Denali Prototype Nears Completion


Image: Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation has announced that it is getting close to completing its Cessna Denali prototype as well as the first two flight and three ground test articles for the clean-sheet, high-performance, single-engine turboprop. According to Textron, the prototype and the first two production conforming aircraft will be used in the flight test program, while the three ground test articles will be used for airframe static and fatigue tests, along with cabin interior development and testing. The company expects the flight test program to begin later this year.

“The result of the work we are doing now in design, production and testing is going to provide a mature configuration that will help us move through certification and flight testing, ultimately bringing a proven aircraft to the market,” said Senior Vice President of Engineering at Textron Aviation Chris Hearne. Textron says it has also completed component integration for the Denali iron bird, a simulator test rig which “incorporates the design of the aircraft’s avionics, electrical and engine control systems, then positions them in a framework that makes the systems easy to access during testing.”

The Denali is designed to seat up to nine passengers and convert easily between passenger and cargo configurations. It will be powered by the new 1300-SHP GE Catalyst engine, which completed initial altitude chamber testing this month. The aircraft is expected to have a maximum cruise speed of 285 KTAS, service ceiling of 31,000 feet, full fuel payload of 1100 pounds and range of up to 1,600 NM.