Textron introduces Beechcraft King Air 360
Textron Aviation introduced the next generation of its King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER. The updated flagship turboprop is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in the Fall of 2020.
“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 Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation.
Textron points to its addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle as a key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit. The company explains this new autothrottle automatically manages engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight – helping to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
On August 4, Textron also announced it had received special type certification (STC) approval of the ThrustSense Autothrottle on the Beechcraft King Air 300 series equipped with Pro Line Fusion avionics, in addition to the new production King Air 360. This is in addition to the STC that was received in 2019 for Pro Line 21-equipped Beechcraft King Air 200 series.
Focusing on another key cockpit upgrade of the King Air 360, Textron points to its new digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The pressurization gauges have been integrated with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
In terms of cabin upgrades, with seating for up to nine passengers, the King Air 360 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.
Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A engine, providing 1,050 shp, the King Air 360 is rated for a maximum range of 1,806 nautical miles (3,345 km). It holds a maximum takeoff weight of 15,000 lbs (6,804 kg), as well as a useful load of 5,145 lbs (2,334 kg) and maximum payload of 2,5454 lbs (1,154 kg).
The aircraft is rated for a maximum cruise speed of 312 ktas (578 km/h), maximum operating altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 m), and maximum climb rate of 2,700 feet per minute (823 mpm). Its takeoff field distance is rated at 3,300 feet (1,006 m), with a landing distance rated at 2,692 feet (821 m).
Textron notes the redesigned bespoke cabin design of the King Air 360 features a new look with custom-built cabinetry, partitions and side ledges, upgraded materials and finishes, along with all new interior schemes. Other amenities that come standard on the entire King Air lineup include pull-out work tables, standard power outlets, USB charging stations and a private aft lavatory.
“We created an environment that provides passengers with a greater sense of openness inside the King Air,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Customer Experience. “The cabin experience is such a critical element when choosing an aircraft, and it was important for us to surpass customer expectations.”
Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, which Textron describes as the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 56 years.