Beechcraft Denali

Beechcraft Denali begins certification flight tests

Textron single-engine turboprop received FAA Type Inspection Authorization and expected to debut in service in 2025

The Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop has begun FAA certification flight tests, Textron revealed on Monday.

The US civil aviation agency had issued the Type Inspection Authorization at the beginning of the year, which encompasses the final phase for certification.

Textron expects the executive aircraft to be approved in 2025, a forecast revealed exactly one year ago. By then, Denali was expected to enter service in the second half of 2024.

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“The Denali’s advanced avionics take full advantage of state-of-the-art technology to ease pilot workload,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Global Sales and Flight Operations. “Commencing certification flight testing on the aircraft marks a significant milestone for the program and we are excited to get this aircraft into the hands of our eager customers.”

The second Denali test aircraft (Textron)

Textron has three test aircraft that have already completed almost 2,000 hours in flight. 700 of them in the last 12 months alone.

The delay in certification occurred due to the development of the GE Catalyst engine.

More efficient and modern, the Catalyst engine is well behind schedule and the Denali is the first aircraft to be equipped with it.

Textron announced that it will equip the single engine with the Garmin Emergency Autoland system, which will be standard on the aircraft and allows automatic landing in case of pilot incapacitation.

Garmin avionics suite (TA)

Pilatus PC-12 competitor

The Denali will be a direct competitor to the successful Pilatus PC-12 and also the Daher-Socata TBM and will perform very promisingly.

The Catalyst engine, equipped with the FADEC system, has 1,300 shaft horsepower (SHP)-rated and can use sustainable aviation fuel.

The aircraft is also equipped with McCauley’s new 105-inch diameter composite, 5-blade, constant speed propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch and ice protection.

According to Textron, the turboprop will be capable of reaching cruise speeds of 285 knots (528 km/h) with a range of 1,600 nautical miles (2,963 km) with one pilot and four passengers.

The Denali will be capable of flying non-stop from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Athens.


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