Raytheon Unwraps King Air C90GT

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Also at the recently concluded EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Raytheon took the wraps off its latest turboprop offering, the Beechcraft King Air C90GT. The latest Beechcraft is an evolutionary development of the original short-body King Air featuring Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-135-A engines. According to Raytheon, the new powerplants help deliver a 25-knot max cruise speed increase and can halve the time needed to climb to the airplane's certified ceiling of 30,000 feet. “This is a very exciting program that’s being met with tremendous customer response,” said Randy Groom, Beechcraft’s president and general manager. “We view the Beechcraft King Air C90GT as the antithesis of the very light jet (VLJ) because of its roomy, rugged and proven design, along with its tremendous short and rough field capabilities. It also provides a logical transition for pilots by offering increased performance, a larger cabin and twin-engine safety and system redundancy not found in some comparably priced or even more expensive single engine turboprop aircraft.” The 750 total hp engines are flat-rated to 550 hp, helping boost max cruise speed from 246 knots in the King Air C90B model to over 270 knots in the King Air C90GT. Max cruise speed for the C90GT is reached at 18,000 feet versus 15,000 feet in the C90B and is a full 45 knots faster at its certified ceiling. According to Raytheon, FAA certification of the C90 GT is scheduled for Q4 of 2005, with customer deliveries slated for December 2005. The Beechcraft King Air C90GT is sold out through June 2006. European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) and other international certifications are expected to begin immediately thereafter with initial completions by mid-2006.