ABOVE: The Beechcraft Denali and its GE Catalyst engine are both anticipating 2025 certificaiton.
Textron’s new single-engine turboprop currently in development, the Beechcraft Denali, has made its show debut at EAA AirVenture, Wisconsin.
The Beechcraft (previously Cessna) Denali was first announced at Oshkosh in 2015 and development began in 2021. Despite delays in the original timeline, there are now three prototypes flying; the second of which is on static display at Oshkosh. Describing how “Beechcraft turboprops are renowned for their versatility and reliability,” Lannie O’Bannion, Senior Vice President, Sales and Flight Operations, added he was “thrilled to unveil the newest member of the legendary product family to the world”.
The company’s latest clean-sheet aircraft, engineered to achieve cruise speeds of 285kts, will have a range of 1,600 nm at high-speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers. With a flat-floor cabin claimed to be the largest in its segment, the airframe also ‘offers the versatility to easily convert between passenger and cargo configurations’.
The new GE Catalyst powerplant – a more efficient, FADEC-equipped, 1,300 shaft horsepower-rated turboprop engine – is claimed to ‘ease pilot workload with its single-lever power and propeller control’, and is also awaiting certification. The aircraft also features McCauley’s new 105-inch diameter, composite, five-blade, constant speed propellor.
Inside the cockpit, the Garmin G300 avionics suite includes an intermated Garmin autothrottle, Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) and Flight Management System (FMS). The ‘revolutionary’ Garmin Emergency Autoland system, a feature first announced in May and currently being implemented into the aircraft’s flight test programme, will also ‘be available as a standard feature at time of entry into service’.
“The Autoland system is an excellent addition to the Beechcraft Denali and the G3000 avionics suite, and we’ve included it in the programme as a direct response to continued conversations with our customers,” noted O’Bannion.
Proposed to compete with single-engine turboprops such as the Pilatus PC-12 and the Daher-Socata TBM, certification and deliveries of the first Beechcraft Denali are scheduled for 2025.
IMAGE: TEXTRON AVIATION