• Beechcraft's King Air 360. (Textron Aviation)
    Beechcraft's King Air 360. (Textron Aviation)
  • The cockpit of the new King Air 360. (Textron Aviation)
    The cockpit of the new King Air 360. (Textron Aviation)

Textron Aviation this morning introduced the latest version of the King Air twin turbo-prop utility aircraft.

The King Air 360/360ER features significant upgrades in both the cockpit and the cabin, which include an autothrottle and a cabin pressure 10% lower than previous models.

“The Beechcraft King Air 360 builds on decades of renowned versatility and reliability in the King Air family, and this upgrade further elevates it with the aircraft’s superior features and engineering advancements designed to create an enhanced flying experience for passengers and crew alike,” said Textron Aviation CEO Ron Draper.

“The aircraft is a result of our extensive conversations with our turbo-prop customers worldwide as we continually increase innovation and next-generation capability to help them achieve their varied missions with greater comfort, technology and ease.”

A key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit is the Innovative Solutions & Support ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle automatically manages engine power from the take-off roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight.

Textron believes this enhancement reduces pilot workload and helps prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.

Another update in the cockpit is the new digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressure during both climb and descent. The pressurisation gauges have been integrated with the Collins Pro Line Fusion flight deck.

The King Air 360 is available in standard and extended-range (ER) models. Both are powered by twin 1050-shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A. The standard model has a max cruise of 312 KTAS, a range of 1806 nm and will carry 11 passengers. The useful load is 2334 kg.

The 360ER is slightly slower at 303 KTAS, but has a range of nearly 3000 nm and can be configured for up to 15 people. The useful load goes out to 3241 kg.

Production is already underway and the first deliveries to customers are expected to happen in September-November this year.

More information is on the Textron Aviation website.

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