May 18, 2015

Beechcraft brings state-of-the art avionics, cabin upgrades to new production King Air turboprops

GENEVA, Switzerland (May 18, 2015) – Beechcraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) that new production King Air turboprops will soon feature Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics system as standard equipment. Certifications on all three models are anticipated to occur in the upcoming months. As a further investment in the King Air line, the company is pairing the new avionics with upgraded cabin features.

“We’re improving the pilot and passenger experience in an already iconic line of business turboprops by incorporating the latest technology in the cockpit and the cabin,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Turboprop Aircraft and Interior Design. “Owners/operators will love the improved value proposition and safety features, passengers will enjoy additional standard cabin features, and the new Pro Line Fusion avionics will help pilots quickly and intuitively manage their King Air flights.”

Avionics
Pro Line Fusion for the King Air features commercial aviation’s first full touchscreen capability on all three main flight displays. The flight deck’s three 14-inch displays are interchangeable, high-resolution touchscreen and cursor-controlled. Other performance-enhancing capabilities include:
  • Integrated touchscreen checklists
  • Intuitive graphical touchscreen flight planning
  • High-resolution SVS with patented airport dome graphics
  • Convenient presets to reconfigure all three displays with a single touch
  • Full multi-sensor flight management system
  • Available automatic wireless database and chart uploads
  • Open and scalable architecture for future upgrades and mandates

Cabin upgrades

In addition to the avionics, the company is making enhancements to the King Air’s cabin technologies, which will offer an improved and connected passenger experience. The personal device-centric cabin will include international or domestic Wi-Fi as standard on the King Air 350i and 250 aircraft and optional on the C90GTx. Also standard on all three models will be electronically dimmable window shades, offering a simple interface that provides clearer views and darker shading at the touch of a button.

Upgraded King Air 250 turboprops are expected to begin delivering in the third quarter of 2015, followed by King Air 350i/ER in the fourth quarter and King Air C90GTx in early 2016.

In-service King Air aircraft with Pro Line 21 can be upgraded to the Pro Line Fusion touchscreen displays through Textron Aviation’s company-owned service centers. Differences, initial and recurrent pilot training for the Pro Line Fusion King Airs will be offered at TRU Simulation + Training’s new ProFlight training center near Tampa, Florida. Additionally, TRU will offer aircraft maintenance training for the new models in its newly renovated Wichita, Kansas facility.

Segment leadership

More than 7,300 Beechcraft King Air turboprops have been delivered to customers around the world since 1964, making it the best-selling business turboprop family in the world. The worldwide fleet has surpassed 60 million flight hours in its first 50 years, serving roles in all branches of the U.S. military, and flying commercial missions ranging from traditional passenger and cargo transport to electronic and imagery surveillance, air ambulance, airway calibration, photographic mapping, training and weather modification.

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About Textron Aviation Inc. 

Textron Aviation Inc. is the leading general aviation authority and home to the iconic Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, which account for more than half of all general aviation aircraft flying. The Textron Aviation companies include Cessna Aircraft Company and Beechcraft Corporation, bringing together decades of unmatched experience in designing, building and supporting airplanes. It provides the most versatile and comprehensive general aviation product portfolio in the world through five principal lines of business: business jets, general aviation and special mission turboprop aircraft, high performance piston aircraft, military trainer and defense aircraft, and a complete global customer service organization. Its broad range of products include such best-selling aircraft as Citation and Hawker business jets, King Air and Caravan turboprops and T-6 military trainer aircraft, all of which are backed by the industry’s largest global service network. For more information, visit txtav.com.

About Textron Inc. 

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; performance issues with key suppliers or subcontractors; and continued demand softness or volatility in the markets in which we do business.