Second Beechcraft Denali To Join Flight Test Program Soon

Credit: Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop has accumulated more than 185 flight test hours and a second test aircraft expected to join the flight test program in June, a company official says.

The first aircraft, which made its debut flight on Nov. 23, 2021, will reach 200 flight hours shortly, Ron Draper, Textron Aviation president and CEO, said during a briefing ahead of EBACE.

The second test aircraft is currently undergoing ground runs on the engine. The aircraft is powered by the GE Aviation Catalyst 1,300 shp-rated engine, a clean-sheet design. The engine, which includes FADEC controls, completed its first flight Sept. 30, 2021, on a King Air 350 Flying Test Bed.

“We’re proceeding through development flying,” Draper said. “For a while you go out and test every system and make adjustments or changes to development flying and then with a plan later to move into certification flying.”

Textron Aviation announced the new development program—previously named “Single Engine Turboprop”—in 2015. Certification of the Beechcraft Denali is expected in 2023. The six-passenger aircraft is equipped with McCauley’s new 105-in.-dia. composite, five-blade propeller, Garmin 3000 avionics and an integrated Garmin autothrottle.

The Denali was designed to reach a maximum cruise speed of 285 kt., have a full fuel payload of 1,100 lb., a four-passenger range with one pilot of 1,600 nm and a maximum cruising altitude of 31,000 ft. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.