Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft Denali completed its first test flight on November 23, 2021, crossing the latest milestone on the company’s track to make it the first “modern Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)-controlled turboprop” powered by GE Aviation’s Catalyst engine. The single-engine turboprop aircraft reached an altitude of 15,600 feet and a top speed of 180 knots during the test flight that tested the aircraft’s “performance, stability as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems,” the company said. Developed with a payload capacity of 1,100 pounds and a range of 1,600 nautical miles, Textron has added the Denali to its existing turboprop family of aircraft, including the twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 260 and King Air 360/360ER earlier this year after the aircraft previously made its debut as the Cessna Denali.
“Today’s landmark flight is not only a significant occasion for the Denali, it is a truly great moment for our employees, our suppliers and the customers who will be flying this aircraft,” Ron Draper, President and CEO of Textron Aviation said in a statement. “With its more environmentally friendly engine and largest cabin in its class, this is an aircraft that will change the landscape for high-performance single-engine turboprop aircraft.”