Founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1932, the Beech Aircraft Corporation started up during the Great Depression and just before World War II began. Founder and President, Walter Beech, led Beechcraft until he died in 1950. Before Walter’s unexpected passing, his wife Olive Ann Beech worked with him as the company’s secretary and treasurer. Following his death, she became acting President, which was hard for many people to accept at the time. However, Olive held that role for 18 years and served as a board chairman until retiring in 1982.
Beechcraft’s Model 17 Staggerwing gained notoriety during its earlier years producing aircraft. Vice President of Engineering, Ted Wells, led the Staggerwing’s production, which took its first flight in 1932. Afterward, 750 more Staggerwings were built and set a solid start for many more successful years to come for Beechcraft Aircraft.
Beechcraft’s ever-famous Bonanza entered the scene in 1945. It is still the most popular aircraft in Beechcraft’s production lineup with the longest production of any plane in the world. The Bonanza comes down to three essential variants including the Model 35 Bonanza with its signature V-tail, the conventional-tailed Model 33 Debonair or Bonanza, and the Model 36 Bonanza.
After experiencing several financial troubles over the years, Beechcraft sold to Textron for $1.4 billion in 2014. It’s currently part of the “Big Three” in general aviation manufacturing, which also includes Cessna and Piper Aircraft.
Producing Beechcraft’s King Air
Serving as a compromise between Beechcraft’s previous piston and jet engine aircraft designs, King Air has speed and size on its side. Having both is why the King Air is the most popular turboprop aircraft on the market. It flies faster and higher than other turboprops and also retains a size that’s capable of landing at smaller airports and on shorter runways.
King Air’s initial model is Beechcraft’s model 90, which seats six to eight people and delivers a 270 mph cruising speed. After 3 months of announcing its latest creation, Beechcraft accepted $10.8 million in orders. Demand became so popular that manufacturers had a hard time keeping up with the orders. By 1966, 100 original King Air turboprops were delivered. Manufacturers delivered 400 more by 1968.
The 1960s and 1970s allowed Beechcraft the chance to unleash two other King Air variants following its worldwide success. 1972 welcomed a new variant, the Super King Air, its first T-tail design. Producing the Super King Air took 4 years of research and development. This is because Beechcraft’s main challenge included finding a way to raise the tail while still providing a smooth ride. Their ability to make this happen meant that the stabilizer and elevator were capable of operating in relatively undisturbed air, creating a sleek ride for passengers.
At one time, King Air took on military jobs for both the United States of America and Japan. President Lyndon B. Johnson flew in a King Air Model B90 to his own ranch to prove its dependability.
Recent King Air models maintain their durability and reliability while including luxurious additions like Onboard Maintenance System updates, 6 thoughtfully designed interior schemes, and much more – now, you can even find illuminated cupholders on board. King Air continues to be a prized aircraft for military, business, and utility use.
Country of Origin: America
Beechcraft King Air 350 Statistics
- Maximum Speed: 320 kts
- Maximum Range: 1,550 nm
- Maximum Occupants: 11
- Total Aircraft Build: 7,300+
- Current Operational Aircraft: 6,000+
- Useful Load: 5,145 lbs.
- Average Days On Market For Sale: 83
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- King Air 350 Maintenance Manual
Beechcraft King Air Details
The following includes additional details for Beechcraft’s latest King Air 350i (2020).
Capable of seating up to 9 passengers, the King Air 350i features double-club leather seating and a quiet cabin experience with its soundproof and smart noise-cancellation technology. This model also features touchscreen avionics, fold-out tables, power outlets, and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Beechcraft’s twin business turboprop 350i has an all-metal frame construction, twin 1,050-horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines, airstair door, and tricycle landing gear. Additionally, its 5,000 lbs. useful load is ideal for plenty of luggage and/or equipment.
The following avionics may or may not be included:
- Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion Avionics Suite
- Three 14-Inch Touchscreen Displays
- Synthetic Vision System (SVS)
- Graphical Flight Planning
- Integrated Charts & Maps
- Engine-Indicating & Crew-Alerting System (EICAS
- Dual Flight Management System (FMS)
- MultiScan Weather Radar
- Integrated Terrain Awareness & Warning System (iTAWS)
- Traffic Alert & Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II)
- Automatic Flight Guidance System (AFGS)
- Dual Navigation & Communication Radios
- Configuration: Twin Engine, Turboprop
- Max Seats: 17
- Max Takeoff Weight: 15,000 lbs.
- Cruise: 310 kts
- Range: 1,250 nm
- Takeoff Run (Balanced Field Length): 3,737 ft.
- Landing Roll: 1,338 ft.
- Wing Span: 57 ft. 11 in.
- Length: 46 ft. 8 in.
- Height: 14 ft. 4 in.
Beechcraft King Air Models
Initial 200s were prototypes and initial production versions that were converted into Model 200Ts and PD 290 jet aircraft. The first prototype for this aircraft flew in 1972.
The A200 is the first model purpose-built for the U.S. military (Army and Air Force). A total of 75 were built.
This version offers optional wingtip fuel tanks, dome-shaped side windows in the rear fuselage, and a modified belly to allow for aerial photography. Many aircraft were converted from Model 200s and given new serial numbers with a total of 23 delivered.
This is the second military model built for the U.S. Navy and USMC with a cargo door in the LH rear fuselage. A total of 90 were built.
The 200C is the civil equivalent to the A200C with a total of 36 built.
Beechcraft’s third military model, the A200CT, was built for the U.S. Army with a cargo door and the wingtip fuel tanks of the Model 200T with a total of 93 built.
The 200CT is the civil equivalent of the A200CT. This aircraft is converted from Model 200C.
The B200 is an updated version of the Model 200. 1,157 were built as of 2009, including aircraft converted to Model B200Ts. 12 aircraft were delivered as Model 1300s.
112 B200Cs were built by the end of 2009. 47 were built for the United States Air Force as C-12Fs. A total of 65 other aircraft, similar to the B200C, were built for the U.S. military.
The B200T is a version of the B200 that is similar to Model 200T. The B200T is comprised of aircraft with new serial numbers that were converted from Model B200s with a total of 23 delivered.
The B200C features wingtip fuel tanks and all aircraft are converted from B200Cs with versions that have been assigned new serial numbers. A total of 8 were delivered to the Marina de Guerra del Perú and Israeli Air Force. Another two similar aircraft were built for the Israeli Air Force without an official designation.
The B200 includes new Hartzell composite scimitar propellers, third-party winglets, and the Ram Air Recovery System. This model can operate from shorter runways than the B200GT.
This updated version of B200 served as a civil production model. Manufacturers built a total of 97 by the end of 2009.
A total of 247 300s were built including 35 Model 300 LWs and 2 modified Model 300s with another 17 built specifically for the FAA.
This King Air variation is a stretched model of the B300 with 2 extra cabin windows on each side of the forward fuselage and winglets on the wingtips. 687 were built as of the end of 2009, including 42 extended-range versions delivered as 350ERs. Later aircraft produced are fitted with Pro Line 21 avionics.
Another B300 version, this variant was available for order as 350iC and 350iCER. A total of 35 were built as of 2009 including one for the Swiss Air Force. Modifications for this particular aircraft included modifications for aerial surveillance and 5 aircraft modified prior to delivery with underwing hardpoints and delivered as 350CERs. Later versions of this aircraft are fitted with Pro Line 21 avionics.
This variant is simply a B200 configured as a regional airliner with room for 2 crew and 13 passengers. It is fitted with two overwing emergency exits instead of the standard model’s single exit and has an optional 455 lb. belly cargo pod. A total of 14 were built.
This variant is a re-engined version with PT6A-67As and 5-blade composite propellers rather than the PT6A-60A engines. Its unit power increased from 1,050 to 1,200 hp. It also boosted the maximum cruise speed by 50 kn to 340 kn and is capable of climbing to 35,000 ft. in 19 minutes.
This twin-engine, extended-range turboprop aircraft is designed for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use. It has two large downward-facing sensor ports, digital cameras, multispectral and hyperspectral sensors, topographic and bathymetric LIDAR systems, and gamma radiation detectors. NOAA acquired these aircraft in 2020.
360 and 360ER
Introduced in August 2020, these models are equipped with automatic pressurization, autothrottles, and a refreshed interior.
Expected to replace Beechcraft’s T-44C Pegasus, the T-54A is a United States Navy aircraft. Aircraft deliveries are expected to take place from 2024 to 2026.
Top Beechcraft King Air Questions
Below is the answers to FAQs about Beechcraft’s King Air series of aircraft.
How Much Does A King Air 350 Cost?
According to GlobalAir, the average cost of a King Air 350 is $3,560,000. On the lower end, a 1994 King Air has an asking price of $2,750,000. On the higher end, a 2020 King Air 350i has an asking price of $6,900,000.
Can A King Air 350 Fly To Hawaii?
Beechcraft’s King Air 350ER is designed for “extended range” flights. This means the 350ER is capable of flying from California to Hawaii nonstop.
Does A King Air 350 Have A Bathroom?
Yes, there is a private aft lavatory located towards the back of the plane.
Can You Fly A King Air 350 Single Pilot?
The King Air 350 is single-pilot certified and seats 2 in the cockpit. However, it is highly recommended to have 2 capable pilots on board.
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