Textron Aviation announced its newest twin-turboprop models, the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER and King Air 260, have achieved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification and will begin deliveries to customers throughout the region. “EASA certification begins a whole new era for the Beechcraft King Air in Europe,” said Tom Perry, vice president of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The King Air has been the turboprop of choice throughout this region for more than five decades, and the new 260 and 360 will build on that legendary reputation. We have incorporated innovative and next generation technologies that enhance the flying experience for an already proven aircraft.”
Renowned for their versatility and reliability, King Air turboprops have been a popular choice across Europe with more than 460 aircraft throughout the region. Nearly half of all King Airs in Europe are owned and operated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. A typical King Air 360 flight with four passengers and a single pilot has a maximum range of 3,345 km (1,806 nautical miles), allowing it to complete flights such as London to Athens or Frankfurt to Moscow without stopping to refuel. Similarly, the King Air 260 has a maximum range of 3,185 km (1,720 nautical miles), allowing four passengers and a single pilot to take complete flights such as Rome to Madrid or Paris to Stockholm without refuelling.
The King Air 360/360ER and 260 models represent the next generation of the legendary King Air turboprop family, building on its reputation of versatility and reliability. The aircraft offer the latest technological advancements in the cockpit along with providing additional comfort to the passenger experience.
The King Air 360/360ER turboprop features the addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo by automatically managing engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, and go-around phases of flight.
Another key addition to the cockpit is a digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurisation during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The aircraft also has a lower cabin altitude at the aircraft’s certified ceiling of 35,000 feet, providing greater comfort for passengers, especially during longer flights.
The King Air 260 is also equipped with the IS&S ThrustSense Autothrottle system, as well as digital cabin pressurisation. The aircraft now also features the Collins Multi-Scan RTA-4112 weather radar, providing pilots with a fully automatic system that is optimised to detect short, mid and long-range weather.
The new King Air turboprops were introduced in 2020, with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER achieving U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in October 2020 and the King Air 260 in March 2021.