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King Air 260 certifiedKing Air 260 certified

Textron Aviation announced that its new King Air 260, which was rolled out in 2020, has received FAA certification. The $6.7 million airplane has a number of new features.

Photo courtesy Textron Aviation.

Among them are autothrottles, a digital pressurization system, and a multiscan weather radar system. The autothrottles, manufactured by Innovative Solutions and Support and dubbed ThrustSense, allow pilots to select a wide range of airspeeds. The autothrottles automatically adjust power to exactly match the airspeed values selected by the flight crew. At the same time, the autothrottles honor airspeed and engine limitations: They’ll self-adjust power settings to avoid underspeed, overspeed, ITT overtemp, and engine torque overboosts.

With autothrottles activated, the power levers move forward and aft, as though an invisible hand is in control. With autothrottles disengaged, manual control is returned to the pilot.

The 260’s digital pressurization system controls cabin pressure automatically, eliminating the need for pilots to manually adjust cabin altitudes. Digital pressurization means that details such as takeoff and destination airport elevations are automatically entered into the system from FMS flight plan entries—and that during descents, cabin altitude is precisely adjusted as the airplane enters the landing phase. And those familiar with the King Air’s traditional round-gauge pressurization gauges and analog controls won’t see them in the King Air 260.

The new Collins Aerospace Multi-Scan radar’s biggest advantage is its ability to automatically scan at ranges up to 320 nautical miles, suppress clutter, update rapidly, and detect turbulence. Another means of bringing an additional array of weather information into the cockpit can come through the King Air 260’s optional SiriusXM datalink weather, including coverage of Canada and Puerto Rico.

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Topics: Turboprop

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