Beechcraft Successfully Completes First Flight Of Second Denali Turboprop Test Aircraft

In mid-June, Textron Aviation successfully completed the first flight of the second Beechcraft Denali flight test aircraft. The flight lasted just over two hours, reached a maximum altitude of 15,500, and achieved a max airspeed of 240 KTAS. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

On June 16, Textron Aviation completed the first flight of the second Beechcraft Denali flight test article, propelling the single-engine turboprop closer to its expected Federal Aviation Administration certification in 2023. The initial flight of the first Denali prototype occurred in November 2021. Since then, Textron has completed over 250 test flight hours. The second flight lasted just over two hours, with the aircraft reaching a maximum altitude of 15,500 feet (4,724 meters) and a maximum speed of 240 KTAS. Eventually, the flight test certification program will include three flight test articles and three full-airframe ground test articles.

“This flight is another vitally important step for the Beechcraft Denali program, as the aircraft will be used primarily for testing aircraft systems like avionics, cabin environmental control, and ice protection,” says Textron Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Engineering & Programs, Chris Hearne. “The team has made great progress, accomplishing key goals in the flight test program, and the Denali team heads into the second half of 2022 with a great deal of momentum.”

The Denali flight test program will eventually include three flight test articles and three full-airframe ground test articles. Textron Aviation expects the aircraft to receive FAA type certification next year. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

The Makings Of The Denali

The clean-sheet Denali features a flat-floor cabin that Textron claims is the segment’s largest. The interior measures 4.8 ft (1.4 m) high by 5.3 ft (1.6 m) wide by 16.75 ft (5.1 m) long. Cabin features include large windows, a forward refreshment cabinet, a baggage compartment that’s accessible in-flight, and an externally serviceable belted lavatory in the cabin rear. A standard seating configuration with six reclining seats or a nine-place high-density seating option for commuter applications will be available. The aircraft will allow for conversions between passenger and cargo configurations.

Textron says the Denali will be the first aircraft to use GE’s Catalyst engine. The Full Authority Digital Engine Controlled (FADEC) power plant can operate on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and provides 1,300 shaft horsepower (969 kilowatts) and single-lever power and propeller control. The turboprop’s new 105-inch (266-centimeter) McCauley composite five-blade constant-speed propeller features full feathering, reversible pitch, and ice protection capabilities.

Textron Aviation says it designed the Denali to hit cruise speeds of 285 knots and to carry a full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

The Denali In Action

With a maximum range of 1,600 nautical miles (2,963 kilometers), the Denali will connect Los Angeles to Chicago, New York City to Miami, or London to Athens. Pilots will have a Garmin 3000 avionics suite with three 14-in. widescreen displays and two available touchscreen control panels. Integrated Garmin auto-throttle comes standard and interfaces with the automatic flight control system (AFCS) and flight management system (FMS) to provide speed control throughout all phases of flight.

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Source: Textron Aviation

Posted On: 6/20/2022 5:09:52 PM