Airports are reopening, mask mandates are easing up, and people are itching to take a vacation. Commercial airlines like American are reporting higher earnings than before the pandemic at $8.9 billion within their first quarter, and Q1 reports for America closed out at $4.0 billion last year.
With commercial flights underway, a few aviation manufacturers are also ready to get back into action. This includes the latest upcoming aircraft for Beechcraft, Daher, and Cessna. From specs and performance to what you can expect regarding delivery dates, here’s a look ahead at aircraft launches in 2022.
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Upcoming Aircraft Launches & A Look At The Future Of Aviation
It’s a big birthday year for Beechcraft. Plus, a look at Cessna’s pricing leaves some consumers with sticker shock.
Bonanza’s 75th Birthday & Limited-Edition Release
Initially announced in 2021, the limited-edition 75th birthday Beechcraft Bonanza G36 model will continue delivery for the next couple of years. But it may be worth the wait as Beechcraft has nailed its structure, look, and style down to the most minute detail.
The new Bonanza pays homage to Olive Beech, who served as CEO of Beechcraft for 50 years after her husband’s untimely death. Olive was the first woman to act as an influential leader of a major aircraft company, and she had a hands-on approach that allowed Beechcraft to grow substantially over time.
Some of Bonanza’s notable features include its retro theme dating back to the 1950s and the use of “Mrs. Beech Blue,” a custom color Olive acquired at the advice of her fashion designer at the time. She was well-known for making Mrs. Beech Blue a part of her brand, wearing and displaying it. In addition to her custom color throughout, her logo and signature are also used as onboard accents.
This G58 is powered by a 300-horsepower Continental IO-550-B engine and a three-blade constant-speed propeller. Additional features include:
- Garmin G1000 NXi
- Maximum cruise speed of 176 knots
- Range of 920 nm
- Payload of 1,060 lbs
Beechcraft’s brand new Denali took its first flight on November 23, 2021. The latest single-turboprop aircraft on the market, the Denali, competes with the PC-12, Piper M-class turboprops, and Daher TBM series. The Denali was expected to be certified by 2023. However, delays in supply chain operations, labor shortages, and shutdowns due to COVID have greatly affected the previously planned calendar for this aircraft.
You may not know that the Denali was initially listed under Cessna’s latest creations. However, Textron determined Beechcraft was a better fit for this high-performance plane.
The significance of its release is highlighted by its all-new design – a first for the single-turboprop market in over 30 years. Manufactured by Textron Aviation, the new Denali is the first aircraft powered by General Electrics’ Catalyst engine. This innovative engine burns 20% less fuel than other turboprop engines. And it is capable of using more sustainable fuels to run.
Reclining seats, plenty of legroom, and luxurious features like an add-on bathroom in the back of the aircraft aren’t the only things that have people buzzing. Other specs include:
- Garmin G3000 avionics
- Payload of 1,100 lbs
- Range of 1,600 nm
- Cruise speeds of 285 knots at 1,6000 nm
Daher’s TBM 960
At the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, Daher unveiled its latest addition to its pressurized single turboprop family, the TBM 960. The TBM is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada’s advanced PT6E-66XT engine and Hartzell Propeller’s five-blade Raptor composite propeller.
Daher’s crowning feature appears in its dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS). In other words, Daher wants pilots to see the system as an electronic copilot that has an icing protection system, Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function, flight envelope monitoring, and Under Speed Protection (USP) systems, and HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system. Additional specs:
- Garmin GWX™ 8000
- LED ambiance strip lighting
- Range of 1,730 nm
- Top cruise speed of 330 knots
- Maximum payload of 1,400 lbs
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Cessna’s FAA-Certified Addition
The Cessna SkyCourier is the latest single-pilot aircraft to take the stage. It received its FAA certification in March of 2022 and is expected to deliver over the next few years well into 2025. Textron’s ultimate plan is to offer an aircraft with improved performance and lower operating costs.
Transportation and e-commerce company FedEx is excited to see deliveries of this aircraft after using Cessna Caravan 208s since the company first went airborne. The newest SkyCourier comes with significant upgrades in avionics and performance optimization. Plus, its reduced cost benefits are ideal for businesses like FedEx, whose budget depends mainly on the weight transported from one place to another.
Cessna’s SkyCourier is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and a McCauley Propeller C779 four-blade propeller. Other specs include:
Garmin G1000 NXi
Maximum payload of 5,000 lbs
Maximum cruise speed of more than 230 mph
Maximum range of 1,035 miles
The Future Of Aviation Fuel
Businesses are making efforts to move towards more sustainable fuel options. But change will be prolonged and take some time to adjust in the upcoming years. Aside from the ability to rely on alternative fuels, manufacturers will be challenged to move away from traditional engines to turn toward sustainable operations.
To change the whole refinery, the pipeline, and everything in between means more than altering just the motor in the aircraft. There’s an entire support system. But it’s much easier said than done. Going electric means more charging ports, questions about battery longevity, and the downside of forcing the phasing out of the previous aircraft that used traditional fuel supplies.
Steps towards completely sustainable transportation are small for now but could mean significant changes in aviation in the years ahead.
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