Beechcraft Denali: Second plane completes first flight


A second Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft has completed its first flight as part of the design’s clean-sheet certification programme.

The Denali’s flight of two hours and one minute (reaching a maximum altitude of 15,500ft and a speed of 240ktas) brings the design’s total flight time to more than 250 flight hours.

Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering & Programs, Beechcraft, said: “This flight is another vitally important step for the Beechcraft Denali programme as the aircraft will be used primarily for testing aircraft systems like avionics, cabin environmental control and ice protection.”

The Denali flight test certification programme is expected to include a third flight test unit and three full airframe ground test units, as evaluation expands to testing aircraft systems, engine, avionics and overall performance.

Designed to achieve cruise speeds of 285 knots and full fuel payload of 1,100lbs, the turboprop will have a range of 1,600nm at high-speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers. This will enable the aircraft to link Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Athens.

The Denali is the first aircraft powered with GE’s Catalyst engine. The FADEC-equipped, 1,300 shaft horsepower (SHP)-rated turboprop engine is said to ease pilot workload with its single-lever power and propeller control. The Denali prototype completed its first flight in November 2021.

The Beechcraft Denali, powered by GE’s Catalyst engine, completed its first flight in November 2021.