Textron Aviation is progressing with work on its $4.8 million Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, with first flight expected in mid-2019 and certification in mid-2020, the company reports. 

At Textron Aviation, the company is fabricating three test aircraft for the flight test program plus three structural test articles at its Wichita, Kansas, factory. Fuselage assembly and wing construction are under way.

The company is displaying a full-scale mockup here. 

The mockup received a lot of good customer input and reaction at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July.

“They couldn’t get over how clean the cockpit was,” said Rob Scholl, Textron Aviation senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s going to be a much simpler aircraft to fly in its class…. The team’s done a great job with the cabin. We’re excited about that.”

At 30,000 ft., the Denali has a cabin pressure altitude of less than 6,000 ft., said Mike Haenggi, manager of product marketing, which allows occupants to arrive refreshed. 

The feature also makes it attractive for air ambulance services, where keeping cabin pressure lower reduces risk for critical patients. 

Textron Aviation announced the Denali in 2015.

The aircraft will hold a maximum of eight to 11 occupants and have a 1,600-nm range, maximum cruise of 285 kt., a full fuel payload of 1,100 lb., Garmin G3000 avionics – and the new GE Catalyst engine. 

“We’re really excited about that,” Scholl said. “It brings a lot of features to this class with a full FADEC engine.”

The Denali will feature a “jetlike environment” with a flat floor, a refreshment center, large windows and an aft lavatory, which can be removed for additional storage. A nonremovable lavatory option is externally serviceable. 

Product Manufacturing Corp., a Wichita supplier, is building the Denali doors. Using dimensionally controlled holes, the doors fit and latched correctly from the first, the company said.