Beechcraft Denali enters flight test phase

Beechcraft Denali first flight ©Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation has announced that its new single-engine turboprop, the Beechcraft Denali, took to the skies for the first time. The milestone first flight is a major step for the clean-sheet design aircraft and begins the important flight test programme that substantiates the segment-leading performance expected of the Denali.

Piloted by senior test pilot Peter Gracey and chief test pilot Dustin Smisor, the Beechcraft Denali prototype aircraft, powered by GE Aviation’s new Catalyst engine, took off at approximately 8:20 a.m. from the company’s west campus at Eisenhower International Airport. During the two-hour-50-minute flight, the team tested the aircraft’s performance, stability and control, as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems. The aircraft reached an altitude of 15,600 feet and attained speeds of 180 knots.

The company is targeting certification for the Denali in 2023.

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