Textron Aviation announced this week that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had certified the King Air 260, paving the way for customer deliveries to commence.
The latest in the King Air 200 series, the 260 is a nine-seater with a range of 1712 nm, boasting upgraded technology.
“The continual conversations we have with our customers play an integral role in the decisions we make about the design of new aircraft, as well as enhancements to our existing fleet,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering and Programs.
“With the King Air 260, we utilised that valuable feedback and truly elevated the flying experience for both pilots and passengers. And now, with certification complete, we are looking forward to getting the King Air 260 into the hands of so many eager customers.”
Among the new features are an Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle system, which supports pilots by automatically managing engine power from the take-off roll through climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing. Textron Aviation believes the enhancement reduces pilot workload and prevents over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
The ThrustSense Autothrottle system has been awarded special type certification (STC) approval from the FAA.
The King Air 260 is also fitted with a new digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurisation during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing passenger comfort. The system has been integrated with a Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
Nearly 7600 Beechcraft King Airs have been delivered to customers since 1964, making it the best-selling business turbo-prop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours over 57 years, serving roles in military, commercial and special mission roles.
Beechcraft currently manufactures the King Air 260 and the larger King Air 360 and 360ER models.