Textron Aviation recently ushered in the next generation of its legendary King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER. The updated flagship turboprop offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin, and enhancements to passenger comfort. The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin towards the end 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. “The aircraft is a result of our extensive conversations with our turboprop customers worldwide as we continually increase innovation and next-generation capability to help them achieve their varied missions with greater comfort, technology and ease.”
A key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit is the addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle. The autothrottle supports pilots in their critical mission of delivering people or cargo safely by automatically managing engine power from the take-off roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight. This enhancement reduces pilot workload and supports them in their continuous vigilance to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
Another important update in the cockpit is the 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 powerful Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
With seating for up to nine passengers, the latest King Air offers an even greater passenger experience than its predecessor. The aircraft features a cabin altitude of 5,960 feet at a typical cruising altitude of 27,000 feet – more than 10% lower when compared to the King Air 350i. The improved cabin altitude levels provide greater comfort for passengers, especially during longer flights.
A redesigned bespoke cabin design features a stunning 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 line-up 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. Their journey will not only be comfortable but also a relaxing, enjoyable experience. The Beechcraft King Air 360 offers many of the amenities that our customers desire.”
Nearly 7,600 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 62 million flight hours in its 56 years, serving roles in all branches of the U.S. military and flying both commercial and special mission roles around the world.