Today, August 4th 2020, Textron Aviation announced the new evolution of the King Air 300 series with the King Air 360. The announcement took place via a livestream on Beechcraft’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
The presentation began with Rob Scholl, Senior Vice President of Sales and Flight Operations, noting a focus of listening to the customers in designing the new iteration of the King Air. He would be followed by Ron Draper, President of Textron Aviation with the official introduction of the King Air 360. Draper would begin with three headline features of the 360: an advanced autothrottle system, a more comfortable cabin altitude and a completely redesigned cabin.
The advanced autothrottle of the King Air 360 is the IS&S Autothrottle System as standard equipment. IS&S sent us a press release detailing the system that will be in the 360:
“IS&S’s patented ThrustSense Full Regime Autothrottle with revolutionary LifeGuardTM provides critical Vmca protection, as well as full FADEC engine protection with under and over airspeed protection, eliminating two of the greatest ‘low-and-slow’ challenges associated with twin-engine operations. LifeGuardTM includes the first Vmca protection system that proportionally reduces engine power to maintain directional control. The ThrustSense Autothrottle in the King Air enables automatic control of engine power settings by computing and adjusting to the exact appropriate power levels, thus significantly reducing pilot workload at critical phases of flight.”
Scholl further detailed a focus on how the King Air 360 will have a more comfortable cabin altitude via digital pressurization and structural changes which will result in a 10% lower cabin altitude compared to the King Air 350i.
“For example, while flying at 27 thousand feet, cabin altitude is just 5960 feet,” said Scholl.
Christi Tannahill, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, would then detail improvements to the King Air 360 cabin. Tannahill noted the focus on a greater sense of openness improved via small refinements. Improvements mentioned were additional leg room, increased table heights, higher sidewall armrests and digitally pressure mapped seats for comfort. The King Air 360 will feature five new interior schemes, with a wide range of appealing color pallets.
Scholl noted further details would be incoming over the next couple weeks as Textron Aviation approaches first delivery. He also mentioned the company would have demonstration flights with customers around the country but didn’t elaborate.
Draper said that assembly is already under way with deliveries occurring this fall.
We will continue to update as details come in. We’ve embedded the presentation video below: