Beechcraft Delivers King Air 260 Turboprops To US Forest Service For Wildfire Mapping Missions

The U.S. Forest Service recently added two special-missions-equipped Beechcraft King Air 260 twin turboprops that it will use for wildfire mapping missions. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

The U.S. Forest Service's two new Beechcraft King Air 260s came equipped with infrared (IR) sensing technology, an Overwatch Imaging TK-9 Earthwatch Airborne Sensor, and legacy U.S. Forest Service sensors. These will allow firefighters to map wildfires day or night and through smoke, and help them gauge the extent of fires when smoke, darkness, and other conditions make doing so difficult. IR mapping aircraft can also be used to spot new fires caused by lightning.

“Whether for the wildfire detection and mapping, resource management, aerial supervision module/lead plane, or air attack, the King Air continues to demonstrate its leadership in this mission,” says Bob Gibbs, Textron Aviation vice president of special mission sales. “Customer faith in our legendary products and trust in our company and our team are at the core of our enduring relationship with U.S Forest Service.”

King Airs & Special Missions

The Beechcraft King Air 360 and King Air 360ER are among several Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft that Textron can equip for special-mission operations, including aerial survey, air ambulance, flight inspection, float operations, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), parachute, training, and utility and transport. For air survey missions, the King Air 260 is available in multiple configurations and with such equipment as large-format digital mapping cameras and gyro-stabilized mounts.

In its standard configuration, the King Air 260 can transport up to nine passengers and haul up to 550 pounds of baggage. (Photo courtesy of Textron Aviation.)

The King Air 260 At Work

Textron says the King Air 260’s inclusion of several cutting-edge cockpit technologies makes the plane easier to fly. For instance, an Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle system automatically manages engine power from takeoff roll through climb, cruise, descent, landing, and go-around phases of flight, which reduces the pilot’s workload and prevents over-speed, under-speed, over-temperature, and over-torque conditions. A digital pressurization controller in the included Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck, meanwhile, automatically schedules cabin pressurization during climb and descent, thus enhancing passenger comfort. The plane also includes Collins Multi-Scan RTA-4112 weather radar optimized to automatically detect short, midrange, and long-range weather.

The King Air 260 can transport up to nine passengers and haul up to 550 pounds (249 kilograms) of baggage. Its maximum cruise speed is 310 ktas (574 km/h), and its maximum range is 1,720 nautical miles (3,185 kilometers). The plane is powered by dual Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-52 engines fitted with four-blade composite Hartzell propellers with constant-speed and auto-feathering functionality.

Find Your Next Beechcraft Aircraft offers hundreds of new and used Beechcraft airplanes for sale, including King Air 260 and King Air 360 aircraft.

Source: Textron Aviation

Posted On: 8/23/2022 12:22:00 PM