Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft Denali has commenced its FAA flight test campaign, the manufacturer has confirmed, marking the latest in a series of development milestones ahead of anticipated type certification in 2025.

The clean-sheet, single-engine turboprop features a flat-floor cabin (designed to be the largest in its segment) and can be easily reconfigured between passenger and cargo configurations. Able to accommodate between six and nine passengers, the Denali will be able to cruise at speeds of up to 285 knots with a full fuel payloyad of 1,100 lbs. It is the first aircraft powered with GE Aerospace’s Catalyst engine, offering great fuel efficiency than other powerplants in its class.

“Commencing certification flight testing on the aircraft marks a significant milestone for the programme and we are excited to get this aircraft into the hands of our eager customers,” explained Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president of global sales and flight operations.

The company’s fleet of three flight test aircraft has now completed almost 2,000 flight test hours across 830 missions. Garmin’s Emergency Autoland System is also being implemented into the aircraft’s development and flight test programme and will be available as a standard feature when the type enters service, adds Textron. The Denali also recently completed its first on-aircraft certification ground and flight testing of its avionics (which includes= an integrated Garmin autothrottle and G3000 intuitive avionics suite).
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