Textron Aviation is ushering in the next generation of its King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER turboprop.
The updated flagship will offer the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin and enhancements to passenger comfort. The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in autumn 2020.
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.
Ron Draper, president and CEO of manufacturer Textron Aviation said: “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. The aircraft is a result of our extensive conversations with our turboprop customers worldwide as we continually increase innovation and next-generation capability to help them achieve their varied missions with greater comfort, technology and ease.”
Autothrottle reduces pilot workload
One of the key additions to the King Air 360 cockpit is the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo safely by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight. The enhancement reduces pilot workload and supports them in their continuous vigilance to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
Another cockpit update is the new digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurisation during climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The pressurisation gauges have been integrated with the powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
The latest King Air offers seating for up to nine passengers and an improvement on passenger experience from its predecessor. The aircraft features a cabin altitude of 5,960 feet at a typical cruising altitude of 27,000 feet – more than 10 per cent lower when compared to the King Air 350i. The improved cabin altitude levels provide greater comfort for passengers, especially during longer flights.
The redesigned bespoke cabin design features a new look with custom-built cabinetry, partitions and side ledges, upgraded materials and finishes, along with all new interior schemes. Other amenities included as standard on the entire King Air lineup include pull-out work tables, standard power outlets, USB charging stations and a private aft lavatory.
Cabin upgrade improves passenger experience
Christi Tannahill, senior vice president of Customer Experience, said: “We created an environment that provides passengers with a greater sense of openness inside the King Air. The cabin experience is such a critical element when choosing an aircraft, and it was important for us to surpass customer expectations. Their journey will not only be comfortable, but also a relaxing, enjoyable experience. The Beechcraft King Air 360 offers many of the amenities that our customers desire.”
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 US military and flying both commercial and special mission roles around the world.