Textron’s Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft has completed its initial ground engine test runs and remains on course to make its maiden flight within the next three months.
The five-seat Denali can achieve cruise speeds of 330mph (530km/h) and has a range of 1,800 miles (3,000km). The aircraft features Garmin G3000 avionics and the largest cabin in its class and uses GE Aviation’s new Catalyst engine.
The ground engine runs, which took place at Textron Aviation’s west campus in Wichita, Kansas, verified the functionality of the fuel system and engine, as well as the interface with the avionics and electrical systems.
Chris Hearne, senior vice president of engineering at Textron said, “These successful engine runs are a significant step toward the upcoming inaugural flight for the Beechcraft Denali, and they are a testament to the determination and collaboration from both the Textron Aviation and GE Aviation teams.
“The Denali features a technologically advanced engine that burns less fuel. It has an intuitive avionics suite that eases pilot workload and boasts the most spacious cabin in its segment. We are excited to get this aircraft into the hands of our eager customers.”
GE Aviation’s 1,300 shaft horsepower (SHP)-rated Catalyst engine has completed over 2,450 hours of testing and is prepping for a first flight on its Beechcraft King Air flying test bed. The Catalyst engine is has more efficient fuel burn than older turboprop engines and can also use sustainable aviation fuel.
The Beechcraft Denali development program has achieved several milestones in recent months. Earlier this summer, GE Aviation Catalyst engine was installed on the Beechcraft Denali prototype airframe and the aircraft was powered on for the first time.
Two other Denali flight test aircraft are also in development. Three additional ground test articles will be used for the airframe static and fatigue tests, and for cabin interior development and testing. The company anticipates certification for the Denali in 2023.