At October’s National Business Aviation Convention in Las Vegas, Textron Aviation reported a delay in the development schedule of its Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, which had been expected to make its first flight before year’s end

Five development models of the 1,240shp GE Catalyst engines that will power the aircraft have completed more than 1,600 hours of testing, but will not be available for installation on the prototype until 2020.

“GE is going through the most extensive certification testing ever for a turboprop engine in the business and general aviation segment,” a spokesman for the engine manufacturer said. “Development tests completed include altitude, endurance, vibration, durability, ingestion and integrated prop controls.”

Meanwhile, Textron’s Denali ‘iron bird’ has tested aircraft handling characteristics, Garmin G300 avionics functionality and integration testing, and ‘flown’ to 41,000ft in an altitude chamber.

The Denali will have a quick-change passenger/cargo interior with 53 x 59in rear cargo door, six individual reclining seats, club-configuration tables and a refreshment unit in executive configuration, and nine forward-facing seats in a high-density commuter layout.

A digital pressurisation system maintains a 6,130ft cabin altitude to 31,000ft.

It will cruise at 285kt, and with pilot and four passengers will have range sufficient to fly nonstop Los Angeles-Chicago or New York-Miami.

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