New From Textron Aviation: King Air 360 And 360ER
Textron Aviation has unveiled the Beechcraft King Air 360 and 360ER, upgrades of the iconic twin turboprop with new autothrottles, avionics upgrades and other enhancements to the cockpit plus a redesigned, more open cabin. The autothrottle system is also available as a retrofit on King Air 300-series aircraft equipped with Pro Line Fusion avionics. The King Air 360 is on the production line in Wichita, with customer deliveries expected to begin in the fall. The aircraft will replace the King Air 350i, officials said during in a virtual press conference announcing the upgraded aircraft.
The company continues to produce the King Air 250. Officials declined to say how many orders the company has taken for the King Air 360. It will provide more information on its launch customer, a farming family in California, in the following weeks. The King Air 360 is designed to create an enhanced flying experience for pilots and passengers, said Ron Draper, Textron Aviation president and CEO. “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 main feature is the addition of a full regime autothrottle system, called the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle. The system computes and manages engine power through a flight from takeoff roll to landing, said Rob Scholl, Textron Aviation senior vice president of sales and flight operations. The autothrottle reduces pilot workload and provides over-speed and under-speed conditions as well as over-temp and over-torque conditions. The company has received special type certificate approval for the system, it said, which will be available as an aftermarket upgrade on King Air 300-series turboprops equipped with Pro Line Fusion avionics. The autothrottle is controlled through a new IS&S standby instrument. The retrofit design allows installation without any structural modifications to the existing throttle quadrant, the company said.
“Thousands of pilots take to the skies daily for a wide range of missions in their Beechcraft King Air turboprops,” said Brian Rohloff, senior vice president of customer support. “We’re committed to supporting our customers and operators with the latest technology and avionics upgrade options that offer them maximum support and efficiency.” Upgrades to the King Air 360 also include a digital pressurization system, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during climb and descent to increase passenger comfort and reduce pilot workload, Scholl said. Cockpit upgrades also include the relocation of indicators, including flap position, cabin rate-of- climb and cabin altitude. Sirus XM is also an option. The King Air 360, which seats up to 11 people, has a base retail price of $7.9 million, while the King Air 360ER has a base price of $8.795 million.