Textron Aviation introduced the next generation of its King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER. The updated flagship turboprop is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin in the Fall of 2020.
“The Beechcraft King Air 360 builds on decades of renowned versatility and reliability in the King Air family, and this upgrade further elevates it with the aircraft’s superior features and engineering advancements designed to create an enhanced flying experience for passengers and crew alike,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation.
Textron points to its addition of the Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle as a key feature of the King Air 360 cockpit. The company explains this new autothrottle automatically manages engine power from the takeoff roll through the climb, cruise, descent, go-around and landing phases of flight – helping to prevent over-speed or under-speed, over-temp and over-torque conditions.
On August 4, Textron also announced it had received special type certification (STC) approval of the ThrustSense Autothrottle on the Beechcraft King Air 300 series equipped with Pro Line Fusion avionics, in addition to the new production King Air 360. This is in addition to the STC that was received in 2019 for Pro Line 21-equipped Beechcraft King Air 200 series.
Focusing on another key cockpit upgrade of the King Air 360, Textron points to its new digital pressurization controller, which automatically schedules cabin pressurization during both climb and descent, reducing pilot workload and increasing overall passenger comfort. The pressurization gauges have been integrated with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck.
In terms of cabin upgrades, with seating for up to nine passengers, the King Air 360 features a cabin altitude of 5,960 feet at a typical cruising altitude of 27,000 feet – more than 10 per cent lower when compared to the King Air 350i.
Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A engine, providing 1,050 shp, the King Air 360 is rated for a maximum range of 1,806 nautical miles (3,345 km). It holds a maximum takeoff weight of 15,000 lbs (6,804 kg), as well as a useful load of 5,145 lbs (2,334 kg) and maximum payload of 2,5454 lbs (1,154 kg).