Last Convention’s hopes of a prototype Denali gracing the static display in 2018, after a planned third-quarter maiden flight, evaporated earlier this year when the date with the atmosphere was revealed to have slipped to early 2019, to be followed by certification to FAR Part 23 (single pilot), and service entry in 2020.
A single, all-new, 1,240-shp General Electric GE93 Catalyst single-power-lever turboprop drives the Denali’s McCauley Blackmac five-blade, carbon composite propeller and makes the $5.0 million utility transport good for a 1,100-lb. full-fuel payload, 285 kt. maximum speed and 1,600-nm range with five souls aboard. The 5-ft. 3-in.-wide, pressurized cabin, 4-ft. 10-in.-high and 16-ft. 9-in.-long, is accessed via a forward door or rear freight door (4-ft. 2-in.-wide) and has seating for a typical six executive passengers and two pilots, although 11 represents maximum occupancy. Clearly, the Denali has the Pilatus PC-12, Daher TBM 910/930 and Piper M600 in its sights,
Avionics are based on Garmin’s three-screen G3000 suite, with weather radar, synthetic vision, dual FMS and dual WAAS-enabled GPS receivers for navigation, dual transponders with ADS-B "In" and "Out," TAWS-B, TCAS I, dual AHRS and dual air data computers.
In May, Cessna confirmed that work had begun on fabricating three prototypes to follow the static test airframes already under test. The 4,000-hr. TBO GE93 has been bench running, as scheduled, since last December. The Denali will be built at Wichita on the line vacated by the transfer of Caravan production to Independence, Kansas.