Nextant Aerospace said its G90XT turboprop project was "on schedule for certification" in 2015 after a successful first test flight of the aircraft, a remanufactured King Air C90A.
The Cleveland, Ohio-based company said that it expected six weeks of flight testing would lead to certification in the second quarter of 2015, according to a Jan.15 news release.
Nextant is producing the G90XT based on "feasibility studies trying to understand what types of enhancements would significantly improve" the ownership experience of King Air operators.
The G90XT is powered by General Electric’s 750-shp H75 engine and features a fully integrated Garmin G1000 cockpit, electronic engine control, and single-lever power control technology to reduce pilot workload; it also has digital pressurization. Interior upgrades and a new air conditioning system were included.
"This is a very exciting day for the team at Nextant and our customer base," said company President Sean McGeough. "We announced this program just twelve months ago and we are on schedule for certification. We have great expectations for this aircraft and believe the new technology that it offers will be appealing to this market segment."
Nathan Marker, Nextant’s vice president of flight operations and chief test pilot, was at the controls for the first flight of the G90XT. He said the increased power "was very noticeable during the take-off run."
“I was also impressed by the lower noise levels in the cockpit. The change in position of the propellers relative to the fuselage combined with the new engine makes for a much quieter and more comfortable flight experience for passengers.”
Nextant, also producer of "the world’s only remanufactured business jet," the 400XTi, said it will spend the next few weeks running the G90XT "through a full test flight envelope." Delivery of production aircraft will begin immediately upon certification.
Nextant was founded in 2007, and is a member of the group of companies associated with private business aviation investment firm Directional Aviation Capital.