The first of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s King Air B360 aircraft arrived this year, making it the first of its type in Australia.
News of RFDS purchasing six of the Beechcraft King Air 360CHW turboprop aircrafts first broke in February of last year. Current plans consist of three more of the aircraft being delivered this year with the last two coming in 2023.
“The Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft forms a key part of our 10-year aircraft replacement strategy, which will ensure continuity of first-class aeromedical care well into the future,” said Meredith Staib, RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer.
The aircraft cost $16 million apiece, representing around $100 million for all six.
In rural Australia, having a versatile aircraft like the King Air 360 is essential in providing medical care transportation services to remote areas. Additionally, it will provide hospital to hospital transfers.
“Synthetic vision and autothrottle provide an additional level of safety, reduces pilot workload and increases situational awareness, while the upgraded engines, five bladed composite propellers and anti-skid braking system will provide better performance allowing operations into shorter runways,” said Glyn Butchard, RFDS (Queensland Section) Executive General Manager Aviation and Logistics.
“Another update in the cockpit is the new digital pressurisation controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurisation during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall patient comfort,” Butchard further explained.
For more information about the Royal Flying Doctor Service, check out their official website.