Nextant Aerospace chief pilot and vice president of flight operations Nathan Marker flew the company’s re-engined G90XT for the first time on January 13, and Nextant also held a rollout at its Cleveland, Ohio headquarters at Cuyahoga County Airport to celebrate the event. The G90XT, a Beechcraft King Air C90A equipped with GE's H75-100 turboprop engines and Garmin G1000 avionics, is Nextant’s second remanufactured aircraft program. The 400XTi, a remanufactured Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, is the company's first.
The G90XT flew twice on January 13 and twice the following day, the company told AIN on January 16. During the first flight, which lasted for 24 minutes, according to FlightAware, the G90XT reached 8,000 feet and about 230 knots (groundspeed). On January 14 it reached 261 knots (groundspeed). Projected maximum cruise speed is 280 knots and range 1,240 nm with four passengers.
According to Nextant president and CEO Sean McGeough, the flight-test program should take about six weeks and certification is expected in late March or early April. Nextant hasn’t released any performance numbers from flight testing yet. “We’re in the early stages of the flight-test regime,” he said. “Nathan has been thrilled with the performance so far.”
“The increased power was very noticeable during the takeoff run,” Marker said. “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.”
The G90XT replaces the original Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135 engines with the H75-100, which weighs less than the PT6A. The GE engine has a 4,000-hour TBO with no hot-section inspection interval. A key feature in the G90XT is the single-lever electronic engine control, developed by Unison Industries. The mod also includes digital pressurization and dual-zone air-conditioning.
The G90XT will sell for $2.6 million if Nextant provides the C90A or $2 million for a customer-provided airplane. The remanufacturing program includes an extensive inspection of the airframe and replacement of all worn components, the new engines, systems and avionics and a new “significant interior upgrade.”