Textron Aviation has successfully completed initial ground engine runs on the prototype Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop powered by GE Aviation’s new advanced Catalyst engine. The ground engine runs, which took place at Textron Aviation’s west campus in Wichita, Kansas, verified the functionality of the fuel system and engine, as well as the interface with the avionics and electrical systems. The testing moves the aircraft closer to its milestone first flight, which is anticipated by the end of the year.
GE Aviation’s Catalyst engine has completed over 2,450 hours of testing and is prepping for a first flight on its Beechcraft King Air flying test bed. The 1,300 shaft horsepower-rated turboprop engine eases pilot workload with its single-lever power and propeller control. The Full Authority Digital Engine Controlled engine provides trend monitoring, which allows for on-condition maintenance with no mid-life Hot Section Inspection required.
The Beechcraft Denali development program has achieved several important milestones in recent months. Earlier this summer, GE Aviation Catalyst engine was installed on the Beechcraft Denali prototype airframe and the aircraft was powered on for the first time. Two other Denali flight test articles are also in development. Three additional ground test articles will be used for the airframe static and fatigue tests, and for cabin interior development and testing. The company anticipates certification for the Denali in 2023.
The Denali cockpit features the Garmin G3000 intuitive avionics suite featuring high-resolution screens and touchscreen controllers.
The aircraft boasts a digital pressurization system maintaining a 6,000-foot cabin altitude at a service ceiling of 30,000 feet.