic system that it optimized to detect short, mid and long-range weather. The system is designed to present an accurate picture of the weather around the aircraft, further reducing pilot workload.
“The Beechcraft King Air lineup is the most popular business turboprop in the world,” said Rob Scholl, senior vice president, Sales and Flight Operations for 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 Pro Line Fusion-equipped Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft.
The cabin, meanwhile, features newly designed seats created through an innovative pressure-mapping process that identifies ways to provide a more comfortable, relaxing journey for passengers, especially on longer flights.
Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 56 years, serving roles in all branches of the U.S. military and flying both commercial and special mission roles around the world.