At May’s Business and General Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Textron Aviation revealed details of the development of its long rumoured single-engine turboprop aircraft (SETP), for which it is now accepting letters of intent from would-be buyers.
Textron refuted speculation that the aircraft has any connection with rumours circulating some years ago that Cessna was testing a prototype single-engine turboprop based on the airframe of the Citation Mustang jet. Nor is it connected with the Beechcraft ‘PD434’ which then Hawker Beechcraft Chief Executive Bill Boisture revealed in 2012 as a concept turboprop single based on the company’s Premier I business jet. The SETP is unrelated, Textron says, and is “an entirely new, clean-sheet design not a derivative or variant of any existing product.”
It will be powered by GE’s new 1,240shp FADEC-equipped advanced turboprop engine with single-lever power and propeller control. The engine will have an initial 4,000-hour TBO, and will drive McCauley’s new 105in diameter composite, five-blade, constant speed propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch and ice protection. The SETP will have a cruise speed of up to 285kt and full fuel payload of 1,100lb. Planned maximum range of 1,600nm will enable it to fly nonstop between such city pairs as London-Moscow, Geneva-Istanbul, Los Angeles-Chicago and New York-Miami.
The flight deck is being designed to reduce pilot workload. Its Garmin’s G3000 intuitive touch screen avionics suite will include high-resolution multifunction displays and split-screen capability, and includes weather radar, advanced Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS), and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capabilities, which will make it compliant with a significant aspect of future Next Generation (NextGen) air traffic control requirements.
The single-pilot SETP’s flat-floor cabin will be the widest and most comfortable in its market segment, Textron claims. It will have six individual reclining seats and an optional belted lavatory seat in the back, along with large windows, interior LED lighting, a forward refreshment cabinet and an in flight accessible baggage compartment. A digital pressurisation system will maintain a 6,130ft cabin altitude at the aircraft’s 31,000ft service ceiling. The cabin interior will be easily convertible between passenger and cargo configurations, with a 53in wide aft door facilitating cargo transport and special missions operations.
The company has built a cabin mockup which it is showing to customers at its Wichita, Kansas, headquarters, and plans to display it at this summer’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. First flight of the prototype is expected in 2018.
“Developed with the pilot and passenger at the forefront, we have designed this airplane to be the clear winner in this segment, from class-leading performance and ownership costs, to superior cabin comfort and versatility,” says Scott Ernest, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “We have been intentional with every detail throughout the aircraft, resulting in an exceptional airplane that is sure to impress owners, pilots and passengers alike. This aircraft will be a perfect complement to our existing Cessna and Beechcraft product line-up and will give our customers the opportunity to move seamlessly through our family of aircraft, regardless of their mission.”
Image(s) provided by: