Even with the inevitable arrival of electric-powered aircraft in the near future, Textron Aviation hasn’t lost focus on today’s immediate requisites in commercial aviation. The arrival of the single-engine Beechcraft Denali delivers the company’s highest levels of fuel efficiency thanks to a new generation engine, which has been designed to burn less fuel than older turboprop technologies.
The Beechcraft Denalialso completes Textron Aviation’s high-performance turboprop product line-up alongside the field-proven twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 260 and King Air 360 and 360ER models.
Ron Draper, Textron Aviation President and CEO, explained that the Beechcraft Denali represents American firm’s ongoing strategy to invest in clean-sheet and current products in both the iconic Beechcraft and Cessna brands.
"Beechcraft turboprops are renowned for their versatility and reliability, and the single-engine Denalii is a perfect complement to this legendary family of products," he said.
"Pilots and passengers will appreciate the aircraft for its enhanced capabilities, innovative technology and all-around passenger comfort."
Technology advances over competition
The Beechcraft Denaliwill aim to drastically outperform its competition with three key user improvements:
- Projected lower operating costs
- Garmin G3000 avionics
- Largest cabin in its class.
The upcoming Denali will be powered by GE Aviation’s new advanced Catalyst engine. The unit has already completed over 2,300 hours of testing and is in the preparation phase for a first flight on its Beechcraft King Air flying test bed.
Although the real appeal lies in its green credentials. The Catalyst is a more environmentally friendly engine that will use less fuel than existing turboprop technologies while also being compatible with the use of sustainable aviation fuel. The end result? Lower emissions.
The aircraft is also engineered to reach cruise speeds of 285 knots with a full fuel load of 500 kilograms. This will enable the Denali to have a range of 2,963 kilometres at high speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers on board.
The advantages extend into the cockpit with the latest Garmin G3000 intuitive avionics suite featuring high-resolution and touchscreen controllers making the pilot’s job easier than ever. An integrated Garmin auto throttle is now standard and interfaces seamlessly with the automatic flight control system and flight management system to provide pilots with easy speed control throughout all regimes of flight from take-off to landing.
Additional key piloting features include a 10-inch weather radar, advanced terrain awareness warning systems, and dual transponders with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast capabilities – all which are compliant with the latest air traffic control requirements.
Cabin made for comfort
The Beechcraft Denali will continue to deliver class-leading passenger experience with a flat floor cabin designed to be the largest in its segment. This layout offers the versatility to easily convert between passenger and cargo configurations as required.
In its standard passenger format, the Denali will boast a seating configuration of six individual reclining seats with the option of a nine-place high-density seating layout. It also offers passengers the convenience of adjusting the cabin temperature and airflow from a climate-control switch panel located on the cabin sidewall.
User-friendly appointments include large cabin windows, interior LED lighting, a forward refreshment cabinet and an inflight accessible baggage compartment. Also avaibable is an optional externally serviceable belted lavatory with pocket door enclosure that is located in the rear of the cabin.
"The Denali will offer an outstanding combination of lower operating costs and technological advancements, along with the widest and most comfortable cabin in its segment," says Lannie O’Bannion, Textron Aviation Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Flight Operations.
"And all of it is backed by the most extensive global network of factory-direct service centres in the industry."
The Beechcraft Denali development is forging ahead on schedule and will see its first flight projected for later this year.