King Air 260 achieves FAA certification

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The upgraded twin turboprop Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft has been certified by the FAA, enabling customer deliveries to commence in the coming weeks.

The most recent addition to the Beechcraft King Air 200 series aircraft family, which is manufactured by Textron Aviation, features cockpit and cabin improvements

The King Air 260 can carry up to nine people, has a maximum range of 2,000 miles (3,200km) and a top cruise speed of 356mph (575 km/h).

The upgraded cockpit features the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle system, which automatically manages engine power from the take-off roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight, reducing pilot workload

The ThrustSense Autothrottle system has been awarded special type certification (STC) approval from the FAA.

Another update in the cockpit is a digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, further reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort.

Meanwhile the cabin features newly designed seats created through a pressure-mapping process that identifies ways to provide a more comfortable, relaxing journey for passengers, especially on longer flights.

Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since the aircraft in 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world.

Chris Hearne, senior vice president of engineering and programs at Textron said, “The continual conversations we have with our customers play an integral role in the decisions we make about the design of new aircraft, as well as enhancements to our existing fleet.

“With the King Air 260, we used that valuable feedback and truly elevated the flying experience for both pilots and passengers. And now, with certification complete, we are looking forward to getting the King Air 260 into the hands of so many eager customers.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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