The Beechcraft Super King Air is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation (now the Beechcraft Division of Hawker Beechcraft). The King Air line includes a number of model series that fall into two families: the Model 90 series, Model 100 series (these models comprising the King Air family), Model 200 series and Model 300 series. The latter two models were originally marketed as the "Super King Air" family, but the "Super" was discontinued in 1996.
The Super King Air family has been continuously produced since 1974, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft in its class. It has survived all of its competition and as of 2007 the only other aircraft in its class is the Piaggio Avanti. As of August 2008, the B200GT and the larger B300 are the production models. Special mission derivative versions of both models are also available for order.
In addition, the Beechcraft 1900 was derived from the King Air 200.
Super King Air 300/350
The popularity of the 200 series gave Beechcraft the impetus to begin work on a successor, with the Beechcraft designation Model 300, that was marketed as the "Super King Air 300". The B200's airframe was streamlined and even more powerful engines (PT6A-60A, rated at 1050 shp) installed in redesigned cowlings, with MTOW increased to 14,000 lb (6,300 kg). A Model 200 (c/no. BB-343) was modified to develop the updated systems to be used on the new model and flew in this configuration on 6 October 1981. The first flight of the prototype Model 300 occurred on 3 September 1983 and deliveries began the following year. Because some nations would not allow an aircraft of this type to be certified at an MTOW greater than 12,500 lb (5,700 kg), the Model 300LW was also developed concurrently and limited to the lower MTOW. Nineteen examples of a special version of the Model 300 were delivered to the FAA in 1987 and 1988. The first two were conversions of standard Model 300s, while the other 17 were purpose-built; since they were delivered the FAA has used the fleet to check the extensive network of navaids in the United States. 200 and 300 Series King Airs are or have been used for similar duties in several other countries, including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong (a B200C used for navaid calibration was the first aircraft to land at the then-new Chek Lap Kok Airport in 1996), Sweden and Taiwan.
By 1988, Beechcraft began work on the 300â€™s replacement. The fuselage of the 300 was lengthened by almost three feet with two extra cabin windows on each side and winglets added to the wingtips to create the Model B300. The Model B300 was introduced in 1990 and initially marketed as the Super King Air 350. MTOW was increased again to 15,000 lb (6,750 kg); as the same regulatory situation that led to the development of the 300LW still existed, that model continued to be produced until 1994. Like the 200 and B200 before it, a version with a large cargo door was developed, the Model B300C marketed as the "Super King Air 350C". The first deliveries of this model also took place in 1990. In 1998 the UltraQuiet active noise canceling system made by Ultra Electronics was included as standard equipment on all B300s. Beechcraft announced in October 2003 that it would deliver future B300 and B300C King Airs with the Rockwell Collins Proline 21 avionics suite.
The B300 model remains in production today (now marketed simply as the "King Air 350"), while the B300C is available for order; four were built in 2007 and Hawker Beechcraft announced on 11 November 2007 that it would deliver five to Saudi Arabia in 2008 for use as air ambulances.
On 13 June 2005 Beechcraft announced at the Paris Air Show that it was developing the King Air 350ER version of the B300, an equivalent to the earlier Model 200T and B200Ts of the 200 series. Changes include an increase of MTOW to 16,500 lb (7,430 kg), provision for surveillance equipment in a belly pod, the landing gear of the Beechcraft 1900 to handle the increased weight and provide ground clearance for the belly pod, and added fuel capacity in the engine nacelles to increase range(because of the B300s winglets it was unfeasible to fit wingtip fuel tanks as found on the 200T and B200T). On 11 November 2007 Hawker Beechcraft announced that the 350ER had been certified by the FAA.
In October 2008 Beechcraft announced updated versions of the B300 series, the King Air 350i, with passenger cabin upgrades. The manufacturer claims that the noise level and overall comfort of the King Air 350i, 350iER, 350iC and 350iCER are now competitive with those of light jets. The cabin of the B300 series has been improved with controllers in the passenger seat armrests that dim the LED lights, darken the windows and control an iPod dock and a high-definition video monitor. The cabin also includes Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, AC electrical receptacles and fold-out tables for each passenger in the eight seats fitted. Deliveries started in December 2009.
Modification and upgrade programs
A number of "after-market" modifications and upgrades are available for 200 and 300 Series King Airs. One company offers a Wing Front Spar Reinforcement Kit for 200 Series aircraft and a modification to replace the electro-mechanical landing gear retraction system of early-build aircraft with an electro-hydraulic system. Another company offers a High Performance Leading Edge, Nacelle Wing Lockers, Ram Air Recovery System, Quiet Turbofan Propellers, High Flotation Gear Doors and Dual Aft Body Strakes.
Another company offers a modification for the entire King Air line that entails reworking and extending the entire noseto house a baggage compartment as well as the avionics normally found in the noses of King Air aircraft; while another offers winglets, similar to those of the B300, for 200 series and other 300 series King Airs.
A modification to install a Forward looking infrared camera in an extended nose in B200 King Airs is available. Other modifications available are to convert standard 200 Series King Airs to configurations equivalent to the Model 1300 or Model 200C and B200C King Airs; and to modify B300s (normally constructed with an eight-seat corporate interior) to allow more passengers and baggage to be carried.
|Passengers||8, max 13|
|Max Range||3,269 km||1,765NM|
|Powerplants||Two 783kW (1050shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A60A turboprops driving four blade constant speed Hartzell propellers.|
Dimensions (Internal) Cabin
|Max Ramp Weight||6,350kgs.||14,000lbs.|
|Max Takeoff Weight||6,805kgs.||15,003lbs.|
|Max Fuel Weight||1,638kgs.||3,611lbs.|
|Max Landing Weight||6,804kgs.||15,000lbs.|
|Basic Operating Weight||4,321kgs.||9,526lbs.|
|Max Operating Altitude||10,668m||35,000ft.|
|Take Off Field Length||1,006m||3,300ft.|
|Landing Field Length||1,204m||3,950ft.|
The Beech 350 is an update of the Beech 300 King Air with stretched fuselage (+0,86m / 2ft 10in). Current production model is the Beechcraft King Air 350i.