Beechcraft celebrates 50 years of King Air
Beechcraft begins a year long celebration of its iconic King Air turboprop.
Beechcraft has started celebrations for its King Air Model 90, with several three-ship passes of the company’s current production King Air models over Beech Field, in Wichita, Kansas, as employees and guests watched.
The aircraft involved in the flypast celebrations were a King Air C90GTx, King Air 250 and a King Air 350i.
Beechcraft have delivered nearly 7,200 King Airs since thousands of people watched the King Air 90 fly for the first time on 20 January 1964. The aircraft received its type certification on 27 May 1964, with the first customer deliveries beginning in July of the same year.
“The significance of that first flight 50 years ago cannot be overstated, nor can the work of Beechcrafters over the past five decades to turn that one model into the legendary King Air brand,” said Bill Boisture, CEO of Beechcraft, which was acquired by Cessna’s parent company, Textron, in December 2013.
“The King Air captures more than 50 per cent of the worldwide business turboprop market each year because we’ve continued to innovate and build upon its foundation with the latest advancements in technology, durability, utility and comfort. Today’s celebration launches a year-long commemoration of the King Air legacy that began in earnest with the first flight of that first prototype,” Boisture added.
The King 350i was recently re-vamped by Wheels Up, after the company beginning installing wi-fi internet on the VIP-outfitted King Airs (up to 105 aircraft) ordered for its private member’s club.
Kenny Dichter, founder of Wheels Up, told Corporate Jet Investor that the King Air is “an iconic workhorse airplane.”