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Beechcraft Shares New Engine Upgrade Option for King Air 350 Platform

Photo of the special missions King Air 350 platform with extended range
Photo of the special missions King Air 350ER

The engine upgrade for the King Air 350 platform will be offered as both a factory option for new aircraft and as an aftermarket modification.

Beechcraft, as part of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) conference in Dubai, has announced that they’re now offering Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines for their King Air 350HW and King Air 350ER turboprops. In addition to the improved performance offered by the engines, the company is also offering an increased gross weight option for both platforms, increasing the maximum takeoff weight to 17,500 pounds. Beechcraft says that both of these enhancements are FAA and EASA certified, and will be offered both as factory options for new aircraft, as well as aftermarket modifications.

Bob Gibbs, the Vice-President of Special Mission Aircraft, said, “The King Air 350 platform is renowned as a worldwide mission enabler and these optional enhancements will offer customers added performance and payload for special mission operations.” He added that they had successfully modified a fleet of NATO air force operated King Air 350ER aircraft with the new upgrades, and they were excited to provide the options to their special missions customers.

More Details on the Engine Upgrade for the King Air 350 Platform

Beechcraft’s King Air 350HW  (Heavy Weight) model provides operators with increased gross weight through the use of larger and stronger main landing gear struts, wheels, tires, and brakes, while the King Air 350ER (Extended Range) model offers additional fuel capacity and range through the addition of low drag metal fuel tanks aft of the powerplants, and includes the enhanced landing gear as well.

A Beechcraft King Air 350 on the runway
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According to the company, the more powerful Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engine provides “superior field and climb performance, including hot and high operations.” With an outside air temperature of 50 degrees Celcius (or 122 degrees Fahrenheit), the upgraded engine would allow for a max takeoff gross weight increase of up to 2,700 pounds at sea level when compared to the standard aircraft. Beechcraft says this option for increased gross weight provides greater flexibility between payload and fuel to the operator, “representing a potential increase in loiter time of two to three hours.

Featured Image: courtesy of Textron Aviation

Anders Clark was introduced to aviation a few short years ago, and has developed an interest in aviation history and what the future of aviation will bring. A writer and editor, Anders enjoys researching and sharing the stories of aviation.