Faster King Air To Take on Very Light Jets

 - April 16, 2007, 11:48 AM

Deliveries of the Beech King Air C90GT, a more powerful version of the C90B intended to compete with the impending very light jets (VLJs), are scheduled to start in December. Two 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135 turboprop engines will replace the current 550-shp PT6A-21s, boosting top speed to 270 knots from 240 knots and cutting in half the time it takes to reach 30,000 feet. There will be no change to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. Raytheon Aircraft said the first year’s production of the GT is already sold. Although at $2.95 million the GT costs more than any of the VLJs under development, Raytheon hopes to compete with that market on the basis of the King Air's larger cabin (30 percent more space than the largest VLJ), large private lavatory and spacious baggage accommodations, as well as its speed.