A Beechcraft King Air 300 twin-engine turboprop currently being flown by the U.S. Army has passed its 50,000th flight hour, according to an announcement from Textron Aviation on Thursday. The aircraft was delivered in 1987 and has been part of the Army’s fleet since 2009. It operates as a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (MARSS) aircraft, performing aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
“The aircraft was utilized heavily in CENTCOM to fill capability gaps over the past decade,” said U.S. Army Fixed Wing Project Office project manager Col. James DeBoer. “An aircraft that was able to reach 50,000 flight hours, with more than 30,000 hours in mostly austere environments, deserves recognition as do the Soldiers who flew and maintained the aircraft, and those who stood at the ready to support its missions through parts replacement, repairs and other requirements.”
According to Textron, nearly 7,600 King Air family aircraft have been delivered since the first model was introduced in 1964. The worldwide fleet has logged more than 62 million flight hours to date. The latest addition to the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-powered King Air 300 family, the King Air 360/360ER, received its type certificate from the FAA in October 2020.