Textron Aviation this week announced it is realigning its turboprop aircraft lineup as the single-engine Beechcraft Denali (previously branded the Cessna Denali) joins the legendary twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 260 and King Air 360/360ER as part of the company’s high-performance turboprop product lineup. The aircraft development program continues to progress toward a first flight anticipated later this year.
“The Beechcraft Denali represents our continued strategy to invest in clean-sheet and current products in both our Beechcraft and Cessna iconic brands. Beechcraft turboprops are renowned for their versatility and reliability, and the single-engine Denali is a perfect complement to this legendary family of products,” said Ron Draper, Textron Aviation, president and CEO. “Pilots and passengers will appreciate the aircraft for its enhanced capabilities, innovative technology and all-around passenger comfort.”
The Beechcraft Denali is designed to outperform its competition with projected lower operating costs, Garmin G3000 avionics, and the largest cabin in its class. Engineered to achieve cruise speeds of 285 knots with a full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds, the Denali will have a range of 1,600 nautical miles at high speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers.
“We continue to receive interest around the world from turboprop and piston owners of competing aircraft, who are looking to move into an aircraft with greater performance and enhanced passenger experience,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Global Sales and Flight Operations. “The Denali will offer an outstanding combination of lower operating costs and technological advancements, along with the widest and most comfortable cabin in its segment. And all of it is backed by the most extensive global network of factory-direct service centers in the industry.”
The Beechcraft Denali development program has achieved multiple milestones throughout the past six months as it continues to gain momentum toward its first flight. Earlier this month, the first Full Authority Digital Engine Controlled (FADEC) GE Aviation Catalyst engine was installed on the first Beechcraft Denali prototype airframe and the aircraft was powered on for the first time. Engine runs are anticipated in August, followed by a first flight for the aircraft projected for later this year.
Two other Denali flight test articles 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.
“We’re making remarkable progress with the aircraft’s development program,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering. “We have already achieved a number of important milestones, and the next few months will feature a great amount of activity as our team prepares the Denali for its inaugural flight.”
The Denali (then the Cessna Denali) was first unveiled at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016.
Press release: Textron Aviation